Pentecostal Pioneers: Paul Eugene Hosch
By Paul Eugene Hosch
I was born November 10, 1915, in Navarro County, Texas, and have always lived in the great Lone Star State. My father, Lonnie Stinson Hosch, was born in Faulkner, Mississippi, on April 23, 1871. My mother, Frances Melinda Rutherford, was born in the same place on June 8, 1878. Papa’s mother died when he was three and his father died when he was eleven. Papa lived with his older brother.
In 1886 when he was fifteen, they moved to Texas. Papa was small for his age, so his brother bought him a half-fare ticket on the train. “Now, Lonnie, when the conductor comes through, look as small as you can,” his brother said. So he crouched down and tried to be as little as possible.
My parents met and married in September of 1894. Then along came Loise, Luther, Roy, Lonnie, Nick, Sara Jewell Frances (the first girl was named after her mother and both grandmothers), Otis, Cullen, Allie Mae, and finally a boy named Paul Eugene was number ten. When Papa saw me, he said, “Fannie, if that’s the best we can do, we’ll quit!”
My parents were Methodists, then Holiness Methodists, then Trinity Methodists until my nineteen-year-old brother, L. J. Hosch, found Acts 2:38 and refused to be baptized in the titles. Later L. J. baptized Papa and Mama and all of us.
I felt that God had called me to preach when I was only four, but I said no to God for ten years. Finally I surrendered on June 6, 1929, at 11:30 p.m. I received the Holy Ghost.
Soon I started teaching young people, and I began preaching some when I was fifteen. When R. L. Blankenship, chairman of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, visited our church in Gladewater and heard me preach to the young people’s group, he wanted to ordain me and send me to South Texas to pastor a church. I told him, “I’m not even a preacher.” He said, “Well, whatever you were doing to those young people, they were blessed.” I told him that it was just a Bible talk as I was still trying not to preach.
I had seen my brother L. J. suffer so much as a Pentecostal preacher. In those days there were not many tithers, not much organization, and only a few organized churches. Many thought organization was the mark of the beast. I saw L. J. put cardboard in his worn-out shoes. I decided I was not going to be a preacher. I would be a young people’s leader, teach Sunday school, play my guitar, sing solos or be in a quartet, pay my tithes and give good offerings out of my $10.50 a week salary but, “Don’t ask me to be a preacher!”
I married Doris Voncile Hogg on June 30, 1936. Our first child, Paula, was born October 3, 1937, and a second daughter, ThomasAnn, was born January 21, 1941. By this time I was in charge of the church, but I still said, “I’m not a preacher.” I was a board member, secretary treasurer, Sunday school teacher, young people’s leader, and also doing most of the preaching. When World War II came, I traveled around to work in defense plants. I always found a church and assisted the pastor — Dumas, Nederland, Beaumont, and Orange, Texas. In Orange Pastor H. L. Stevens appointed me as Sunday school superintendent. We stayed in Orange for eighteen months, and Brother Stevens said I preached more in the last twelve months than he did.
While I was working in Orange in a shipyard for Consolidated Steel, I consented to God to be a preacher and gave the remainder of my life to work for Him. The Lord had taken all my joy, anointing, and blessing away. Before when I had testified, it blessed all the church. But now when I tried to testify and preach, the anointing was not there. I repented-still no joy. I had a month of that, then I could stand it no longer.
One day at work, painting in the engine room of a destroyer escort ship with Hortman Milner as my partner, I began crying and praying. God said, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. If you will obey Me and preach My gospel, I will restore your blessing.” I spoke out loud, “It’s a deal, I’ll do it.” Red (as we called Hortman) asked, “What did you say, Preacher? Who were you talking to anyway? You have such a look of relief on your face.” I told Red, “I have just given the rest of my life to the Lord to be a full-time preacher.”
I stacked my tools and started up the ladder, then thought, I’m supposed to give two weeks’ notice to leave the shipyard. I went back to work and as soon as my lead man came around, I told him, “I’ll be leaving in two weeks.” He warned, “Preacher, you’ll be in the army in a month.” I replied, “Well, Bud, I’m going to preach two months as a civilian and then begin preaching as a soldier in the army.”
God gave me back my blessing and anointing! It was like receiving the Holy Ghost all over again. We moved some of our furniture to my parents and some to Sister Hosch’s parents. I went to the district convention and told Elder R. L. Blankenship, “I’m ready to be ordained.” I had local license for five years, then was ordained in Milford in 1944.
I asked Brother John E. Dillon of Moss Hill, our sectional elder, to send me where someone needed help. He sent me to Porter, Texas, where the church was split by another group coming in. They got most of the people and the building, leaving the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ people without a place to worship. My wife, two daughters, and I arrived there in late 1944 and began to encourage the few who were left. We had the first service in the community building with twelve present.
Before I quit my job, I had planned to go into the furniture business and had $9,754.00 in the bank, a lot of money for me. I purchased one-half acre of land to put a church on, then found an abandoned church building out in the woods and persuaded the owners to give it to us. It cost three hundred dollars to move and block up. We cut new sills out of the pine forest. By this time we had about twenty-five in Sunday school. Eighteen months later our average was sixty-two.
At this time, Sister Hosch had asthma, so we had to move to a higher altitude. But where to go? L. J. Hosch was elected district superintendent at Milford at the convention when I was ordained, and he told me, “There’s a small church in Dallas that needs a pastor.” “That town’s too big for me. I’m not interested.” “Will you just go up and preach Wednesday night?” he asked. I agreed but told him again, “I’m not interested in pastoring there.”
We went to Dallas in June of 1946. My wife and I sang and I preached “Time Marches On.” L. J. met with the board after church. One member insisted that he had seen me in a vision and I was the man. Another said he knew me as a young man and if I would be as good a pastor as I had been as a young man, then I would be a good one. So the board voted one hundred percent for me. L. J. told me about the board vote but I still said, “I’m not interested. Let’s go home.” He went back to the board but they asked us, “Come back next night and preach again.” I agreed.
All day Thursday, we had no food, no fun. I spent all day in the woods in my car praying! Finally I told God, “If You want me there, I’ll go if the vote is one hundred percent for me.” That night I preached, “Looking unto Jesus” and the board voted one hundred percent for me. Then the church membership voted.
L. J. said, “Son, it’s one hundred percent.” I asked to count the votes. There were twenty-six. “No, it’s not one hundred percent,” I insisted. “There are twenty-seven present.” Sister Scott, an elderly lady said, “Young man, this is the first time I’ve been in this church in six months. I did not think I should vote, but if you will be pastor, I’ll come all the time.” That made one-hundred percent interested. Let’s home.” He went back to the seven-year-old son in the gospel, W. G. He kept all his plans to himself. I wondered why he built a nice three bedroom brick home, furnished to please any woman. He said, “My, my pastor, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for six hours!” I said, “I’m sorry. What’s wrong?” He answered, “This is the worst night I have ever had. Come over here quick. I want to get married to Winnie.” I told him, “Okay, just let me get dressed.” He insisted, “Oh, no, I’m in a hurry. Just come as you are.” Well, I read the wedding ceremony, but I did change to my suit and tie.
Another time the phone rang at 4:00 AM “I have a pistol pointed at my right temple and I’m gonna kill myself,” the man said. I replied, “Well, do you need me to help you?” But he answered, “You’re not gonna stop me.” I said, “Well, it sounds like you’ve got your mind made up. I’ll just listen.” He didn’t do it. I never did hear the gun. I was a young pastor then; now I might go over and perhaps he’d shoot both of us.
Once I was in my study on my knees, with my hand over my face bowing over a small daybed. I saw a large hole in the ground. I asked, “God, what does this mean?” Then out of the hole came a casket. Standing up in the casket was Charlie K . “God what else?” I asked. The casket and Charlie went back into the hole, then a sign with the figure 2 on it. “Now what, Lord?” The sign went back in the ground then reappeared with the words “two months.” So I knew Charlie had two months to get ready.
I had tried for twenty years to get him to come to church with his wife. God had healed him twice when we prayed–a badly broken kneecap that the doctor could not fix and a severe heart attack that the doctor had given up on. But when church was mentioned Charlie always laughed at me. After five days I got his wife to tell him about my vision. The next day he bought a two-thousand-dollar insurance policy.
Sixty days from the day he learned of the vision, he had a stroke in one side but could still talk. He sent for me two days later but I could not have faith this time for him. I tried to talk with him about his soul, but he turned his face away and closed his eyes. The next night he had a stroke in the other side and died seventy days from the vision. He had five extra days to get the message to him and five days of God’s mercy. I wondered what else I could have done.
I was in Portland, Oregon, at the general conference of the United Pentecostal Church when I saw a vision of an eighteen-wheeled truck about to run over my daughter in Dallas on the Houston Street viaduct. I prayed. She changed lanes to her left. The truck came on and ripped off the right rear fender of my new ’69 VW. I called home and got the story immediately. Then I told my daughter, “Call the insurance company.” God has kept His hand upon us and I am grateful!
Editor’s note: After Paul E. Hosch wrote this unique story, his wife died on August 4, 1987, and then he went to be with the Lord on June 24, 1988.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS COMPILED BY MARY H. WALLACE, AND PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1992, PAGES 123-130. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.