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FDBerry, Sr.

SPEAK LORD, SPEAK TO ME: My Personal Testimony of The Call, Response and Philosophy to Ministry


My Christian journey has been just that…. a journey.  The journey began at home with my family that was greatly influenced by my ‘village’.  My village consisted of my mom, dad, grandparents, sister, church family and ANYONE who sat on their porch while drinking coffee in the morning or worked in their yards in the evening that lived in walking distance from my home or my grandparents’ home.  Being raised in the south with the values of ‘yes sir and no sir’, respect of others, the appreciation of a hard day’s work and a sincere love and dedication to Christ was the foundation of my upbringing.    

Living a Christian life was an expectation in our home.  Going to church was non-optional.  It seemed that when the doors of the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 600 11th Avenue, Meridian, Mississippi 39301, under the leadership of The Late Rev. L. V. Thomas opened for any service, WE WERE THERE.  From BTU, youth and young adult choir, Sunday School, revivals, 3:00 PM Sunday programs, the ‘association’ meeting, quartet singing, to evening serving as a junior deacon; church, for our home was a vital part of life.

Serving in the church was great but I knew that there was more… especially for me.  My desire to understand what God was doing and to see ministry in action lead me to reach out from my local church family to explore other churches and diverse denominations.  I recall visiting other ministries and churches of different ethnic backgrounds and some of non-traditional practices.  It was during this period of my life that I began to worship at Fitkins Memorial Church of the Nazarene, under the pastorate of Rev. Charles Johnson who still currently serves as the senior pastor.  It was at Fitkins on Sunday, June 10, 1980 during the 11:00 worship service that I found myself at the altar with one of the altar workers praying the sinner’s prayer and officially accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior.  

This was the new life that I heard preached and sung about all of my life.  I recall getting up from the altar and walking straight to the restroom to look in the mirror.  After all, I had heard for years, that I would look at my hands and they would look new; I would look at my feet and they would too.  Looking in the mirror in the restroom at church on that faithful Sunday left me a bit surprised and slightly confused.  My outside features did not change at all…..I had the same hands, same feet, same walk and yes… I heard myself; it was the same talk.  I asked myself what changed?  I didn’t question the fact that I prayed an honest prayer and that I asked Christ into my life and I believed with all my heart that Christ heard, and answered my prayer just as the bible declares in Romans 10:9-13.

My dedication to God remained the same; my commitment to church and the works of the church remained untouched; my desire and zeal for ministry remained the strong; my hope in Christ was un-wavered; my trust in the Almighty was unmoved; my growing faith continued to grow; and my prayer life and study time continued to develop.  So what changed???  What changed was the gaining of a clearer understanding of what God wanted from me, and what God wanted to do through me.  Now some thirty plus years later, as I continue to seek God’s will and direction for my life, my prayer is that God would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory; that God’s hand would be with me  and keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).  

Without a doubt, God has done and continues to do just as I have asked according to God’s will for my life (John 14:13).  I have seen many things, experienced many answered prayers, worked through many challenges, celebrated many successes, and studied under some of the best teachers.  All of which have worked together to help form my understanding and philosophy of ministry, my practice of worship, my plan for administration as well as my three-fold goal in ministry which is to: (1) win lost souls to Christ; (2) empower Christian growth in every area of life according to God’s plan; and (3) to liberate those who are oppressed.