I was a certified mechanic with The Brunswick Bowling Corporation working in Pla-Mor Lanes. Later I became a certified English teacher and taught at Agassiz Junior High School. My wife and I served on God’s Volunteers later known as New Day. After graduating from the seminary in Sioux Falls I became a pastor and served NAB churches in South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri and New York. My wife and I have four grown children and nine grandchildren.
As teenagers my parents, Cleo & Inez Ewing, gave birth to my sister Loretta, my brother Thomas and me. It was during her teenage years of marriage that my mother put her faith in Jesus as savior and lord. My father put his faith in Jesus years later after we were grown. From my mother I received a biblical worldview, and from my father I received a secular worldview.
I was born at the Home Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana, on January 27, 1942. I had been in God’s thoughts for some time as Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “Before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His in Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before Him.” The prophet Jeremiah reported, “Before God formed me in the womb He knew me, before I was born God set me apart; He appointed me as a prophet to the nations.”
At the age of four I ran into the street and was run over by an oncoming car. My skull was crushed, and I spent a month recovering in The Home Hospital in Lafayette. At the age of nine our farmhouse burned to the ground during the night in a matter of minutes, but my parents woke up in time to help us escape the flames. When I was age ten, our family, including my younger sister Joyce, relocated to Turtle Lake, ND. My parents purchased The Economy Meat Market and expanded it to a grocery store under the Fairway Foods brand where I worked during my school years. In 1957 I invited Jesus into my heart and life and was baptized by immersion at The Turtle Lake Baptist Church in 1958. It was during this time that God placed His Call upon me to become a full-time pastor. I graduated from high school in 1960 and trained to become a certified automatic pinsetter mechanic with the Brunswick Bowling Corporation of Chicago because my parents sold their grocery store and built Pla-Mor Bowling Lanes.
After my freshman and sophomore years at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND, majoring in English, I was accepted by the NAB Conference to serve as a member of God’s Volunteers where we ministered in twenty NAB churches traveling in Canada from Winnipeg to Vancouver and in America from Oregon to New York. Our mornings were spent in prayer, afternoons witnessing door-to-door and evenings in evangelistic gospel church services. We saw many individuals come to Christ in faith as well as many spiritual victories through prayer and the Word. One of the other members of our God’s Volunteers team, Jean Berndt, recognized the Call of God upon her life to serve in full-time ministry, and she became my wife when we were married August 21, 1965, in Rochester, NY, at Andrews Street Baptist Church.
We moved to Fargo, ND, where I completed my Bachelor of Arts & Science degree from NDSU and became an English teacher at Agassiz Junior High School in Fargo. During those years Jean taught elementary school and gave birth to our two sons ~ Jonathan and Paul. In the fall of 1969 we relocated to Sioux Falls, SD, where I began my studies in a Master of Divinity program at The NAB Seminary. I served as the pastor of a rural congregation known as The Swedona Evangelical Covenant Church of Brandon, SD, while Jean taught fourth grade in The Brandon Elementary Schools.
After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree I was ordained on June 4, 1972, at The Turtle Lake Baptist Church. I began my pastoral ministry with The West Center Street Baptist Church of Madison, SD, in July 1972. While we served at West Center Jean gave birth to our two daughters ~ Jennifer and Deborah. The NAB Conference Church Extension Department extended an invitation to me to plant an NAB church in Parkville, a suburb of Kansas City, MO. During the years of 1974-1981 a small group of seekers became a missional congregation of new believers mostly by conversion growth. We had a five-acre property and a newly constructed worship center with the wonderful name of Whispering Oaks Baptist Church.
In 1981 we were on the move again; this time we moved to Bismarck, ND, to serve as a church-planting pastor with Century Baptist Church. Century had purchased a four-acre property and constructed a worship center and classrooms under the founding ministry of Rev. Don Ganstrom. Bismarck Baptist Church was the mother church and Century Baptist Church the daughter church that had grown to about 75 members. During the years of 1981-1988, good growth was evident in character development as well as increased numbers. A good number of our young men committed themselves to full-time ministry. We also had the joy of constructing an addition for office and classroom space and paid for it in cash.
In 1989 we relocated to Getzville, NY, (Buffalo area) where we had the privilege of serving Bethel Baptist Church for seventeen years. Two early victories were the adopting of a new elder-lead constitution and the construction of a prayer chapel and classrooms. Over time we had several couples commit their lives to full time missionary ministry – Rev. Paul & Melissa Ewing. Other couples committed to pastoral staff ministry – Rev. Kevin & Lisa Wright. Both of these couples earned their Master of Divinity degree from The NAB Seminary in Sioux Falls, SD. During the years of 1993-1996 Bethel Baptist Church encouraged me as I began and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at McMaster University Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. I traveled on a two-week NAB mission trip to Russia in the fall of 1996 teaching homiletics. Later I took two NAB mission trips to Japan and one World Vision mission trip to South Africa.
In 2006 The Eastern Association of NAB Churches called me to serve as their Regional Minister, and I have continued in this wonderful ministry for 11 years. During this time I also took a third NAB mission trip to Japan and two NAB mission trips to Central America. I am deeply grateful to God for His grace in saving a sinner like me and for His providential watch-care in the ministry He has given me.