This man’s pastor call journey from darkness “into God’s Hands” tells a compelling story:
My name is Robert Daniel Kelly and I have been on a pastor call journey. I live in the United States of America. I believed in Jesus Christ when I was just a child of about four. I remember Jesus as a loving and kind man. Jesus loves all the children, right? And I remember the song Jesus loves me from when I was a child too. I was not raised in the church, though. I remember going to church a few times. We didn’t really pray or read the Bible that I can remember.
I never knew my biological dad, and the man I called dad when I was small was my little brother’s father. He relapsed on drugs and stole my little brother away to Alaska, so my mom took the rest of us (my older brother, my twin brother and me) to Alaska to get him back. We got back together with him for a short time, then he left and it was my mom and us 4 boys. There were alcohol and drug usage in the home, but we older three brothers would go exploring and playing a lot and had a lot of fun and adventures. We really didn’t have any discipline in our lives and were left to ourselves most of the time, so we started getting into trouble. We got older and also got into drugs and more trouble. All 3 of us older boys were in juvenile detention and institutionalized. I was sent to a bunch of rehab places and institutionalized twice.
When I was 18, I was going the opposite way from seeking God. I was even reading a witchcraft book. Then the book said Jesus was just an adept wizard and I was offended. I think I even spoke out loud and said: “No, He wasn’t! He was the Son of God.” God heard that and started to change my life and start me on my pastor call journey. My twin brother said he talked to God on an acid trip and started reading the Bible some, so I opened it randomly to see what it had to say. I opened to Acts 1:9 and it was telling how Jesus was lifted up from the earth and hidden by a cloud. I actually went through the trailer we were living in telling people that Jesus is alive and He’s out there somewhere. I also started finding tracts about Jesus and salvation. So I know the reality can bear fruit.
Now I was a believer, not just in a loving and kind man from the Bible that was the Son of God, but also in the risen Lord. I still didn’t know how to live as a Christian and was still living in sin. I was doing drugs and going through some interesting things. When I was 19, I was reading the Bible and saw that it was telling me to be baptized. I still wasn’t going to church but God was teaching me to repent of my sins, and I wanted to obey what He was telling me to do. I made an agreement with God that I would go to the church that baptized me. When I went in and asked about it, instead of saying we can do that at some later time, I was baptized right then on a Thursday, January 23, and I went to that same church for about 3 years.
God changed my life from a rebellious and foolish young man to a Christian man that wants to do God’s will. I wish I could say that since I became a Christian I have been perfect ever since. Unfortunately, I have made many mistakes along the way. I’m 40 now and have worked a lot of different jobs.
Now I believe God wants me to preach and I want to preach. So I plan on getting my bachelor’s degree in ministry, and I hope that will help me to get a position as a preacher somewhere. I believe God is blessing me in this direction and I have a lot of support at the church here where I attend. I think being a minister in the USA will have challenges. There is a lot of worldly thinking. I think there are also a lot of Christians that still want to walk the fence. I’d like to help people to remember God in all the aspects of their lives.
This class at Christian Leaders Institute has had a lot of good stuff to teach me. One point is that this is a commitment and I’m not going to be able to get through it in one month. It is going to take a lot of time studying and taking quizzes. The mentor exercises were very helpful and encouraging. I wrote down those 13 questions and my mentor (the preacher here) was kind enough to write down 13 responses, they were encouraging and I can look back at that in the future. I learned a lot about leading too. I want to be a good follower of Jesus and I want to be able to lead others in a close walk with Jesus for themselves.
A pastor is probably the word/role I most identify with because I believe God has called me to preach. I know there is a lot more to pastoring a church and I would want to have good elders to help with that. I took counseling in college when I was younger and think that could be very helpful as well. I think the experience of being saved and brought into the light out of such horrible darkness and deception is the main reason I want to be a minister. I don’t want anyone to remain deceived and I want them to come to God’s love and marvelous light. A big part of my pastor call journey is that I love to preach God’s word. I love Psalms 119, which about how awesome and good God’s word is.
Where I am living, I don’t have internet, so the church gave me a key and let me set up a computer in a room at the church. Now I can drive over there and take classes with Christian Leaders Institute! What a blessing in my life! I believe God is working things out to make this possible for me. I have a great amount of support here. I am very blessed on my pastor call journey.
Learn about ordained minister study programs at Christian Leaders Alliance.