Joy Bringer Ministries

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A Lifetime of Fruitful Service

 I've Never Been Sorry

I Will Build My Church

The Making of a Minister

The Blade, The Ear, The Full Corn

"What Is Your Excuse For Living?

Joy Bringer Ministries, Inc.

 

Our History

"...a shelter in the time of storm..."

 

 

 

 The Making of a Minister

by Robert D. Kalis
Pastor of Emmanuel Pentecostal Church
from 1975 - 1994

When anyone asked me, when I was just a little boy, what I wanted to be when I grew up, my instant response was, "A preacher." There were many reasons for this early choice. My dad was a preacher, and his noble and earnest manner glorified the ministry in my young eyes. I shared in the joy of fruit from my parents' ministry and saw wonderful answers to prayer again and again.

Then many of the greatest ministers and missionaries in the Pentecostal fellowship stayed with us in our home. Lillian Trasher of Egypt, Florence Steidel of the leper colony in Liberia, Kathryn Roth of Kenya, and the Gottfried Benders of Venezuela were some of the most interesting missionaries I got to know as a boy. Often, we took them to the boat as they sailed away to their "field". Elder Eugene Brooks and his wife Sarah seemed as holy and wonderful to me as Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. These great ministers took time to play with the little tow-headed preacher's son in Elizabeth, NJ. Both Hans Waldvogel and Joseph Wannenmacher were frequent guests of honor at our home and church. These were my "stars". With such an array of godly ministers, I could not help feeling that the ministry of the gospel, was the most noble calling in the world.

Our vacations were not pleasure jaunts, but visits to grandparents and always to visit the interesting servants of the Lord in places like Zion, Illinois. Often, we would stop along the way and visit some "saints" who had been miraculously healed. F. F. Bosworth had meetings in our church, and we often experienced the healing power of God in our home.

When I was eight years of age, I was stricken with appendicitis. The appendix burst. Blood poisoning and peritonitis set in. My parents prayed and called their praying friends for help in prayer. Miss Frieda Goetz, who had been a head nurse in a Brooklyn hospital, tended me in my home. She was a woman of faith. After two weeks of increasing danger, she told my parents that a crisis was imminent. Either a miracle must take place, or I could not live until the morning. They prayed earnestly, and that night near idnight, despite my delirium, I saw Jesus enter my room. He walked to my bed and laid His hand on my stomach. Instantly everything changed. I was perfectly well in the morning and had to be restrained by the good sense of my godly nurse, from devouring the food which for two weeks I could not eat. I sensed at that time that the call of God over my life was renewed, and I knew I owed my life to the Lord in a double way.

Our church sponsored tent meetings in our town several years later, and the Lord blessed us with several new families. A group of zealous young people kept every meeting alive. In one series of tent meetings, my dad advised me that, if I wanted to grow in the Lord, I should testify every chance I had in the coming services. For three weeks, every night, I obeyed his instructions, and one of those nights, as I was testifying, the anointing of the Holy Spirit came upon me. My voice changed, and an exhortation to holiness flowed from deep within. I had never experienced anything like that before. I knew that the Lord had met me that night.

In the hight school yearbook, I listed my ambition as "Minister of the Gospel," but, after graduation, I took employment in a corporation office. Several years of ups and downs followed. At that time, I was helped at Pilgrim Camp, and the Lord stirred my heart again toward the ministry. I spent several days with my dad in a spiritual retreat, and at that time the Lord made us to know that I should train for the ministry as soon as possible.

For the next three and one-half years, I trained in the Faith Home in Woodhaven, NY, under Pastor Hans Waldvogel. Twice he took me along to Europe on his evangelistic trips, especially to play my trumpet in the services. While there, attending wonderful Holy Ghost meetings, the Lord again renewed His call in my heart. Back in Brooklyn, during the third and fourth years of my training, we held many street-corner meetings. There, again as in the tent a few years before, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me while I testified. The words came like a rushing river from deep within.

About this time, a very important experience occurred. Rev. Joseph Wannenmacher came to Ridgewood. He spoke in three consecutive services. The first evening, he spoke on the necessity of real Christian love for one another. He seemed to speak right to me, although I was way up in the balcony with the choir. I had developed a strong dislike for two of the workers in the church. That sermon convicted me. I knew my attitude was wrong, and I determined to change my way. Then, the next night, Brother Wannenmacher spoke again on the same subject, even more strongly than the night before. For an hour and a half, he pounded away. It was as if someone had told him everything I had done. By the time he finished, I knew my repentance had not gone deep enough the night before, and so I really repented and called on the Lord for forgiveness.

Would you believe that the next night, once more, the sermon was on the same subject? The inspired word was so strong that I felt I was getting beaten up. By the time Brother Wannenmacher had finished, I almost felt there was no hope for me. I rushed to the altar and cried mightily to God for mercy. I purposed not to get up until I knew God had undertaken. He did. Those workers against whom I had developed those sinful attitudes became my friends, and I have had occasion to work with them since then in perfect harmony.

That victory went deeper than the immediate occasion. I found later that, when temptation came for feelings against anyone, the experience of that battle inspired me to keep my heart free from all bitterness and bad feelings. On several occasions, I felt I had to go and straighten things out because of misunderstandings. It was a little inconvenient at the time, but oh, what blessing to have nothing but love in the heart toward everyone.

Several years before this, Brother Wannenmacher had been used of the Lord to bring great blessing to the girl who was to be my wife. Ruth Bocker had been soundly converted as a result of an invitation to the Ridgewood Pentecostal Sunday School. Two years later, she received a beautiful baptism of the Holy Spirit, quiet and deep, right in her home. While in her mid teens Brother Wannenmacher came to Ridgewood and spoke especially to the young people. He gave a strong appeal for young people to consecrate themselves to do the will of God, whatever that might be. Ruth was one of the first to the altar that night. She consecrated herself unreservedly to the Lord. She had an idea she might become a missionary. From that night on, she made it a constant subject of prayer, that God's will might be done in her life. She went to Pilgrim Camp that year (1946) and enjoyed one week of vacation as a camper and then one week as a member of the staff. This time had a tremendous impact on her life. Pastor Hans Waldvogel came to the camp, and in the very first morning worship gave clear advice to those who desired to please Jesus. That talk changed the direction of Ruth's life again. The next two summers, she served on the staff at camp That was the beginning of her ministry.

 

 

 The Making of a Minister

Robert D. Kalis

Robert David Kalis
March 22, 1931 ~
January 12, 1994

 

After the first summer at camp, my Uncle, Brother Frank Posta, asked Ruth to come to the East Side Pentecostal Church to play the piano. Ruth knew the Lord was leading forward, and soon she was teaching a class of difficult girls. She had to pray every lesson through. She also played the pump organ at the street corner meetings. Of course, she was expected to testify. It was excellent preparation for the future, and the Lord brought in souls through those street meetings all the time.

The East Side Bible study on Tuesday evenings increased Ruth's hunger for the Word of God. The study of the book of Proverbs especially blessed her. Golden nuggets were stored in her memory and gave invaluable guidance in the years that have followed. Ruth helped in the Vacation Bible School in Elizabeth one summer, and our paths began to cross more often after that.

We were married in October of 1955 and determined to work for the Lord wherever He called us. As we waited on Him for guidance, suddenly, we both knew that we were to work in Elizabeth with my parents who were the pastors there. Great peace and joy filled us immediately. We have never had a doubt since then that we were in the will of the Lord.

We helped in the work wherever we could. The Lord gave me a good job as the office manager of a small metal stamping firm. I knew it was temporary. Then in 1958, I felt the time was near for me to launch forth into full-time ministry. I hardly considered the difficulties. The congregation was small, and to support two pastors and keep up the building seemed almost impossible to some of the members. One lady asked me if we could afford to enter full-time service. The question took me by surprise, but the answer was on my lips in a moment and surely came from the Lord: "How can I afford to do anything else than the will of the Lord?"

That was a momentous year. Our second child was born with an open spine. It was a shock to us, but it drove us to God. "My grace is sufficient for thee," the Lord spoke to my wife. And it was! Before that trial ended, another began.

My father was involved in a serious accident and so badly injured that his life was despaired of. Just ten days before the accident, I had spent several days in earnest prayer at Atlantic City. The Lord had made it clear to me that the time had come to leave my secular work. I felt I should give one month's notice, and so I planned to tell my employers on July 8 that I would leave on August 8. Now the accident and sever injury to my father on June 20th made the move absolutely necessary. Of course, every objection was removed.

All our attention was fixed on praying for my dad's recovery. As he lay dying, I wanted more than anything in the world to be able to pray the prayer of faith for him. I found my prayer life considerably weaker than I estimated. I promised the Lord to give myself to His school of prayer if He would bring Dad through. The third night after the accident was the time of crisis. He was not expected to live. I stayed all night with him after the Sunday night service. I did my best to call on God, but, by morning, I was so drained that I felt like I was dying. The Lord encouraged my dear mother, and after a brief breakfast with her, I was lifted and returned to my father's bedside. At ten that morning, it looked as though Dad had breathed his last. The room was empty, except for Dad and myself. Spontaneously, I began to praise the Lord aloud. A spark of life returned to my father, and he tried to lift his head to see who was praising the Lord.

At that very time, the ministers of the Ridgewood Fellowship were gathered together for their Monday morning prayer. My aunt, Mrs. Emma Posta, suggested that they all stand and join hands and hearts in a prayer of faith for Brother Kalis. From that hour, he began to mend and miraculously in nine weeks was back in the pulpit. The Lord graciously added seventeen years to his life.

Meanwhile, the Lord led me to the book, With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. Each day, I studied a chapter earnestly and prayed fervently over it. No evangelist could be secured for the scheduled tent meetings in Keansburg, and Dad, who was now recovering at home, urged me to go ahead and lead the Emmanuel young people in ministering in the tent. God met all of us, and we worked marvelously as a team.

By now, I was free from the old job and so was able to spend many hours in prayer. The Bible, the book on prayer, and the urgent need made those hours a life-and-death matter. It was at this time that God set me into the ministry of the gospel. In the midst of the tent meetings, our little Grace Esther was taken to be with Jesus. The glory of heaven flooded our home and our souls. At the time she slipped away, we were playing the "Hallelujah Chorus" by Handel on the hi-fi. It seemed as though the chariot of the Lord stopped for a moment and took her off to Glory amid the shouts of the Hallelujahs.

After this, I felt so unprepared to minister to the church of Jesus Christ that I thought, "I must study doctrine." I began in earnest, but got nowhere. Then God spoke to me and showed me that what I really needed was to study the Sermon on the Mount and pray those commandments into my life. Doctrine came later, in God's time. The Holy Spirit knows just what we need and when we need it.

What I lacked in formal education has in a large measure been made up by the books and studies which came to me in the providence of God. When I asked Rev. Gordon P. Gardiner, how I could learn about the hymns we sing, a veritable fllod of material was given to me. It enriched me in many ways. Many other books and studies have come to me exactly when they were needed from the same and other sources.

"The Lord has a way of making something out of nothing," Pastor Hans Waldvogel wrote to my father about me while I was training in his home. May we always let Him take us and make us what He wants us to be in the way He wants to do it.

...more

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