My name is Richard Parish, all my friends call me Rick. I am receiving Biblical ministry training at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). I live in sunny Southern California in the city of Altadena and have been living in Southern California for the better part of the last 40 years. However, I was born in Massachusetts. My Dad was 20 years old and in the Air Force when he met my Mom. They married and had me. We moved to Ohio when I was 3.
When I was 12 years of age, my Dad’s sister died from a heart attack. I was very close to her, and her death was very upsetting to me. My Dad’s other sister was a devout Christian leader. She gave me counsel and also a Bible. I began to read The Way, a modern translation of the Bible. Kids in my neighborhood invited me to attend a Baptist Church. Within a few months, the church pastor led me to Christ, and I got baptized. I attended church for the next few years in a Methodist Church close to my home.
When I was 15, my Dad lost his job, and we moved to Colorado for his new job. For the next few years, I studied Martial Arts. When I was 19, I earned my Black Belt in Karate. I opened a school and taught many people. I continued training and competitions. My faith took a backseat as I didn’t realize I needed Biblical ministry training. I didn’t deny God, but just had other interests.
In 1979, I attended College in Chadron, Nebraska. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 1984. I maintained my Karate Studio until 1986. In October of 1986, I decided to move to California. I boarded a plane and landed in Burbank, California, with $300 and my suitcase and many dreams for success. I took a job at a nightclub in Glendale, CA, as a Bouncer/Security. Through a chance meeting, someone introduced me to a Police Officer in the L.A.P.D. He worked on the side as a supervisor for Bodyguards. We hit it off, and he hired me to work for his company.
I worked as a Bodyguard for a famous Movie Producer and his Family. It was glamourous and fast-paced. However, I decided to work a job closer to home in Glendale after several months. I began work in security at a school. Upon the suggestions of a friend, a teacher at the school, I took the CBEST Credential to become a Substitute Teacher. I worked a whole year as a sub and landed a job as a P.E. Teacher in a Catholic School.
I continued there for 4 years as a Teacher and Coach. Then, I left and entered into sales at Guitar Center in Hollywood, where I met my wife. In 1996, we married and lived in Burbank, California, for a couple of years. Our son was born in 1998. We moved to Arizona. My parents were retired there in Tucson. I went into telephone sales and became a top performer at my job.
In 1999, I was introduced to a famous Blues Musician, John Lee Hooker. I had played guitar since I was 7 years old. He asked me to join him, and I toured for nearly 3 years playing alongside him and many famous musicians. I had formed my own Band in 1998. However, with the success of touring alongside a legend, I put that band aside. In 2001, John Lee Hooker died, and I returned to my own band in Tucson, Arizona. We had some success, including recording 3 albums and some commercial success with these recordings.
Changes and Challenges
In 2010, I had been married for 14 years. We had 1 son and 3 daughters. My wife grew up as a Buddhist and converted to Christianity in our first year of marriage. She decided she wanted a divorce. We separated and divorced in 2011. I continued for several years, living a single life. I met my wife, Patricia, in 2017. We lived together in a house in L.A. In 2019, Patricia became a Christian. She was baptized and attended church in Pasadena, CA. I had not been to church for many years. My faith was not a priority in my life. In December 2019, Patricia and I separated. I moved into an apartment and worked as a handyman.
God Got My Attention
The start of the Pandemic was upon us in 2020. I visited Patricia one day in March. I was very uneasy about the current world status. As we sat together, I felt an uneasy feeling throughout my body. I took my temperature, and it read 99.6! I panicked. Immediately, I went into the backyard alone. I prayed out loud to God and asked Him to forgive my bad choices in life. Without God, I acknowledged that I would die. I felt an immediate presence calm me.
The Holy Spirit told me to open my phone and download the Bible. I hadn’t opened a Bible for a long time! I read a few scriptures and felt the need for redemption. When I returned to the house, I asked Patricia to help me find someone online that I could call and pray with. So, here we were at 10 PM on a Sunday looking for a phone number to speak to a live Christian leader to help me. Finally, after about 45 minutes, I found a website that offered live prayer over the phone. I called and spoke to a Christian woman in Canada. She prayed with me and I reaccepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Called to Ministry and Biblical Ministry Training at CLI
That night, I went into another room in our house and prayed for several hours. God brought me from the brink of disaster in my life back with a realization that I have many more gifts besides music and karate! I can talk to people, which is the first step in bringing people to know Jesus! For many months after that, I read passages in the Bible like never before. God’s Word became clearer to me. After some intense prayer, I knew that because of unemployment due to the Pandemic, I could not afford to attend a Bible Seminary. I prayed for God to give me a way to learn and become a Minister of his Word.
Out of nowhere, I discovered the Christian Leaders Institute! God revealed the possibility to become educated as a minister without costs. What a blessing to have this Biblical ministry training opportunity! To become a minister with my church is my spiritual dream! I know that it is possible to do what the Lord has called me to do. My decades of life experience will be added to CLI’s Biblical ministry training. My life lessons taught me there is NO other way but God’s way! I feel that my skills as a leader will be invaluable to help lead people to Jesus Christ. Praise God!