Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MIGHTY FOR THE KINGDOM Elstan Wooten, named after baseball figure, Elstan Howard (the first black player to be drafted by the New York Yankees on April 14, 1955), will definitely make it to Heaven’s Hall of Fame.
Wooten, a correction officer at Bleckley PDC and pastor of a local church, blessed the socks off of everyone at our Thursday night Bible study. When he was only four years old, Wooten’s mother passed away. Shortly afterward his father left, leaving him and his six older sisters to fend for themselves. However, a loving 75 year-old grandmother took them all into her heart and home and raised them for the glory of God. In their home church all children with a living mother wore a red rose. Those whose mother had died wore a white rose on Mother’s Day. When Wooten looked around at the children he felt left out, wondering “Where is my mother?” He began to struggle, feeling life wasn’t fair.
In those days you might say Wooten had a “drug” problem. His grandmother “drug” him and his siblings to church every time the door was opened. When he was 17 Wooten joined the National Guard. He couldn’t wait to be on his own and promised himself he would never step foot into a church again. But God had other plans. Life had many adventures for Wooten, including his full surrender to God. Grandmother’s prayers were answered in a unique way. While working as a guard at the Cadwell Detention Center, Wooten gave his life completely to Christ. Reading a Christian book and watching different volunteers coming to minister to the detainees had a profound effect on his life. The year was 1990. Working at the detention center, Wooten continued with his responsibilities in the National Guard and in 1992 the Bosnian War began.
During his deployment in the Bosnian War, Wooten had many opportunities to share his faith and even did so with a group of Muslims from Liberia. Proudly wearing a gold crucifix, Wooten told Muslims about the living Savior who loved them and died for them. He did not fear for his life, but was fearless for his God. Wooten’s experiences in war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina made him realize how short life is. He was more determined than ever to make up for lost time in the service of his Lord. When he finished his tour of duty, he redoubled his efforts to learn the Bible and started taking seminary courses. He soon became a pastor in a small town in Dodge County, Ga. We don’t hear a lot about the little town of Cadwell, GA, population just over 400, but thanks to Wooten there is a thriving church there called Cadwell Christian Fellowship Center. Recently Wooten felt the call to go back to his home church, Harper Valley Chapel. He left the Cadwell church in very good hands. Today they have 14 pastors who tend this large flock and they continue to grow, thanks to one man who was determined to make a difference. Harper Valley Chapel was started 124 years ago by one of Wooten’s relatives. With Wooten at the helm of this fellowship, it marks the first time in the church’s history that a bloodline relative has served as pastor since its founding. His grandmother would be proud! A few years ago, Wooten suffered a heart attack. He prayed hard as they prepared him for open heart surgery. His prayers were answered. Instead of the dreaded surgery they were able to use stents to correct his problem. Wooten was awake throughout the procedure. Although sedated, Wooten was in what they refer to as a ‘twilight zone’ where he was conscious. Wooten said, “I was praising God through the whole thing.” Afterwards Wooten apologized for his out loud praising, but the doctor replied, “No, don’t apologize! That helped me through the surgery.” Wooten continues to praise his Lord every chance he gets and this past Thursday night was no exception. This mighty servant of the Lord shared his wonderful testimony with the little group that meets in our home. We were all blessed and I trust that as you have read this; you have been blessed also!


At July 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM , Blogger Hazel Moon said...

This blesses me to be reminded of a grandmothers prayers do get answered. He is a trophy for Jesus due to Grandmothers upbringing and dragging him to church and her prayers.

At July 22, 2013 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Hazel Moon said...

Thank you for your visit to my blog and for your comments on the digest of my Pastor's sermon to Follow is the keystone


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