Testimonies

Testimonies are the stories of our relationship with God. Testimonies reveal how God touches us and changes our life. Sharing testimonies with others brings hope, increases our faith, and makes our own walk easier. We hope that the powerful testimonies below from a few of the members of the Full Gospel Business Men’s International – Greater Phoenix Executive Chapter will inspire you as they reveal how God works in the lives of others to further His Kingdom. 

Testimony by Norm Cheever, Arizona Director FGBMFI Phoenix

Then the Lord heard my mother’s prayer. I was seven years old when Mom took us to a one-month revival at Central Assembly of God in Wichita, Kansas. Dad said he didn’t want to go because he heard they were “HOLY ROLLERS”.

After a week of verbal and physical abuse, he took us to hear the evangelist, Ralph Wilkerson. What a powerful message on God’s Love! After three altar calls, the Evangelist jumped off the stage and came right up to my Dad. I could hear him pleading with Dad to turn his life to Jesus. 

After taking two steps, he came back and said, “This may be from the Holy Spirit to you. This could be your last chance. You may die within a week, and then where will you go?” Well, that was all Dad could take. He turned loose of the deacon’s bench rail. When he hit the altars, he started crying out to God on the floor. He came up a different man. He was nicer and caring to all the family.  Mom was happy for the first time in years.

After the extreme difference I saw in my Dad, I watched something begin to move in me. Before church one Sunday, I knocked on my parent’s door. Dad asked me to come in. I said, “Dad, I want to know the same Jesus who changed you.” We all knelt by the bed. I joyfully asked Jesus to forgive me of all my sins and come into my life. All of the family got saved and we got the new life the pastor had been preaching about. 

During that time, I had severe learning problems in school. I was seeing some letters and numbers backwards, reading the same sentence several times because it didn’t make sense and I was extremely hyper. It was most likely ADHD before it was ever called that. As a result of it, in order to gain attention, I became the class clown to get laughs. Along with salvation, came a healing for the learning disorders that plagued me, and I passed to the third grade.

About this time, Boeing Aircraft closed its doors and my Dad was offered a job in Phoenix, Arizona. Along with this, we followed our pastor from Kansas to a little church there called Central Assembly of God. This is where we learned about witnessing, deliverance, and the spiritual gifts. It was truly a Full Gospel church.

At this time, I had taught myself to play the guitar, and sang in the choir, and did lots of solos. I began to emerge in the music ministry. 

When I turned 14, a man moved in two doors down from us and specifically asked for my help moving. I was glad to help, and he had invited me into his house.  Immediately, I was aware of X-rated art on the walls and the altar where blood was dripping into a bowl from an upside-down cross. He noticed I quickly understood what was going on. He said, “We have the power to give you great wealth and fame in the world of music.”  He pushed a music contract in front of me and produced a dagger and said, “Just a little puncture; then sign this with your blood.”  

The Holy Spirit had been talking to me for several years about spiritual warfare. I knew His voice. He told me not to read the contract and to give no blood. I got up and said, “NO.” As I walked out, he said, “If you change your mind, come back.” 

That night, the Holy Spirit told me to put my Bible on my chest. I slept peacefully until about 2:30 a.m. I was awakened with a giant demon breathing on my face and companion devil’s eyes in the four corners of my room. My bed was at least four feet off the ground but the big one couldn’t crush me because of the Bible covering my chest, PRAISE GOD! I just said, “Oh, it’s you!  Be gone in Jesus Name.” All the demons were gone immediately! THANK YOU, JESUS! 

After a good night’s sleep, Mom yelled out, “Breakfast is READY!”  I told her I would be there in five minutes, as there was something I needed to do. I knocked on the neighbor’s door. He looked happy to see me, and invited me in. I said, “NO, I’m not coming in. Did you send your companions to bother me last night?” He said, “Why, YES.” I told him to cease what he had planned. “I bind you and your demons in Jesus name, Amen.” He took a step back and said, “Anything else?”  I told him to be gone to the place God has prepared for you, in Jesus Name. Then I rejoiced with the victory in Jesus and enjoyed Mom’s eggs and bacon.

Our family began to learn what Revelations 12:11 says, “We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony.”

At the age of 21, a friend of mine took me to the home of Pat Boone.  Shirley Boone, Pat’s wife, immediately invited me into her backyard. She informed me that her father, Red Foley, set a standard of not taking things for granted when it came to important issues of life. Even though I was going to Southern California College, in Costa Mesa, California, which was a Bible college, she wanted to know if I knew Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. “Yes,” was my rapid response. I thanked her for making sure of my salvation. Wow, this kind of witness set a standard for sharing my testimony openly with others. 

I believe Jesus calls us to go into the world and make disciples, one-on-one talking to people and mentoring them. We may ask them if there is something we can pray with them about, leading them to Jesus. 

Later, I found the GODMOBILE, a soul-winning machine inviting men and women to Jesus. Encouraging them to grow spiritually through daily prayer and reading God’s Word, finding a Bible-Believing Church and joining one of our FULL GOSPEL BUSINESS MENS’ AND WOMENS’ CHAPTERS, sharing our testimony wherever we go!  He has turned every situation for His Glory. God has taken us from sin to salvation, healing and deliverance from evil. From an unnaturally curved spine, 4F classification by the Army to 1A classification. When Kathryn Kuhlman prayed over me, after being instantly healed, I entered the service as a Chaplain’s Assistant in the U.S. Army.

God has brought me from failure as a youth to becoming a minister of music, teacher, artist, principal and lay minster in FGBMFI. I feel like I’ve gone from timidity to a confidence in Christ; knowing that “I can do all things through Christ”. From a boy singing in the presence of the Lord under a palm tree into the lay ministry of FULL GOSPEL BUSINESS MEN’S FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL. These past 15 years as Arizona Director have only been possible by the Grace of God. Though we’ve been through many tests and trials, my wife, Sandy and I, with our two daughters and six grandchildren have been blessed and walk in the victory in Jesus Christ our Lord.  

I ask God to guide us when we rise early in the morning. Each day we get marching orders from God. Our FGBMFI founder and world director penned important words:  “We can only live in the ultimate dimension by becoming one with God. Yes, in Him, we live and move and have our being.” 

“Are we willing to lay down our lives to do what Jesus says and GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES?”

~ Norm Cheever

 

Testimony by Glendon Yoder, FGBMFI Phoenix member

“God has called me to love Him, love my family, love people, and spread the Gospel, even if it means going to other countries.”  ~ Glendon Yoder

I was raised in a strict Mennonite family. It was a great life, although very rigid. My three brothers and I were blessed with great parents. Our father was a man of impeccable integrity, who taught his sons early on, the benefits of a good work ethic. When dad was out of town preaching the Word, he hired a driver so we could continue serving our customers in the family landscape company. 

Married in 1984, my wife Deborah and I were blessed with three wonderful children. Ashley, our eldest is married to Gabriel, they have three children; Angela is married to Andrew; our son Tyler is the youngest and is single. 

I have always been active in my church. My wife and I served as youth pastors for about 10 years until 2000. Looking back at my upbringing, I am so thankful for what I was taught. I was that student in class always asking questions… like why doesn’t our church look like the church in Acts? I was told that the organized church of today doesn’t need the miracles of the early church.

But then I was supernaturally healed!

I was healed supernaturally about 13 years ago. Pastor Bill Johnson from Redding, California brought a team of ministry students to a local church. A young man in the ministry line called out the condition in my knees, with four separate, precise details about me. After four knee surgeries and being in my early forties, I could move okay, but with a lot of pain. Along with walking a lot with my work, I loved playing softball with church teams for many years. So the use of my knees was a very important part of my life. So, sitting in church, listening to a young man call out my knee condition by word of knowledge was completely foreign to me! I just sat there seeing what would happen next. But then I felt a firm poke from my loving wife and her voice sounding much like Holy Spirit, she questioned “aren’t you going to raise your hand and accept what God has done for you?” So, I did! An angel came and touched my knee; lit it on fire. Two hours later a ball of fire was still going up and down my leg.  I knew then what it was I had been looking for. Now I am in pursuit of that Jesus, the One I can communicate with, the One who wants a relationship with me.

What I experienced, what I felt, when the miraculous fire fell! You cannot take that away from me!! And now, moving around at 57 years of age, pain free, it is undeniable! I am now in full pursuit of this Jesus!

Before my miracle, I was accustomed to hearing Him speak, opening the Word of God, reading, hearing Him speak to me, asking me questions, drawing me in. But after the miracle in my body, I said “I’m not stopping! I’m going after Him!” I wanted a true relationship with Him, the One who is the answer to everything.

After the fire fell on me I was told I was even a little more pleasant to be with. About that time Deborah and I started sponsoring two children in Nicaragua through Compassion International and taking yearly trips to go see the children, and to serve in the Compassion projects. In my wife’s terminology, it was my “reset button.” In business life it’s easy to get focused on our current everyday problems. When you are serving outside of your current world it’s an incredible reset.

While serving in the Healing Rooms, one evening after ministering, one of the ladies asked “Hey Yoders, do you have the gift of tongues?”  I responded, “I have never asked for it.” She said “You are  supposed to ask.” When my wife asked to receive tongues, she received them, and God blessed me with the gift of interpretation. When people spoke in tongues I could understand them. It was God’s way to show me tongues were for real. I do not want fake! I want the real thing. I don’t want the fluff. My Jesus knows that.

One night one of our team members showed up so drunk in the Spirit, and he was unable to minister. Our leader politely asked him to be in intercession for the teams that evening. In my sprit I asked Holy Spirit if the drunken stupor was real. Immediately the gentleman answered in my native Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, saying he was completely drunk in the spirit! I repented immediately for questioning Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ is my life. I’ve sat on the bench, my father was a pastor. I’ve heard thousands of sermons, good sermons. But there is a difference between hearing with your head and doing with your heart. I’ve looked around while on the bench, saying, “God if this is all you have for me, I don’t know if I’m interested.” Then I met this Jesus, the One who wants to interact with me and lives inside me.

As the owner of Quality Scapes of AZ, working with landscaping and plants has always been enjoyable for me. The difference now is, there’s no need to worry or fret. I simply tell the Lord my needs, I need some work, another project, something to challenge my creativity; He brings it to me! I’ve been blessed to be asked to do various live TV landscape and gardening segments for Fox 10 over the years.

After I experienced my miracle, I was told by one of the contractors I worked for, “Glendon you know you are different. You’re the only one who comes to work in the morning smiling! You’re the only one happy to be here and the only one who acts like he knows where he is going.” 

In business, I always try to hang out with someone who is more experienced than me, smarter than I am, and who loves God with all their heart. Hanging out with the Full Gospel Business Men is an incredible place to be. I have attended state events and local prayer breakfasts. I enjoy the organization and what they stand for. I have enjoyed meeting some real quality people.

My family is so very important to me! God began to deal with my heart to start a Home Fellowship Group. We invited a few friends over to play games in our back yard. After games we ended up in the family room and worship and prayer broke out. Holy Spirit came in and for the next two hours we got blasted! When we got up – some off of the floor, we looked at each other and exclaimed, “This was awesome, What do we call this? Let’s call it “family” and do it again!”  We have intentionally hosted a home group with a few close, crazy friends ever since.

As rewarding as that is, I always, personally want more of the Holy Spirit! He has put a zeal and desire for more of Him within me!

Through more of the Holy Spirit I remain positive in a negative world. I’ve got to have the correct input. I have to have quiet time spent in scripture. The time spent in my truck driving all over the valley, meeting with clients, picking up supplies and parts, resolving day to day issues, is my sanctuary. That’s when Holy Spirit comes in. There are times when my hat is put on the dash, tears are falling and His presence is so tangible, just Jesus and me. Tongues flow freely. Precious moments, precious times! I have found what I was looking for!  

Now I am in pursuit of that Jesus, the One I can communicate with, the One who wants a relationship with me.” ~ Glendon Yoder

Testimony by Rick Johnson, FGBMFI Phoenix member

I was the last of five children born to wonderful parents, Sam and Marge Johnson. They were amazing parents that taught us great morals and values and brought us up in a Christian home and environment. Just like many kids that are brought up in Christian homes, I began to stray from God as I got older into high school. I felt a lot of the pressure to “fit in” by the kids around me. I got into mild drugs, alcohol and girls just to be “one of the guys”, all the time knowing it just wasn’t me. 

By the time I got out of high school, I was running wild and my mother was quite worried about me. I had a few jobs but I had no idea where I was headed. One day, I met this woman Chris that ran a fastener company and was looking for someone to run her warehouse. She interviewed me and hired me on the spot. Little did I know, this is where my life would truly begin to take shape where God was molding me. 

As I was working for her, we started to develop an attraction to each other and started dating. She had a son, Ricky from a previous marriage that was in Michigan seeing his grandmother at the time. We were shooting pool one night getting ready to go pick him up at the airport when breaking news came on the TV. Northwest Flight 255 had crashed on takeoff in Detroit to Phoenix and all passengers had been killed; (except one girl we found out later). That was the flight Ricky, her son was on. When we heard this news, Chris fainted and fortunately I caught her before she hit the ground. We were in shock, balling, screaming and crying. 

I felt led to go and stay with her as she didn’t have a lot of support from her friends. This led to wild parties, drugs and alcohol. At the time, the doctors said Chris would never have another child as a health defect was keeping this from happening. Then the first of many miracles happened, and we had our one and only a son, Skyler. We were not married at the time nor were we seeking God and our lives were spiraling out of control, mostly because of the alcohol. As all this was happening, we were building a successful fastener company for the owner and doing quite well. God was on our side as we had no real training on how to run a business. He gave us wisdom to be quick learners. 

As our son Skyler started to grow, I felt God pulling me back to him. I wanted Skyler to have a godly foundation like my parents had done for me. We started to pray together and go to church as a family. We were living one foot in church and one foot in the world. I really didn’t know any better. I was so skinny from all my years of playing high school basketball, I got into body building. I thought that if I was strong on the outside, I could be strong anywhere. I built my body from 6 ft, 135 pounds to 6 ft, 210 pounds with no drugs. A lot of the reason I did this was I was teased when I was younger on how skinny I was. I was determined to change that. 

My story fast forwards to November 2001, two months after 9/11. The company we were working for the last 15 years, had been bought out and had lost all integrity. We knew we had to get out as it was not how we ran the business and had success. I left and Chris left a month later. After getting on my knees over and over and really seeking God, I heard an audible voice “I won’t let you fail”. I jumped up and ran out of the room and told Chris we were starting our own business and that God would not let us fail!!

We named the business RC Fasteners and Components after Rick and Chris. I know brilliant, right?  For the first year of our business, we did nothing but fail. Stock market had tanked to 5,000. Nobody was manufacturing or buying anything. Our country was in a state of shock. I spent morning after morning in the bathroom of our little suite, crying out to God, reminding Him, He said He wouldn’t let us fail. We were getting it started while drawing unemployment as we didn’t have much money and the money we did have, was running out. 

Then Chris got really sick. So sick, that she developed pancreatitis and her kidneys were failing. The drinking had caught up to her. I was really scared as we were trying to run a business, raise a child and now Chris was sick and they said she could even die. They said if she did live, she would be on dialysis for the rest of her life. Day after day, night after night, I was crying out to God. Then a complete miracle happened, and Chris’ kidneys started to function again! 

Things got better and Chris got healed and came out of the hospital. Business started to pick up gradually and our motto became “Make it Happen!”. We were determined to make our business a success. We were going to church regularly but still didn’t have that deep relationship with God. God had answered my prayers, so I felt I could take it from here. “I got this now,” I thought. 

My dad Sam Johnson, along with Norman and Sandi Cheever were in Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International or FGBMFI. They were always trying to get me to go and I was always too busy trying to “make it happen’ in our business, spending 12-14-hour days, 7 days a week. 

Then in November 2007, my Dad fell down and broke his hip. He went to the hospital and then got pneumonia and they said he was going to die. I was heartbroken, as I had never lost a family member before. My son Skyler and I would go over to my Moms and take care of her yard and bring her lunch many times. She was lost without Dad. Then my 10 months later, my Mom ends up in the hospital and she dies suddenly. About this time, I’m losing it. Being the youngest child, my parents were my confidant’s and now suddenly they were gone. My girlfriend Chris and I had been living together for 20-plus years, but we were basically roommates. My life was spiraling out of control again but this time, God would get my attention and keep it. 

My beautiful sister Roxanne was lost without Mom. She was battling a pain killer addiction for many years. I was leaving work one day and felt led to call her. I asked her what she was doing and if I could come over. (I wasn’t sure why). So, I went over to her house and she looked so different. So at peace. I told her I hadn’t seen her like this in decades. She said she had quit all drugs she was on and felt so at peace. We had the most amazing time for four hours talking about God and how great He is and what He was doing in our lives. That was thanksgiving eve 2008 and she died that night in her sleep. So, as it was, I lost three amazing people in my life in a one year time span. 

The evil spirit of fear came upon me like no other. I tumbled into extreme anxiety and depression for 3 ½ years. It was so bad I wanted to die. I started searching the internet if I could take my own life and still make it to heaven. I developed all kinds of health issues. Every time I would stand up, I would get so dizzy I couldn’t stand. Fear tormented me to know end. Night-after-night, month-after-month, I didn’t sleep. During one period, I didn’t sleep for over three months straight. I was put on every drug, anti-depressant, and benzo there was. This made everything worse. Doctors did MRI’s on my brain, back, stomach and more. Fear was out of control. I heard the enemy say to me, “I took your sister out, I’m going to take you out, too.”

My beautiful sister Sandy and her husband Norman would call me and pray with me. Sandy told me I must go after God with everything I have and surrender all to Him. Fill my spirit with Christian music. My anxiety was so bad, I couldn’t comprehend the Bible and I would just cry out to God. Then I heard in my spirit to write it down. I would start to read and then write down what I was reading. Little by little things started to get better. I think about the angels God put in my life to help me at that time and Big John Loudermilk, Sandy and Norm, were just a few. 

God started to show me we were running RC Fasteners for our glory and not His testimony. We were trying to “make it happen” in our power. He told me to scoot over in the passenger seat and let Him drive. I was more than willing as I had tried everything else. My whole perspective on our business started to change. Our business became all about His business. We like to say now, “We are a ministry created by God working undercover as a fastener company!”

“What a joy it is to cast our burdens upon our loving Father and let Him take the wheel. No longer is it “Make it Happen.” ~ Rick Johnson

Something else happened that was crazy. I was starting to produce fruit and my girlfriend Chris started to partake. Then another miracle happened. We fell in love! After being together 25 years as roommates, we fell in love and got married on the beach in La Jolla, California in May 2013. It gets better. At the same time, God was telling us to move our business to a bigger building right after we lost our second biggest customer. It didn’t make sense at the time in our eyes, but we felt that’s what God was saying. We moved in and were determined to trust God even when things didn’t look good. We then partnered with the church across the street, Standing Stones and currently operate a food bank that feeds many needy families and shelters such as Mom’s Pantry in Phoenix and more. 

he greatest thing we’re doing are the Bible studies. About seven years ago, I asked everyone if we could start having a Bible study once a week and I would pay them. Come in early Friday morning and leave an hour early. They said okay, but didn’t seem too excited at the time. 

Fast forward seven years later and lives are being changed by Jesus!!! Employees are now family and producing fruit and their families are also growing in the Lord!! God is amazing and doing miracles in his business every day. We pray with people that come in and have seen healings, miracles and salvations! All because of Jesus!! 

We are investing in the youth and digging for treasure that’s inside and working to create leaders for Christ in business, family and community. It is amazing what God can do in your business when you put him first place. In five years’ time of owning our building we are now 100% debt free and that is another miracle in itself. 

Our mission everywhere we go is to plant a seed in someone’s life. Encouragement, compassion, and love. It’s all about Jesus! It’s not about us! What a joy it is to cast our burdens upon our loving Father and let Him take the wheel.