The Power of One Soul Winner!
By Kevin L. Prince
”And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou tamest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Acts 9:17-20 KJV
The Apostle Paul is remembered as one of the world’s greatest soul winners. The scripture gives detail of those he converted in the various regions of the world he evangelized. Philippians 4:22 suggests that he had converts in the household of Caesar. History bears record that while Paul was incarcerated in Rome, his guards had to be changed periodically because he was so effective in converting them. Beyond those he won by personal evangelism, what of those converted through the power of his pen? Only eternity will reveal the full extent of the power of this soul winner.
But what if Ananias had not been willing to reach out and embrace one who up to that point had been counted as an enemy? Then we might not even know the name of Paul. There truly is power in one soul winner. You just never know what exponential impact a solitary soul winner can have on others’ eternities.
In the years of 1963-64, when I was a child of 2 or 3 years of age, my family was stationed at Cigli Air Base in Izmir, Turkey, another stop in my father’s career with the U.S. Air Force. We could not have suspected where this move half a world away would lead. “It just so happened” that we lived next door, in base housing, to the Brannon family from Crestview, Florida. Little did we realize the impact that Mrs. Marion Brannon would have upon our family. My mother recalls that Marion was “religious” and often listened to preaching tapes sent to her from the United States. Marion would later recall that my mother really had no interest in the things of God at that time. In spite of this disinterest, Marion persisted in being a friend to our family.
Both families were stationed various places after leaving Turkey, but stayed in touch. Then the same God that put us together in Turkey brought us together again just a few years later in Crestview, Florida. Marion began carrying me and my siblings to Sunday school. My mother and father visited shortly thereafter. My mother went on to receive the Holy Ghost about a year later while my father rejected the truth. As the five Prince children grew older every one of them received the Holy Ghost. Three of the four boys today are preachers of the apostolic message. About twenty years after rejecting truth, my father was miraculously baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost just months before exiting this life. Needless to say, the Prince family is thankful for one persistent, powerful soul winner in the person of Marion Brannon. What a joy it was for me to visit with the Brannon’s in Crestview, Florida just a few years ago, having not seen them for more than 30 years. Bro. and Sis. Brannon are now in their seventies but continue to serve the Lord.
As a nineteen-year-old, I worked a year in an industrial plant in Wichita Falls before attending Texas Bible College. I had been challenged by my pastor to become a soul winner and began to sincerely pray that I might win someone to the Lord. One day, Brian Pursel, a fellow worker who was just a few years older than me, approached me with this question, “Have you ever talked to God?” It quickly became apparent that God was dealing with him and I was able to secure a Bible study with him and his wife, Gloria. In spite of my ineptness at teaching, God miraculously filled Brian and Gloria with the Holy Ghost. In time they were blessed with 4 daughters were also be filled with the Holy Ghost. Today, Brian and Gloria attend Life Tabernacle in Wichita Falls (Pastor Wendell Elms) where he serves as Missions Director. Also attending church with them is Brian’s sister, mother, grandmother and other family members all won to God by Brian and Gloria Pursel! In the years since the Pursel’s were converted, God has allowed me to lead several other families to Him. The power of one soul winner’s witness in the early 1960s in the country of Turkey continues to resonate in 2006!
It was at a Men’s Conference a few years ago in Lufkin that I met Brian in the aisle after an altar service. He was engaged in conversation with another man. Upon seeing me, tears began streaming down his face. While pointing me out to the man he had been in conversation with, he said, “This is the person who won me to the Lord!” As you can imagine it was a touching moment. While thankful to have been a part of seeing Brian come to God, we both had Sis. Marion Brannon to thank. It was another testimony to the power of one soul winner!
Don’t discount your ability to impact the kingdom of God. You may be the Ananias or Marion Brannon that starts a ripple effect that reaches far beyond your imagination. You can become another testimony to the power of one soul winner!
Article “The Power of One Soul Winner!” excerpted from “Apostolic Sentinel”. Article written by Kevin L. Prince.