Dick Burns was a pastor in Pennsylvania who felt called to full-time evangelism. He has served as a General Evangelist in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference for many years. Dick was an early pioneer of the movement in the UMC after receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit in a meeting with Episcopal priest Dennis Bennett in 1964. He was instrumental in introducing and moving the legislation for through the General Conference process in 1972 and 1976. He is a prophetic preacher and a loved and respected father in the faith.
Dick was elected as ARM’s 4th President at the Board and Council meeting that preceded Aldersgate ’94 in Washington, DC. He served from 1994-1997.
By 1993, ARM had outgrown the modest offices (2 rooms totaling 400 square feet) in an old home owned by The Upper Room. In addition, there was rumor that there were other plans for our space and that we would eventually have to move. So, we started looking for a new home. It became obvious that we would not be able to find affordable space in the Music Row / Methodist Center / Vanderbilt area of Nashville.
The ARM Board agreed that we were going to have to physically separate ourselves from the GBOD and look elsewhere in the city for space. All of our staff at that time lived north of downtown Nashville, so we started looking at real estate north of the city. We settled on a little house in downtown Goodlettsville that had been converted into a chiropractic office. It had abundant office space (1500 square feet) for our staff of four, parking, and attic storage. It seemed perfect and a huge step up from what we had. The only problem was that we didn’t have any assets and couldn’t get a loan – we needed the doctor to self-finance the property. He wasn’t interested. But, God!
But, God had other ideas.
My wife, Sally, and I were doing some Christmas shopping and went through the sporting goods section on our way to the toy section. As we walked through, I noticed archery equipment and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Buy an arrow.” It seemed like a silly thought, and I tried to talk myself and the Lord out of it, but finally relented, went back to that area of the store and picked out an arrow.
I went home and found the story of Elisha and king Jehoash and the arrow in 2 Kings 13:14-19. In verse 18, Elisha says, “’Take the arrows,’ and the king took them. Elisha told him, ‘Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.’”
I knew what I must do, but waited upon the Lord for the right timing. It was Thanksgiving evening. I excused myself from family, took my arrow and drove to 118 Two Mile Pike. I parked the car, walked the perimeter of the property (which was in the shape of a triangle with a creek running along the front) praying for God to give us the property and building. I stopped at the first corner, knelt down, struck the ground seven times with the arrow and cried out to the Lord (I mean out loud shout) to give us victory. As I was walking and praying toward the second corner, it began to rain. I knelt on the wet ground, struck the ground seven times and cried out to the Lord for victory. I walked to the final corner, now soaked from the rain, knelt in the mud
Aldersgate Renewal Ministries: History and Impact - Page 12
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