I’d like to tell you about one of my best friends. I’ve mentioned his influence on my life in previous posts, but I’d like to focus a bit more on our long friendship and partnership in the Gospel of Christ.
The fact that Ed and I became friends is almost a miracle in itself. I was an atheist and he was a Bible teacher. I detested Bible teachers. Ed loved sinners, of which I was at the top of the list. How could we ever become friends?
Someone has said that God moves in mysterious ways – and He does. I met Ed through Terry Lytle. Terry was a guest on one of my radio talk shows in 1971. Even though Terry was a Christian and I was an atheist, something about him intrigued me. God had already used Dr. Henry Morris to put a chink in my atheistic armor when he was a guest on my show several weeks earlier.
I dropped by Terry’s office on my way home from work from time to time and met Ed Hindson. Ed worked with Terry in their ministry. I asked them both a lot of questions about evidence for theism – specifically Christian theism. I was surprised to find they were knowledgeable, kind, and patient with an atheist who relished in mocking Christians for their ignorance and unkind responses.
Ed wrote a book titled – The Philistines and the Old Testament. It was part of the Baker Studies In Biblical Archaeology series and published in 1971. Biblical archaeology was one of the categories of evidence Ed shared that eventually led me to become a Christian. We spent many hours together debating evidence – evidence I discovered was strong enough to turn my heart from atheism to belief in God.
Ed kindly gave me a copy of his book and wrote these words on the title page – “to one of my dearest friends,” and “may our God lead you in each step of His will.” Those were my thoughts as well.
Ed and I did become close friends through the years. I used to “house sit” for Ed and Donna when they traveled across the country to minister to churches. One of the joys of house sitting for the Hindson’s was that I had access to read books from Ed’s extensive theological library. I devoured as many books as I could while at their house. Ed also introduced me to Christian men in the area who gave books to new Christians to help them start their own theological library. Ed recognized my interest in studying and teaching the Bible and theology and recommended I attend Luther Rice College and Seminary. I studied through their distance program for almost seven years and am so thankful for that foundational experience as a young Christian.
I worked in radio when Ed and I met. I listened to Ed teach and preach and knew God had given him a special gift. I believed radio would be a great way to expand Ed’s ministry, so I approached Ed in 1972 about starting a radio ministry. We called it, “The King Is Coming.” Ed later developed that program into a television ministry that has reached millions of people with the Gospel and message of Christ’s soon return.
Ed was preaching and teaching with a young ministry named Life Action Revival Ministries when we became friends. I traveled with Ed to several of the meetings where he was teaching and met the leader of the ministry, Del Fehsenfeld, Jr. Del and I also became friends and he invited me to join Life Action as Communications and Headquarters Director in 1973. My work included managing the home office, and producing radio programs with Del and Ed preaching, along with the beautiful music of the Life Action Singers. Life Action moved its headquarters from Florida to Michigan in 1975 and my wife and I moved with it. I traveled across the country with the ministry team to record Del and Ed’s sermons, which kept our friendship close. We spent hours together talking and praying. I saw the reality of a deep belief in the power of God through their lives.
I eventually left Life Action for other ministries before returning to work in radio and television news. Del passed away in 1989 doing what he liked best, preaching the Gospel. Del and I talked privately through the years about many things as we worked on the radio programs. He mentioned to me more than once about wanting to die in the pulpit preaching the Gospel of the One he loved most – Jesus Christ. Del passed away in 1989 at the age of 42. The words on Del’s tombstone are just like Del – direct, unwavering, and straight from the heart:
Del Fehsenfeld Jr.
1947 – 1989
Founder, Life Action Ministries
He Knew God
He Loved God
He Walked With God
He Believed God
He Live And Died
For The Glory Of God
II Chronicles 16:9
Fortunately, I still had Ed to email and talk with through the years. Ed was a prolific writer (more than 40 books) and kindly shared many of them with me. I used his books in my personal studies, and shared many of them with people interested in the Bible and prophecy.
Ed taught on radio and television, in hundreds of churches, conferences, and camps. He also taught at the college and university level. Ed began teaching for Liberty University in the early 1970’s when we were working together at Life Action. He replaced Dr. Elmer Towns as dean of the School of Religion in 2013, and was later named the Dean Emeritus of the School of Divinity and Distinguished Professor of Religion at Liberty. He also continued his television ministry, The King Is Coming, during those years, and spoke at numerous colleges, universities, and churches large and small across the country.
Dr. Edward Hindson passed away suddenly last week (July 2, 2022). He would have turned 80 later this year. I miss my friend and pray for Donna and their children and grandchildren during this difficult time. I miss emailing Ed and picking up the phone to call him just to talk about old times, and how much we love Jesus and look forward to His return. I wish we had talked more. But .. Ed and I have a lot more to say to each other and we will do just that when we reunite in Heaven.
Ed taught me about Heaven. He taught me about how Jesus loved me so much that He was coming back for me and everyone else who loved His appearing. I believe with all my heart that The King Is Coming.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-9
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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