Deep roots bare beautiful fruits because God’s calling is for you to lead others to Him through your thoughts, action and speech. When you are deeply rooted in the WORD of God and know His salvation, the fruits of your spirit leads others to God. But, have you ever run, so fast, away from God’s calling, that your life leads you back to Him? Seventeen-year-old Bob Nichols did just that!
It was the summer of 1952, the year before his senior year of high school and Bob was in his yellow Mercury doing 150kmph on a two-lane road racing to get home late at night. Truth was: Bob’s need for speed was less about a teenager testing his limits, and more about a young man running from the call of God – a call he acknowledged three years prior. At fourteen, after an Oral Roberts meeting in his home town, Bob announced to a group of his peers, “one day, I’ll preach the gospel of Jesus Christ!” But, the older Bob got, the lure of the world beckoned him telling him he’d have to give up too much to follow God. And, at seventeen, God required Bob to answer the call.
On this fateful night, at 2:30am Bob fell asleep at the wheel, and lost control. The sound of gravel hitting the car jerked Bob awake, but it was too late. His yellow Mercury rolled several times, spun like a top and landed on four wheels with the motor still running. Looking up, Bob saw a helmet-shaped indention in the roof – that’s how hard his head hit it. With no seat belt on, it was a miracle he wasn’t killed. Crawling out of the totalled car, Bob stood – without a scratch. Kneeling beside the wreckage he prayed: “Lord! You’ve got me. I’ll do whatever it takes to fulfil Your call on my life”
Good Roots Bear Good Fruit
Looking back, Bob acknowledges that it was difficult to run too far from God because he had a praying mother whose prayers were like magnets pulling him back to the WORD. Just two weeks before the accident, Bob attempted to sneak into the house after a late night out. Turning to go up the stairs he sees his mother asleep on a step with an open bible in her hand. Bob stumbles past his mother, waking her. She sees Bob and said as a matter-of-fact, “Son, the call of God is on your life!” Although, Bob knew his heart wasn’t right with God, the lure of the world – as God would have it – would only last for a short time after this experience with his mother.
Bob’s grandmother established a foundation of faith. She attended a Raymond T. Richey meeting seeking healing, and the Holy Spirit. Richey was the Oral Roberts of his time – a man of God anointed in the ministry of healing. Over many years, Bob’s grandmother would affectionately tell him of that meeting where she first experienced the Holy Spirit. “Sonny,” she would say, “I was born again! Healed and filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.” Bob’s family was always surrounded by fiery pastors and evangelists who were in constant purist of souls and revivals.
Bob’s mother and Kenneth Copelands mother prayed together over their sons; that’s how Bob and Kenneth met. “They prayed for us a lot,” says Bob. Ninety days after the accident that almost killed Bob, he preached his first sermon. Everyone recognised the change in his life. After high school he attended Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, where he met his wife, Joy.
Deeply rooted in the Anointing
Like Bob, Joy was raised on the WORD of God. Her father, Rev. J.C. Thompson, pastored for 44years, while her brother, Dwight Thompson, grew to become an international evangelist, bringing souls to God from all over the world.
Rooted in their family’s anointing, Bob worked as an associate pastor with Joy’s father for eight years and in 1962 he received a strong prophetic word form Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin to wait for God’s perfect time and will. In 1964, Joy and Bob borrowed $1,000 from a bank and started their own church. All they could afford at the time was an old post office that served as their place of worship. At the same time, the First Baptist Church was building a cathedral downtown and Bob would walk through the back doors of the incomplete auditorium and say “Oh God! I’d give anything to have a building like this for the full gospel.”
In 1970, Bob became dissatisfied with the lack of people and salvations he was seeing in his church. “I asked God to help me build a New Testament church. I wanted to see lives changed by the gospel,” recalls Bob. After a Sunday morning service where Bob so no new soul commit to God, he returned to his study and cried to God: “I’ll do anything that’s right and anything that works to reach more souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ!”
The Anointing Bears Beautiful Fruit
A week after Bob’s anguish, a group of hippies arrived in their Volkswagen with their dogs. A hippie revival was sweeping the nation during the time, but many churches wouldn’t welcome them because they looked and acted so different because their presence would cause the biggest money-givers to leave.
The hippies asked Bob if they could hold a meeting with him. “I almost said no,” recalls Bob, “but God brought to my remembrance to words I prayed a week before, ‘anything that works to reach more souls.’ Bob and the hippie group agreed on one week, to see how the meetings would be attended. People would tell Bob that these hippies and their dogs would ruin his church, but to Bob a church not winning souls is already ruined. Night after night the chapel would fill up, and one week turned into thirteen weeks of revival ending with two-thousand salvations.
In 1972, twelve years after starting Calvary Cathedral, Bob received a call from the First Baptist Church. Admitting to financial difficulties, First Baptist Church offered to sell their property to Bob because he had long outgrown his church. “I was so moved that I thought: Thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayer so many years ago,” says Bob. The facility was over 10,000 square meters, sitting on 5.4 hectares in downtown Fort Worth. The auditorium could house 2,000 and the building was large enough to house a kindergarten – grade 12 school (Calvary Christian Academy), and a two-year Bible college. Bob also established the Power Tower Prayer Ministry where intercessors would come and pray around the clock – because his mother and Kenneth Copeland’s mother prayed without ceasing over their son’s and the Lord’s calling on their lives.
An Anointed Partnership
Over the year’s Bob and Joy because very closely connected with KCM. They attended every Southwest Believers Convention and Minister’s Conference, and on the rare occasion they couldn’t they were preaching and ministering outside of the United States. Bob remembers: “In 1985, my grandson was going to be born during SWBC. I needed to go to the hospital, but stopped at the convention centre for a little while. I had just slipped into the auditorium, and there was no way Brother Copeland could have seen me. At that moment he said, “Bob Nicolas!” and gave me a strong prophetic word.
In 1993, after a summer revival with Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne baptising 1600 people. Soon after that, Dale Gentry led a 24-week prayer revival. Based on Acts 5:42: Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah (NIV). Calvary Cathedral congregation would pray 5:42am and 5:42pm and one morning at 5:42, over four-hundred people were praying and interceding for the city of Fort Worth and the whole country.
Having a strong foundation on the WORD, and after answering the call God has on his life, Bob no longer runs away from his anointing, but races faster into God’s will, knowing that when God says to do something, no demon from hell can shake him!
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