Lighthouse Holiness Ministries ministers in the prison system of Mexico. Many have been touched by this ministry and are out spreading the gospel in their home villages of Mexico. To learn more you can visit their website LighthouseHolinessMinistries.com
Br. Gary Morgans Personal Testimony
It was on a Thursday night, September 30th of 1971, that Gary Morgan surrendered his life to the Lord during a revival meeting being conducted by the Rev. Jimmy Lamb at the Maryland Avenue Pentecostal Church in Covington, Kentucky. Although at the time he was only 14 years of age things changed very dramatically and the Lord began doing wonderful things in his life. Two nights later (October 2nd) Gary received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Bro. Chester Schell was Gary’s Pastor at the time and he took a very personal interest in Gary’s spiritual being. He made it his personal responsibility to see that Gary never missed having the opportunity to go to church. Being as he drove by Gary’s home on his way to church he would always call to make sure that Gary would be standing on the side of the road, waiting to be picked up. However, not only for the regular church services but for the next few years Bro. Schell carried Gary to, what seemed like, every revival service, fellowship meeting and campmeetings in the local area. Rev. Chester Schell died at the age of 81 in April of 1988, so if you can imagine, when Gary was 15 years old Bro. Schell would have been 65.
One only wonders what other local Pastors must have thought in having this 15-year-old boy shadow Bro. Schell everywhere he went, but Gary enjoyed his company and it was evident that Bro. Schell enjoyed having Gary along for the ride. He personally discipled and mentored Gary as he took
him under his wing, instilling in him a greater love for the Lord and helped to birth in him a desire for the ministry. It is something that Missionary Gary Morgan will never forget, for he feels that had it not been for the pastoral concern that Bro. Schell manifested to him that he would not be serving the Lord in the capacity that he is today.
At the age of 15, Gary felt the Lord’s call into the ministry and began preaching in his home church as well as in local area churches. At the age of 16, the Lord began to deal with him concerning foreign missions. It was during the itinerating services of Ruben Herrera, Missionary to the Philippines, that Gary first felt the burden for the foreign mission field and began to make preparations for such.
Preparing For The Ministry
With the assistance of Rev. (Senator) Gene Huff from London, Kentucky, in late January of 1976, Gary was able to enroll in the Free Gospel Bible Institute, though arriving more than a semester late. It was when he was picked up at the Pittsburg airport by the Academic Dean that Gary realized how much of a miracle it was that he had arrived. The first words to him from the Academic Dean were – “I want you to know that I voted against you coming”!
Upon arrival at the college and seeing the President for the first time, the first words from the President to him were – “Son, I want you to know that it is a miracle you are here”!
The next 2 1/2 years were a few of the worst years of his life, but at the same time, they were also some of his best. The Lord used F.G.B.I. to help ground Gary in the Word of God, but as importantly, helped to instill in him an appreciation for a life of prayer and faith. The ministries of Rev. David J. Beam (President) and that of Rev. Joseph Dutka (Academic Dean) have left a profound impact on him that will never be forgotten, and will forever be appreciated.
It was also at F.G.B.I. that Gary met and eventually married Brenda Jean Blevins who also had a burden for foreign missions. As of the time of this writing that have been married and serving the Lord together for 39 years.
The Journey Begins
Things at first didn’t go as “he” had planned. Gary and Brenda had been accepted by the Free Gospel Churches Inc. Mission Board, upon graduation in 1978, to open their work in the Philippines that had been closed since World War 2. However, within a year and without explanation the offer had been rescinded. This was a source of hurt for several years but later Gary realized it to be the providential moving of the hand of God. The Lord was preparing a better man to open that work in the Philippines (Rev. Lyle Berg), and also had a different field of labor for the Morgans in the country of Mexico.
Although it would take 14 more years to bring their dreams to pass they stayed busy for the Lord through evangelizing and pastoring three churches: the Jersey Holiness Church (Jersey, Georgia), the Manassas Pentecostal Church (Manassas, Virginia) and the Maranatha True Holiness Church (Fayetteville, North Carolina).
It was in 1993 that they resigned their church in Fayetteville, North Carolina to make preparations for the Lord’s work in Mexico. They began working with Sister Gail Myers and the Holiness Full Gospel Missions Inc., assisting her in her travels as well as with the distribution of much-needed literature and materials for the Mexican brethren. After a year working with Sis. Myers they were presented with a letter by Sis. Gail to appear before the Mission Board at the Bristow Campmeeting in Bristow, Oklahoma that was to take place a few weeks later. They were to be presented to the Board by Sis. Myers to be accepted as full-time missionaries in the work. Once again they would experience unexpected and unexplained disappointment. In just a few short weeks Sis. Myers had changed her mind and no longer wanted them to assist in the work.
Although two of the Board members spoke with them extensively at the campmeeting about
staying on with the work it was not to be, and the Morgans returned to Mexico to prepare for a
work of which yet they fully did not understand.
A friend of the Morgans from their former church in Fayetteville, North Carolina (Bro. Archie Sellers) said to them: “Before I ever would have done anything as stupid as what you all have done I would have had a better plan”. He was referring to moving their family to a foreign country without any guarantee of financial support. Though they understood his sentiments they didn’t know what else to do; the call weighed heavily on their lives. So, with their three children, Regina, Elizabeth and Jeremy, ages 10-13 they began their journey at McAllen, Texas and for the next few weeks travelled throughout Mexico from Reynosa, Tamaulipas to Monterrey, Nuevo León; Monterrey to Saltillo, Coahuila; Saltillo to Torreón, Coahuila; Torreón to Durango, Durango; Durango to Mazatlán, Sinaloa; Mazatlán to Guadalajara, Jalisco; Guadalajara to Zacatecas, Zacatecas and Zacatecas to Lerdo – Gomez Palacio, Durango. They were praying,seeking the will of the Lord, and passing out tracts in every city, but it was upon arriving at
Lerdo that they felt the Lord tugging on their hearts and telling them “this is it”.
Ministry In Mexico
Thus began the Morgans ministry in Mexico. Though Lerdo is in the State of Durango they sought residence in the neighboring city of Torreón, Coahuila and began ministering in the jacales (cardboard housing communities) of Lerdo and Gomez Palacio.
Over the next few years, while ministering in the jacales, they also started a church at their home and things seemed to be going well. However, as time passed their home was robbed several times, and though it hurt to be robbed in the first place it was especially painful when the robberies were perpetrated by those that were believed to be trusted acquaintances. However, the Lord truly moves in
mysterious ways, and it was due to those robberies that they became great friends with Gerardo Antonio Perez (Delegado in Coahuila).
All police investigation and all prosecution in his sector of the state came through him. Needless to say, he is a very important and powerful man in his area of the State. It was through Gerardo that the first doors of ministry in the prisons were opened. He gave the Morgans his business card and made phone calls for them to the Directors (Wardens) of the prisons. Though it troubles him to this day that they are in the prisons it is due to his influence that they are there.
The Prison Ministry Begins
The Morgans began their prison ministry with children’s services in the Torreón prison. Over 80 children from the ages newborn to 15 lived inside the prison with their parents. Though it is against the law for children that are of school age to live in the prison it was permitted, by this warden, as a result of negotiations with the inmates after a severe prison riot. Gary and Brenda began services with the children and most all the children attended, as well as many of the parents. The parents would come, because it was “for the kids”, but they sang the same songs and memorized the same Bible verses as their children. The Lord did many wonderful things with these youngsters!
It was while returning home from a prison service that Gary and Brenda saw the newspaper headlines stating: “Motin en el CERESO, mataron a uno” (There was a riot in the prison, they killed one). After buying the paper and reading the article they realized that it was talking about a riot had taken place at the prison in Gomez Palacio. Though the prison was placed under a state of security lock-down, they drove to the prison to talk to the warden about ministering to the inmates and gifting each and every one of them with a New Testament.
After the meeting with the warden and chief of security plans were made to return in a few weeks for a
Bible distribution. The Morgans went to the border to obtain the needed New Testaments (around 600) and then returned to Torreón to prepare for the distribution. When they arrived at the prison they found that it was still in a state of security lock-down: no visitors were permitted in and none come out. However, Gary, Brenda, and their three children were accompanied inside to the interior by one unarmed guard and a cantankerous social worker who was not in favor of their visit.
Though they were ministering in the Torreón prison they had never seen anything like the conditions of this prison. It appeared that every one of the inmates was angry, filthy, scarred, tattooed and wondering what these “gringos” were doing inside the prison when none of their loved ones were permitted to come. However, they were very curious as to what was in the boxes. Men were there wearing make-up, high heels and skirts, and though spiritually disturbed, Gary was afforded the opportunity to speak to the crowd that had gathered. He walked in the midst of them and the first thing he told them was “we are not here because we are better than you, but we have come because we have been forgiven of our sins, and we know that if God will forgive us of our sins, no matter what you have done he will also forgive you”.
Gary preached a simple “Roman’s Road” message and men throughout the crowd began to weep. Brenda testified and spoke about her Dad giving his life to the Lord. Men were weeping, possibly realizing for the first time that God really does love and care for them.
It was while leaving that prison that day that Gary and Brenda strongly felt the great need for ministry within Mexico’s prisons; the forgotten ones, the least, the last and the lost. Over the next few years there were 15 prisons within the states of Durango, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas that were opened to their ministry, and as men and women began giving their lives to the Lord the need was seen for a systematic course of Bible Studies.
So, during the next eight years, while ministering in the prisons, the Morgans created a Bible Study course that covers the complete Bible with a question, on average, for every 2 1/2 verses throughout the Scriptures.
The Ministry Today
Through this course of studies, the “El Faro de Santidad Instituto de Correspondencia de Estudios Bíblicos” (Lighthouse Holiness Ministries Correspondence Institute for Biblical Studies) was created. It is a Bible correspondence study that is accepted by the Mexican government for the inmates continuing education, and the inmates receive time off their sentence for participating in the studies.
You can learn more of these bible studies at the Lighthouse Holiness Ministries website.
Throughout the years many cartel members, as well as leaders of said cartels, prostitutes, and drug addicts, have come to the Lord simply by reading the Scriptures in order to complete the studies. There is power in God’s Word, and it is the Morgan’s desire to facilitate the opportunity for these men and women to know the Word of God. Thus, though Gary preaches weekly in the prisons of Reynosa and Santa Adelaida (Matamoros) two Christian libraries, which are recognized as the only Christian libraries in the penal system of the country of Mexico, have been constructed to help facilitate this need.
As of this writing well over 100,000 individual Bible Studies have been delivered to the inmates and have been graded.
This Bible Study course has produced much fruit. The Morgans know of at least 15 inmates that have given their lives to the Lord in full-time ministry; many of them ministering in the prisons of the area to which they have returned.
Due to the dangers and violence in Mexico over the past few years, Brenda no longer travels to the prisons with Gary, but assists the ministry on the border, as well as takes care of their five-year-old son Joseph which was born in December, 2012.
To date, the Morgan’s have been laboring in their corner of the Lord’s field in the prisons of Mexico for 25 years, and the only thing that they have ever requested is that they and the ministry within Mexico’s prisons be remembered in your prayers.
For more information concerning the Morgans ministry within the prisons of Mexico please visit them at their website: lighthouseholinessministries.com