After graduating from high school in May, 1952 I immediately enrolled in summer school at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA. I attended the mid day worship time at the university and on Sundays the First Baptist Church in Ruston. During that time from, say, June, l952 to March, 1953 I became aware of inspirational thoughts from God. They can not be put in understandable words, but the bottom line was .... on April 1, 1953 I walked down the aisle of the church and publicly declared that God had placed a call on my life.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born, I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
I just recently discovered a note that when asked what do you want to do, Neal (I am under 7) when you grow up? I said: "I wanted to sell apples during the week and preach on Sunday."" (wow) looking back after all these years, was that prophetic or what?
Click here for my ministry story, recorded in 1981.
After the summer of supplying the pulpit of various churches, in the fall I enrolled at Louisiana College - a denominatonal school located in Alexanderia, Louisiana. I continued being a pulpit guest in various cities and towns until October, 1953 when, at age 19, I accepted the call to be pastor of the Jacoby Baptist Church, Lettsworth, Louisiana.
There are two areas in my life which have kept me "in" the ministry and free from "burn out" these many years. I refer to: from the "outside" - that is the loving support from my dear wife,Nancy and on the "inside" - the sweet spirit of the Lord Jesus.
Now, January 1, 2016 - I have delivered 12,294 messages.. Through my Internet ministry, I have mailed 11,165 free CDs sermons to 61 different countries. I am thankful to the Lord that "through it all" I can praise Him that I have done as God commissioned through Paul and will continue to do so for the next 50 according to His will.
The following scriptures make an impression on me and I trust others in ministry who will and are reading these lines:
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and
the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this
charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct,
rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the
time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to
suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.."(2 Timothy 4:1-3 6/Aug/2007 17:43NIV)
And from the Lord through the prophet Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for
those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of
ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our
(Isaiah 61:1-6 NIV)
A list of churches that Nancy and I have pastored are listed on About Dr. Neal page.
God has been faithful and I praise Him as I look on the past as pictured below.
I came across a phonograph sermon I recorded during this time
and have placed it here for you to listen to. I was told I sounded a bit like Billy Graham. You can decide for yourself:
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four
Found in my saved memorabilia ~
Few Churches were on TV in the 1950s. The teleprompter had just come out and Pastor Neal was privileged to use it to conclude his message.
In those days the TV tech would hand crank the paper.
Click on image for larger map
Pastor Neal's early speaking records from 1953 to 1960, age 19 – 26
1,043 or sermons in Louisiana to around 80 different groups or churches in about 44 cities
During this mission trip to Haiti, a sermon was given by Pastor Neal, which was translated for the Haitians. Here is an excerpt of that sermon.
Shortly after Dr. Neal came to the Community Church, King City, Calif. in the spring of 1972 (which he pastored for nearly 29 years) he devised a method for having both doors on either side of the platform to open at the same time to begin a service.
He called it an INTROIT CONTROLLER. His dad, Joe Carlson, chief engineer for radio station KENT, Shreveport La. built this, called the Nealtone, Introit Controller.
This way the door would open and Pastor Neal (and any others) would appear on the platform at the same time as the director of music (and the choir) opened their door and would come in. One of the boxes was on the organ console so the organist could communicate with both the pastor and the music director. When all 3 were ready the green light comes on. The doors on either side of the platform in the sanctuary opens at the same time. "crazy original idea", but it worked!
My first sermon was given in April, 1953. In the fall of that year I was called to my first church at age 19. I have always filed my sermons away by years and continue to do so. However a time has come to "size down" my office and what you see is probably of interest only to me before I throw away the filing drawer. But for my own memory, here is the first 50 years. I will probably keep the folder labeled 1953. :) For decades and decades I maintained a most elaborate filing system. These boxes contain some of the props for over 2,000 children
s sermons I prepared. I feel this is very important. There are a lot of different While I was in Louisiana College, Pineville, Louisiana, It was not until I was getting my Doctor's degree in 1971 that I When recently asked, "Well, Neal, what translations are you using?" I trust that these paragraphs will encourage you and motivate you to But I quickly type, it is not how many times you have been through the Some of the translations could be new to you, so in listing them one might be
I keep articles, starting in 1953, grew to 8+ filling drawers.
BUT in 2009
THEY WERE ALL GIVEN UP
Here are 2 pictures of my filing actually deleting to the garbage can.
From 1972 to 2000 all my major sermons were recorded. They were categorized and made available through a
catalogue to the congregation. I have close to 2,000 sermons boxed in my closet.
What am I to do with them.
I had a "God thought ?"
So, I e-mailed some pastors, mostly serving in 3rd world countries
telling them of my cleaning out the closet.
"Would any of you like 100 or 200 sermons to give away at
different times to your congregations?"
I got replies and now I have hundreds of sermons
being listened to around the world instead
of gathering dust in my closet.
READING THROUGH THE BIBLE EACH YEAR
reading plans. For example, straight through, or reading in
back and forth from New Testament to Old Testament, or reading
according to the time the particular book was written, etc.
USA (1953-1956) I was challenged to read Bible. I did.
became motivated to actually read the Bible each year. So, since
that time I have done so.
I could actually show that person a print out. (Which appears below.)
read through His Word each year.
Word, but how many times The Word has been through you.:)
interested in checking them out, i.e. (few know?) about the King James Century Twenty One Bible!
My first sermon was given in April, 1953. In the fall of that year I was called to my first church at age 19. I have always filed my sermons away by years and continue to do so. However a time has come to "size down" my office and what you see is probably of interest only to me before I throw away the filing drawer. But for my own memory, here is the first 50 years. I will probably keep the folder labeled 1953. :)
For decades and decades I maintained a most elaborate filing system.
These boxes contain some of the props for over 2,000 children s sermons I prepared.
I feel this is very important. There are a lot of different
While I was in Louisiana College, Pineville, Louisiana,
It was not until I was getting my Doctor's degree in 1971 that I
When recently asked, "Well, Neal, what translations are you using?"
I trust that these paragraphs will encourage you and motivate you to
But I quickly type, it is not how many times you have been through the
Some of the translations could be new to you, so in listing them one might be
I don't know who would even be interested in this but perhaps my great-great-great grandchildren, if the world should so remain. However, here are some personal facts I have written in one of my books:
Behind the pulpit, and for some time, I had typed: "Now then stand and see this WONDER which the Eternal is about to perform before your eyes. Only reverence Him with all your heart, for you see what a wonder He has performed in your presence.
Once I remember announcing to the congregation that next Sunday I was going to resign. This made news and sit quickly spread through the city. On that day the church was full, extra seats were brought in anxiously awaiting my announcement. Finally I told them that I was resigning as head of the Community Church.. That this was not a social organization, this is God's church and He is the HEAD.
I am a real record keeper (And I really don't know the value) and my record shows that from April 1, 1953 to Dec. 2006 I had preached 11,911 messages, includes Children's sermons, studies, Dial-a-Devotions, funerals and wedding, taped at studio radio programs.
Most all of my sermons are cataloged, numbered and put in subjects. At the rear of the church in King City, I had a catalog where people could indicate a tape of a particular sermon.
|Yrs Total||65||63||104||48||89||209 (includes|
|# Church groups||7||4||5||7||8||5||9||7||5||7||1||4||6||15||11|
During a 40 day fast in January 1997 I read through the Century Version of the Bible It took 17 ½ hours. I have been asked: "How long does it take to read certain parts of the Bible.) Of course, that varies, but for me, the Gospel of John can be read in about 1 hour 15 minutes.; Hebrews, 30 minutes, 1 Peter 10 minutes, etc. etc. Point being God's Word is of great value and we need to take time to "listen/read" from Him. Keeping a record of the time during one year showed l3 ½ hours.
Then, one day I had the idea to just preach the longest sermon of my life. .. . . . 12 hours non stop. So from the pulpit "preaching the Word" without stopping or breaks. Monday, November 15, 1982. (All was read except Romans, 1,2 Cor. James, 2 Peter and the Rev.
At the Community Church Fellowship, King City, throughout the years my records shows that I had sermons based on EVERY CHAPTER inthe Bible. I either had a text or alluded to it.
Bottom line: " whatever the Lord says to me that will I speak." (1 Kings 22:14) and forever and ever: Worship establishes the presence of God."