Jerry Dean is a powerful preacher and communicator. His ministry has touched the lives of thousands across the world and he is know for his love for men’s ministry, his powerful ministry, and furthering the Kingdom of God. He is the Pastor of The Pentecostals of Bossier City. In this scripted interview, Jerry Dean talks about various aspects of ministry and shares his journey in ministry.
MM: When did you know that you were called to the ministry?
JD: I cannot remember when I did not feel called into the ministry. I know as a young boy I somehow knew I was going into the ministry. I was very shy in front of people and had no clue how I was going to do this.
When I was around eight or nine years old, I can remember having a vision in a church service that I never told anyone about. I just considered it my imagination (I had a huge imagination as a child). I was standing in a very large round building preaching to a very large crowd. I had never been in any kind of coliseum so I didn’t know what kind of building this was. Our church had just a little more than thirty members and seven of these were in my own family so I considered this just another one of my wild imagination moments. I rarely thought about this vision but every once in a while it would surface in my mind. I was honored to speak during the Global Missions service in Tampa, Florida. When I walked to the pulpit the vision came so forcefully back to my mind and I knew immediately that the Lord had truly shown me this in a vision when I was just a small lad.
I am the middle child of five boys. When my two older brothers announced they were called to preach I was very reluctant to follow suit for fear that others would feel I was just copying them. As High School graduation approached I began to wrestle in prayer with my decision and in time knew what I had to do. I was offered a position with my banking job with the promise to pay for my college but I knew I had to turn it down. When I told my supervisor that I was going to preach he looked at me and said, “I knew you were going to say that.”
MM: How did you first get started in ministry?
JD: I attended Texas Bible College for one year. I went back to start the second year and started back at my old job. I took counsel from an unsuccessful pastor who promised me five revivals if I would leave Bible School and start evangelizing. He was able to secure those five revivals and I left school early. I realize you can’t look back but I wouldn’t recommend to any young man to do what I did at 19.
In my first pastorate I was elected to be the Sectional Youth Leader. I threw myself into the job and after a few years was elected to District Youth President’s position in Arkansas. This opened up many doors for me and from that day to this with the exception of maybe two years I have been serving in some official capacity. In 1985 I went to Hazelwood and was in the General Youth Department until 1988 when I came to Bossier City to pastor.
Louisiana, under T. F. Tenney’s leadership, had started the first men’s conference. After two years he asked me to chair the Men’s Conference Committee. After doing this for several years he started introducing me to people as the leader of the District Men’s Department. One night I said to Bro. Tenney, “I didn’t know that Men’s Ministry was a department.” He responded, “It is now.”
Nathaniel Urshan asked Jack Cunningham to head up a committee to look into starting a National Men’s Ministry. In the beginning I think Bro. Urshan really wanted us to plan a National Men’s Conference. The committee didn’t feel this was a good idea. However, this committee began planting the seeds of the National Apostolic Man Ministry. When this department was created I was nominated by Kenneth Haney and ratified to be the Vice-President of the Apostolic Man Ministry.
MM: Who is someone that has helped you become the man that you are?
JD: First was my own father who taught me the most important thing about ministry. Pray, fast, and love people. He was an incredible example of all of the qualities. Dad hungered for souls and eventually saw a tremendous revival in Killeen, Texas.
I came into the ministry in a golden age. In the early 70‘s there was much talk about Endtime Revival and there were great men challenging our movement to believe for great things. Beyond my father there were other men who impacted me. One of the greatest was J. T. Pugh but beyond that C. M. Becton, T. F. Tenney, and especially the Mangun family. I know there were many but these are the men and women who stand out to me. Kenneth Phillips, Tom Barnes, Mark Hanby and Tommy Craft were movers and shakers during my early days of ministry and they had a great impact on me through their ministry.
MM: How do we connect with other godly men?
JD: I have always made connections by being in attendance at sectional, district, and national meetings. I do know that a wise man walks with wise men and a fool is a companion of fools. I bought into the fellowship many years ago and have supported it all my life. This is how I have made connections.
MM: How do we deal with discouragement?
JD: Many years ago I heard James Kilgore say that he had never been discouraged a day in his life. I don’t know if he would say that now since he lost his wife and son-in-law. Just hearing him say that seemed to discourage me. I suppose I was from the school where you just dig in. I know I have been discouraged at times but I really had no options. I’m glad I didn’t have options. I just had to pray and hang on always believing that better days were coming.
The aforementioned men and women somehow convinced us that one day if we would keep fasting and praying we would have larger churches and great revivals. I bought into this. Some sermons I’ve heard and scriptures that I have bought into have helped me through tougher times. I bought into the Randy Keyes statement that God is not a respecter of persons but God is a respecter of principle. Isaiah 1:19 says, “If ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land.” I just kept on casting my bread on the water knowing that in many days it will return. Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” Not devils, demons, or spiritual wickedness. So I endeavored to arm myself with scriptural knowledge.
MM: Can you share any resources for further study?
JD: I have a web site www.jerryldean.com and I have some recommended reading there. We all have different giftings but I do think a man of God must be diligent in giving himself to the Word and to prayer (Acts 6:4). My favorite books tend to be written by deceased men such as A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, and E.M. Bounds. Much of the newer material is not very deep but there are some good current writers. I have found that a man comes out with a great book and then he buys into deadlines with the publisher and sometimes their new books lose some of their depth. I have always felt that the first three books by Max Lucado were his best.
I have a couple of commentaries that I love. Obviously, nothing takes the place of just reading the Holy Bible. It is called Holy for a reason. It is separate from all other books. Jesus said in John 6, the words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life. This cannot be said of any other book. In my early days I would read the Bible to find sermons to preach. Later, after a long look at Psalm 119, I began to realize how valuable the Word of God needed to become in my personal life. I try to be careful that I read the Word for me and not just sermons. It must become my daily bread, the manna that came down from heaven. I am washed by His Word and God knows I need a bath or a shower every day both physically and spiritually.
MM: If a young man has a desire to be a godly man and be used by God, how should he pray?
JD: I would pray many of the scriptures in my prayer journal that I wrote several years ago for Men’s Ministry. When you pray the Word of God you know you are praying the Will of God. Things like III John 2 where John said, “I wish above all thing that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.” I would pray for God’s favor because one day of God’s favor is worth a lifetime of my efforts. I would pray that they do what God requires of man that he, “love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly before the Lord God.”
If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an episode, email Jacob Tapia (Administrator of Ministry Mentorship).