Harold Neal, 83, a retired airplane builder and bivocational pastor, as well as the caregiver for his wife of 66 years, has found “what the Lord wants me to do” in leading a Bible study in his garage for 15 years.
Says Neal, matter-of-factly, “What else could I do that could please the Lord? Teaching is God’s calling. I can’t do anything else. If I can’t teach or preach the Word of God, I think I might as well go on to be with the Lord.”
Through the years, the class, attended by 8 to 12 people each week, has studied much of the Bible verse by verse. Neal produces all the teaching materials himself, from detailed outlines of each passage to large charts, maps and timelines. Some students in the class have amassed literally years’ worth of Bible outlines at their fingertips.
“This class remains because a group of Christians wants to search God’s Word,” Neal said in his booming voice — an asset, he said, when senior citizens with hearing issues comprise most of the attendees.
“Some folks have a limited knowledge of Scripture, but some are dedicated Bible students. If they keep the detailed outlines, they can go back any time they need to and have basically a commentary on that passage.”
Not all who attend are believers, however. Neal tells of a neighbor in his Downey, Calif., neighborhood who started attending because “he thought one of the ladies in the class was his girlfriend.” He came for about six months and heard the clear plan of salvation many times.
“I talked to him, but he said he didn’t like my God,” Neal said. “I said, ‘Well, one day you’ll be standing at the gate and will face Him.’
“[He] didn’t like that and he stopped coming, but then, a few months later, when my wife had another stroke, he called out to me from across the street and said, ‘I’m praying for Martha!’
“I’m not sure where he was spiritually, but about three weeks ago he died. I just pray that he had come to know the Lord Jesus as his Savior first.”
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Source: Baptist Press