Let Me Tell You A Story…

Let me tell you a story.

In the spring of 1998 a young preacher was in his second semester of Bible institute at a local church. In the class on Biblical Counseling a guest speaker from a local Mission was invited to speak. The small class enjoyed hearing the seasoned minister talk about his years counseling couples, professionals, soldiers and civilians. After the class the young preacher and the guest speaker talked for nearly an hour after the class ended. The older minister took a liking to the young preacher and invited him to preach that weekend at his Mission.

The preacher eagerly accepted the invitation. He had been preaching for only 5 or 6 months and was anxious for any opportunity to preach the Gospel. He had preached in Nursing homes, at one small church, and even in his backyard at a picnic he held just to get the chance to preach. He grew up the grandson of a Baptist preacher. He had rededicated his life to Christ just a few years before this night. Immediately he felt the call to preach. His style came naturally after a few misfires. One night at a Rescue Mission for the homeless the fire fell, and he found his preaching voice.

Saturday night came and the young preacher and his wife left their young boys with a relative and drove to the mission. It was a wonderful place that had been presenting the Gospel to a very specific demographic for 46 years. The Mission had a kitchen where volunteers were making soup and sandwiches for a fellowship after the Gospel service. A large dining room was on the other side of the serving counter. Between the Kitchen and the Chapel room was a living room  with a big TV and comfortable couches and recliners for the guests to relax in after the evenings activities.

The young couple were led into the chapel area and sat in the front row. The attendees at the Chapel service made their way in. They were all close in age, all men, all active in service to their country. A short song service and it was time for the young preacher to speak.

He spoke from Ephesians 2:8 & 9 about the need  of salvation and the futility of works to gain it. He delivered his message passionately. This night he had holy unction.  At the end of his sermon he asked all attending to bow their heads and close their eyes. He invited the men to come to Christ, even offered a suggested way to pray and receive Christ. When he finished he asked if any had called on Jesus that night, and if so, would they raise their hand to acknowledge this?

Two hands raised and his heart leaped. He turned the service over to the old master sergeant who had presided over the song service. The sergeant called out the two soldiers and asked them if they meant it, did they really accept Christ this night? They responded yes and were ordered forward. They obeyed and were counselled by workers waiting for the opportunity.  The young preacher wept into his wife’s arms, overwhelmed that this night, for the first time, the Lord had used his preaching to bring not one, but two souls into the Kingdom.

The young preacher and the older Missionary would become good friends in the following years. 10 years after that fateful night the two met for lunch and the young preacher, now a seasoned church planter and pastor was offered a position on the older Missionary’s Board of Directors. 7 years after that he was offered the older Missionary’s position upon retirement.

And that is how, in September of 2015 I was offered and accepted the Call of God to leave the pastorate and become a missionary myself, replacing my good friend Walt Croom as the General Director of Military Evangelism.

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June Update

This month has been filled with exciting developments, trips, new opportunities and new friends made.

Patty and I had the opportunity to attend the Benson Grove Baptist Camp Meeting in Benson, NC last week, meeting over two dozen pastors, missionaries and Gospel singers. We were very well received for our first time attending.


Our friends Neil and Nancy Olenick from our home church (New Life Baptist in White Marsh, MD) arranged for us to attend and it was a blessing. Many visited our booth and took prayer cards and other information on Military Evangelism. We were blessed to sell many copies of my Revelation commentary as well. We pray that the meeting will result in more meetings and expanding our partner base.

We have also been doing lots of work on the exterior of the Center this month. The area in back is cleaned, new grass seed is sprouting, and the hammock will be in this week.

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This will provide our Marines with a nice shaded area to relax on the weekends. New Area lighting has been installed, all LED to create cost savings, and we believe this will enhance the security of the Center in the nighttime. Power washing of the sidewalks and brick has been completed as well. I plan to start painting the exterior this fall when the temperatures get back down to Northeast, Mid-Atlantic temperature range I’m used to!

Many have responded to the fund drive to help with renovations at the Center. So far about 10% of the need shared last month has come in! As the money arrives we will be getting the projects done. I’ve already measured and started getting prices for Kitchen cabinets and a new dining room table. If you were interested in participating in the Renovation Fund Drive there is still time, since there is no expiration date to making God’s Ministry look and work its best!

Great contacts have been established on base, including a new chaplain at Camp Lejeune, who visited a Tuesday night Fellowship Dinner. He and I hit it off and plan to meet regularly to see how we can assist each other. Please pray for an opportunity to meet with Marines awaiting assignment at Camp Johnson. There are some schools there that finish their training well before their orders for new assignments come in for the new marines. Many of them must stay in their barracks all day with nothing to do. Of course this is causing them to go a little stir crazy. The Chaplain at Camp Johnson has a plan to get them out of their barracks one or two days a week for a two hour fellowship time. He has enlisted my help in providing activities and a listening ear for these men and women. I think it will be a wonderful opportunity to establish relationships that may lead to new regulars at the Center.

Throughout May and the first few weeks of June we had a new Marine visit nearly every week. All of these were the result of our regulars sharing the ministry with friends on Base and inviting them. I guess that means the best way to get folks into church works on the Mission field as well!

The Bible Studies are being well received. We are studying Proverbs on Tuesday Nights and Romans on Friday nights. Wisdom and Doctrine are turning out to be a good combination.

Our internet ministry is going well also. The Podcast is increasing listeners every week, and they are from around the world. The Blog saw a spike of around 700% the first week of June after my eulogy to my friend Pastor Clay Moorman went viral. Over 900 individual people visited the blog and the Center Facebook page that week. And Praise the Lord, one of my key ventures when I began has started showing fruit. Our first internet gifts were received via PayPal this month!

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Finally, if you haven’t heard, our podcast “Field Notes with Dave Mason” has been picked up by jdfoxxradio.com as their Sunday Morning Religious programming. You can listen online through this link or download their app on the Apple store or Google Play. Field notes plays at 8:00 and 10:00 Sunday Mornings, Easter Standard Time.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. We couldn’t do what we do without you!

‘Till Jesus Returns,

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Until We Meet Again…

I had plans for today.

I am a week behind on the podcast. I wrote two lessons yesterday and I was going to record at least two, maybe three episodes today. Tomorrow I was going to post to this blog.

Then all the wind left my sails.

I got a text this morning at 8:14. It was from my pastor, Johnnie Brewer, letting me know that my friend, mentor and one of the biggest cheerleaders my ministry ever had, Clay Moorman, the Pastor of Newark Baptist church in Elkton, MD died of a heart attack this morning.

I first met Clay in 1997, when I first started preaching and attending Baptist Bible Fellowship pastor’s meetings every month. Over the years he became a good friend. When he saw I was very stressed in the ministry, he offered me a free week at his annual Men’s camping trip. It helped and the trip became an annual ritual that I looked forward to every year.

dave and clay

When my best friend in the ministry, Rob Dalsing died of a heart attack at the age of 46  in 2011, it was Clay who called me and took me out to breakfast and let me cry and rage and mourn. Clay said something that I have always kept close, and today I need it – “Dave, these are the times when we preachers have to live all that stuff we’ve been telling our people.”

Clay was my friend.

He is my friend.

I haven’t lost him, because I know where he is.

Until I see him again though, I will miss him.


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