Monday, October 4, 2010
I know I just posted a blog just a few seconds ago, but I would be remiss if I ddin't recognize and pay tribute to one of the greatest preachers of our time and one of my spiritual father's of the Gospel; The Honorable Bishop David L. Ellis. He was truly a man of God and today marks his 75th birthday. This will the first time I've ever written 2 blogs in the same week, but certainly Bishop David L. Ellis' legacy merits such an occassion. He is a man that I truly admired and aspired to be like. I was just musing about his unique style of oratory and eloquence on yesterday after our Sunday services at Greater Grace Temple. Yesterday during the morning services, our pastor Bishop Charles Ellis III; the son of the late Bishop David Ellis, instead of preaching a sermon of his own choosing, he decided to play of the many messages his father preached. And, as I set and watch the magnificence of his delivery and the authority from which he spoke, it was as if was a child seating in the balcony of the cathedral at 7mile and Schafer listening to him preach all over again.
And, I was I watching and listening on yesterday during service I got to thinking about how we never seem to appreciate the gifts that God gives to the kingdom while they are living. Many time it is not until they have gone on to be with the Lord that recognize their significance and can't seem to get enough of whatever footage we are able to get our hands on.
Here's an excerpt from one of Bishop David L. Ellis many messages.
There are hundreds of pastors, elders, ministers and evangelists; like myself, that have benefited from his ministry and attribute much of their spiritual success to being under his divine tutelage. One thing I would love about Bishop Ellis was the boldness and authority of which he spoke whenever he mounted the pulpit. It was as if his messages were directed towards the Devil-himself. And, as he spoke you know that it was not of his own volition, but it was under the immense power of the Holy Ghost. I marveled at his boldness and vowed to make that a part of our ministry presentation if God was to ever call us to the ministry. Another key part of Bishop Ellis that I love was his devotion and commitment to the ministry. You can see the depth of which God's Word was hidden in the heart of Bishop Ellis by how he was one of the few preachers that could exegite and entire message without any notes. Many times, he would just call a scripture and pick a subject and speak under the auspices and anointing of the Holy Ghost and literally bring the house down.
I, along with so many other also enjoyed listening to Bishop Ellis sing "Down Through The Years," "Joy Bells," and "My Mind's Made Up," just a few of the old songs that were apart of his signature style of praise & worship. I feel so priviliged and honored to have set under such a great man. Being able to watch and observe how God used him while he was here amongst us is definitely one of the key components of maturing in the ministry. He was truly an anointed and appointed man of God.
There are so many memories I have of my late father in the gospel that I could share, but there is one that stands out as a rare occassion I was able to see another side of this man when I just young lad in the church. I can remember during the month of January several years ago; I believe I was about 10 or 11 yrs old. The month of January was traditionally our time of consecration and re-dedication as a entire church. We would be in revival every day and on Saturdays we would have one hour of prayer. This particular Saturday, my family and I went to prayer and I was sitting on my mother's lap in the pews just after a funeral service had ended. Bishop Ellis was sitting in his chair, and I can remember saying to myself I hope he doesn't call me up to the front to talk to him. It was not that I didn't want to talk to him, but it the bashfulness of my youth to speak to a man of his magnitude that overwhelming for me. And, it seems as quick as I utter those words to my mother, Bishop motioned for me to come up to the front to talk to him. As I approached the front, a bit nervous, I mustered up enough courage to walk up to him to hear what he had to say. Much to my surprise I was not summoned to the front for a stern reprimand, but quite the contrary Bishop wanted to invite me along to the Detroit Int'l Auto Show with his grandson David Sheffield. I was excited to have the opportunity to go on a field trip with my pastor. After church he came by my house and picked me up in his grey Volvo at the time and we were off to the Auto Show. I failed to mention that Bishop Ellis was a lover of cars and frequented the Detroit Auto Show to check out the latest vehicles that were debuting each year. As I walked through the show with the Bishop I was in awe of how many people he knew and who knew him. I found myself watching him more than I saw many of the cars in the show. But, it was a time that I will never forget and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I thank God for the life and legacy of this great Man of God. And, the seed that he planted in us is one that has truly grown and blossomed us into the Man of God that we are today. So, on today as we celebrate this great man's birthday, let us thank God for bestowing such an awesome gift upon the Church of God.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BISHOP!!!