By Bro. Louis B. Turner, January 2004
On December 4, 2004 God extended a call to our precious Pastor, Brother, Friend, and Apostle, Rev. Raymond M Jackson. He called him to come up a little higher and rest for a little while. Bro. Jackson, who had faithfully stood for the true revelation of the mysteries of the Bible in the face of much opposition and hardship for the past thirty nine years, was called to come on home and let the five fold ministry carry on for a little season. All of those who are called to this office know what to stand for, because they have sat under the faithful teaching of this apostle for many years and loved and respected him, as we here in his home church do. All of us who loved and respected him will greatly miss him, but we will never allow Satan to sidetrack us with any kind of false hope: We will just press the battle with a little more determination, remembering how he taught us to stick with the Word of God, no matter what comes down the road to distract. God will never leave His true children without the spiritual guidance we need. He is always present to anoint and give leadership to those whom He has called to care for His flock. We who are left here to carry on, have a great outlook and vision of what to look for as Gentile time comes closer and closer to and end, which is when God turns His attention back to the Jewish people and opens the last week of Daniel’s seventy week prophesy concerning the children of Israel. Our faithful pastor has spent many hours of his ministry making sure we understand what this last week will hold for the Jewish people; and what Christians will take part in as the age closes out. He has greatly stressed the importance of our knowing what to look for when our time is drawing nigh. For that dedication to his calling and the patient way he has kept presenting it to us we will always be grateful. He was always thinking from the standpoint of the many who had never heard the true revelation even for the first time, as well as those who had heard it, but just not understood.
LOOKING BACK ALMOST FIFTY YEARS
Brother Jackson’s own words were as follows, “In the month of April 1950, the Lord began to deal with my soul and I had to surrender my heart to Him. A great hunger began to build up in my heart, not only to want to live for Him, but also to know the truth of His blessed Word. I always had a great respect for the Bible: I thought every home ought to have one, but I had heard so much about the fanatical things some had done because of what they read in the bible, I just did not want to get too close to it myself. That all began to change after the Lord got hold of my heart. It soon got to the point that I just could not seem to get enough of it. I looked for every opportunity to learn more about God and His Word. In the year 1952, a relative of my wife stopped by our home, and during that visit he told me about the ministry of a man by the name, William Marrion Branham, how God was using him in miraculous ways. Later that year, we were privileged to go hear him preach; and after hearing him that one time, I knew he had something I wanted to know more about, so for the next two and a half years we sat under his ministry and heard him preach in a way that made Jesus Christ of the Bible stand head and shoulders above any other man on earth.”
Needless to say, a hunger like that led our brother deeper and deeper into the Word of God and in April 1955, the Lord spoke to him about starting a church. He obtained a small building in New Albany, Indiana, where he started out. Then circumstances caused the little work to move to a place in Clarksville, Indiana for a while; and later on, back to another place in New Albany, Indiana, where we stayed until 1967, when the Lord enabled us to build the first part of what is known around the world today as Faith Assembly Church. He first thought it would just be a small mission where he would have a group to preach to, never even having a thought that the time would come, when he would travel around the world preaching to hungry souls; and then publish a paper of his edited sermons that would find its way into every nation on the face of this earth. (The first issue of the Contender was published in March of 1969.) Then the Lord opened up the way for him to have a web site, where people from every nation under heaven would be able to log on and hear him as he preached and taught this precious revelation of the Word of God that burned in his soul day and night.
There has been additions to the facility through the years as the congregation grew, but Brother Jackson has never been one to spend the Lord’s money on beautiful buildings with stained glass windows, just for a show. He always said, “As long as we have a place where we can get in out of the weather, that ought to be all we need;” and he has invested the tithes and offerings of the saints into getting the Word of God to as many people as possible in all the years of his ministry. He always said, If this ministry is of the Lord, He will supply: We will not have to beg for money to do the work of God. Therefore many who have come to Faith Assembly through the years, have had to ask someone, How do I give an offering? That is because an offering plate was never passed around in the congregation. We have a mail box slot in the wall where people drop their tithes and offerings; and the Lord has always met every need through the years without our brother having to preach on tithing. His belief was, That the saints do not have to be coaxed into supporting the Lord’s work; and he was right.
This may seem a little lengthy to some, but we have been taught to give honor and recognition to those to whom it is due: as our brother has been so faithful to do through the years. Therefore these simple words just barely touch on what could be said about a man that loved God and the people of God like Brother Jackson did. He demonstrated unselfish love and compassion like few others of our time. Yes we will miss him, but we would not call him back, even if we could. He has run his race and finished his course; and we all want to be where he is. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.