Favorite Bible-Teaching Ministries and Pastors
A Companion to her Testimony for Christ
SEVERAL PASTORS and other Christian resources are mentioned in my Testimony for Christ. Rather than distract the reader by linking to them in that story, I created this supplemental Christian resource list that links to them and several other Bible-teaching pastors, authors, and ministries I’ve followed throughout my walk with Christ that began in 1994. Also included are new ministries I connected with during the pandemic and in 2021 that are an important part of my daily life as a dedicated student of the Bible.
This is more than just a resource list of Christian Ministries, however, because it includes my personal comments about how each one helped me, with mentions of some of their books and videos that helped me understand the finer points of the Bible and grow ever stronger in my faith.
Ministries and Books that Have Greatly Impacted
My Daily Life and Walk with Christ
(in alphabetical order)
Joan Wester Anderson. Joan is a long-time Christian friend and author of many books about angels—the friend who gently asked me so many years ago before I knew Jesus, “Have you ever tried Praying?” I highly recommend her books, Where Angels Walk: True Stories of Heavenly Visitors (25th Anniversary Edition); Where Miracles Happen: True Stories of Heavenly Encounters; and Forever Young: The Life, Loves, and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend (The Authorized Biography of Loretta Young).
Jonathan Cahn (1959– ). Messianic Jewish Rabbi, Pastor and author of several NYT best-sellers. Leads the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel in Wayne, NJ; founded Hope of the World ministry, an international outreach of teaching, evangelism, and compassion projects. Best known for opening the deep mysteries of Scripture and for teachings of prophetic import. I’ve read all but two of his mind-blowing books and urge Christians with an interest in Bible prophecy and the times in which we are now living to read The Harbinger; The Paradigm: The Ancient Blueprint That Holds the Mystery of Our Times; and The Harbinger II: The Return.
DURING 2020 when all churches were shuttered and I had decided to leave my church at the end of the year, Beth Israel became my online Sunday church, and Cahn’s biblical teaching gave me a hopeful perspective on what was happening in America then, plus a great love for Israel and a new appreciation for the relevance of the Old Testament today. As a member of Hope of the World ministry, I continue to watch Cahn’s Friday evening and Sunday services to stay up on his teaching and Bible prophecy updates, and also learn more about Jewish holidays. His sermons are not archived on the website, but many messages and interviews can easily be found on YouTube. (His “How to Be Saved” video linked to in my Testimony, will be found here. (When page opens, click the Video option.}
Jentezen Franklin (1962– ). Jentezen Franklin is Senior Pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA, which has seven campuses in three states. I discovered this evangelical preacher in early 2021 and like his preaching so much that I usually watch three or four messages every week that I tape on TBN. I commend the mission work his church is doing in Israel and Haiti, and love Franklin’s joyful and often enthusiastic approach to Bible teaching. (I rarely hear one of his sermons without feeling the need to grab a pen to take notes.) I haven’t read any of his books, of which Acres of Diamonds is a best-seller, but I heartily recommend these sermons, videos of which you can watch on his website: “This is Not Your Final Chapter”; “It’s Your Funeral, Enjoy It”; “The Power of the Lord’s Table”; and “Flies in the Ointment” (you’ll never again look at a mosquito in the same way).
Real Life with Jack Hibbs (1958– ). Jack Hibbs is senior and founding pastor of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, CA. His church ministers weekly to over ten thousand people on campus and to millions worldwide through daily media outreach programs. I felt blessed to discover his evangelical ministry in 2021 and now watch his Sunday morning messages on Newsmax TV. He has a refreshing, easy-going way of delivering powerful biblical messages without the need for notes. He hasn’t authored any books, but as his website confirms, he’s certainly “Proclaiming Biblical Truth, Equipping the Saints, and Impacting the Culture.” In particular, I recommend this video, “Why Does Christianity Claim to be Right?”
I ALSO WANT to recommend the “Happening Now” monthly discussions Jack Hibbs presents with Amir Tsarfati, the founder and president of Behold Israel, a nonprofit organization that provides reliable and accurate reporting on developments in and around Israel (God’s chosen people). As a serious End Times student since 1995, I was held spellbound by the first “Happening Now” video I found, and I now watch their informative, intellectual discussions on the status of several nations today and what’s impacting Israel, all of which is prophesied in the Bible. These two evangelical pastors also inject some humor as they deliver their profound facts with references to Bible verses for scoffers and unbelievers.
Allen Jackson Ministries. Alan Jackson is Senior Pastor of World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, TN (since 1989). I discovered this inspiring Bible teacher early in 2020 and immediately became a daily watcher of his sermons on TBN. He must have a legion of followers online, based on him recently saying that, throughout 2020 and this year too, thousands of people have come from several states around TN wanting to be baptized; adding that he is seeing more people coming to Christ than at any time in his ministry.
PASTOR JACKSON did more to keep me encouraged every day during 2020 than any other Bible teacher I was watching or listening to because each message addressed the latest thing happening with Covid or in America as a whole and how to deal with it from a biblical viewpoint. And the messages have continued to address the reality of real life happenings and why we need to remain hopeful even as we continue to see things happening in America that could not have been imagined before. I urge you to get acquainted with this remarkable, down-home pastor who doesn’t preach formally behind his pulpit but simply talks as he walks the stage and educates his congregation with solid Bible teaching, honesty, humor, and without notes—a speaker who fondly refers to his World Outreach Church as a “little country church” because it began as a small Bible study in his parents’ home.
David Jeremiah (1941– ) is senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA and founder of Turning Point Ministry. An evangelical preacher with an obvious passion for Bible prophecy, he’s been a part of my walk with Christ from the very beginning. Any book by David Jeremiah will be faith-building and encouraging, and I’ve read several of the 50 books he’s written and listened to more of his sermons that I could ever count. I highly recommend his leather-bound devotional, The Upward Call; The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse (2019), and his newest Bible prophecy book, Where Do We Go from Here? (Oct. 2021). About it, he says, “There may never be a time in history when end times prophecy is more aligned with current events than it is today.” The first sermon in his series related to this new book was “A Cultural Prophecy: Socialism.” The second, especially relevant now was “Pandemic: A Biological Prophecy.” You can watch these and others in the series, on DavidJeremiah.org.
AS I WRITE THIS, I have his new book on my stack, but I’m currently re-reading When Your World Falls Apart: A Bend in the Road, which speaks about the lessons he learned during his life-threatening battle in 1994 with Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. The book focuses on the Psalms that helped him, with stories of others who got through their particular bend of the road. If you happen to be dealing with a difficult-to-accept medical diagnosis, this book will be like salve to your soul.
D. James Kennedy (1930–2007) was Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL from 1960 until his death. This pastor, evangelist, Christian broadcaster, scholar, and author gave me a sound theological education after I discovered his “Truths That Transform” teaching on radio in 1995. He left behind a great legacy, much of which has been preserved on audio and video tapes and in the 50 or more books he wrote. I still have several of his little blue booklets available in the nineties that related to one sermon or another on topics of great interest to me. In looking back at his life today, I see that He founded Evangelism Explosion International, Coral Ridge Ministries (now known as D. James Kennedy Ministries), the Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, the Knox Theological Seminary, and the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, a socially conservative political group. (His fiercely conservative worldview helped fuel the rise of the religious right in American politics.)
WHAT DR. KENNEDY did most for me was further encourage me to live evangelistically and share the Gospel and witness to as many people as possible throughout my lifetime. Books I particularly recommend are Why I Believe; Delighting God: How to Live at the Center of God’s Will; and Truths That Transform: Christian Doctrines for Your Life Today.
Greg Laurie (1952 – ). Greg Laurie is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine, one of the largest churches in America. He began his evangelistic ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study group of thirty. His preaching has always been down to earth with a lot of humor for good measure. Nearly nine million people have attended his “Harvest Crusades” and more than half a million of them made the decision to follow Christ. After he led me to Christ on the radio in 1995, I naturally became a fan of his books (he has written 70 or more). I particularly recommend Tell Someone: You Can Share the Good News (which includes “The Sinner’s Prayer”); his latest biography, Billy Graham: The Man I Knew; and his newest book in 2021, Revelation: A Book of Promises. Visit this page to find his preaching on television. I urge you to watch his cinematic crusade, “A Rush of Hope”, which initially reached over 1.8 million people with the gospel. Simply put, this outstanding, faith-building movie presentation blew me away!
John MacArthur (1939– ). I’ve followed this Bible teacher and pastor since 1995. The author of more than 75 books, he is known for his internationally syndicated Christian-teaching radio and television program, “Grace to You,” which I often catch on WYLL at 6:30 as I’m waking up. I’ve read many of his books, have his NKJV Study Bible, and particularly recommend Why Believe the Bible?; Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed through the Stories Jesus Told; and his devotionals, Drawing Near and Strength for Today. You can watch broadcasts of his TV programs here.
R.C. Sproul (1939–2017). Dr. Sproul’s radio program, “Renewing Your Mind,” is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and his sermons can also be heard online at Ligonier Ministries. His books and tapes gave me a great crash course in theology in the early years of my walk with Christ. (He actually took time to personally correspond with me once after I’d sent a heart-felt thank-you letter, something no pastor has time to do today.) He wrote more than a hundred books, and I recommend Chosen by God, Knowing Scripture, The Holiness of God, Renewing Your Mind, and The Last Days According to Jesus. A book I particularly benefited from that is so timely today is Now, That’s a Good Question: Answers to Questions about Life and Faith.
Charles Swindoll (1934– ). Pastor Chuck Swindoll served as senior pastor to congregations in TX, MA, and CA before he became founder and pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, TX, but his audience extends far beyond his church body. His “Insight for Living” radio ministry begun in 1979 now airs on more than 2,000 stations around the world in 15 languages. (I currently hear him on Chicago’s WYLL radio station.) Like David Jeremiah and other pastors mentioned above, his radio teaching and books have been a part of my life since 1995. I recommend The Finishing Touch: Becoming God’s Masterpiece and his wonderful devotional, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, which I’m currently re-reading. I’ve always appreciated his sense of humor, so evident in Laugh Again: Experience Outrageous Joy, and I just discovered that his website has a large library of articles, with seven in the category of humor.
Other Ministries You Should Know About
“Here are the four important steps we are to take in relation to the Word of God. The first is to hear it. The second is to learn it, to become acquainted with what God is saying. The third is to keep it. The fourth is to do it. Not only should the Word of God be in your head and in your heart, but it should get down there where your feet and hands are.” – Dr. J. Vernon McGee (1904–1988)
THE FIRST VERSION of my Testimony included a longer list of radio ministries I was following then, ministries that grew steadily through the years and now have a powerful presence on the internet. Some that I’ve often learned from that aren’t among those I listen to or watch every week now are listed below. I like their teaching; just don’t have enough hours to listen to every pastor I’ve grown to love through the years. I did spend many hours with Dr. McGee, however, and occasionally wake up at 5 a.m. to catch him on WYLL. I love that technology has made it possible for his “Thru the Bible” teaching to be heard in nearly every country of the world, in each nation’s language. Amazing!
Dr. Alistair Begg, Truth for Life
Anne Graham Lotz Angel Ministries, Giving You Jesus
Dr. Robert Jeffress, Pathway to Victory
Joyce Meyer Ministries, Enjoying Everyday Life
Dr. Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding
Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible
Dr. Michael Youssef, Leading the Way
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Campus Crusade for Christ
Focus on the Family
Institute for Creation Research
My Books and Christian Articles
IN CLOSING, I’d just like to mention that both of my biographical memoirs relate to my current Testimony for Christ inasmuch as they reflect my Christian beliefs and illustrate many times when my faith played a critical role in dealing with one life challenge or another.
• The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides. In this book, I tell the story of nearly 44 years of my life with a drummer named Harry. I loved him with all my heart, but during our years together he gave me as many tears as he did joys, and life with him was often difficult, to say the least. It was Harry’s sense of humor that often saved the day when we were going through challenging times as a couple, and his original humor brightens nearly every chapter of this book. After being born again, I needed spiritual guidance on how to live with this non-Christian who revered God but didn’t want to hear any preaching from me. In time, Harry found ways to “crack wise” about what he was learning from me. You’ll have to read the book to get the ending of this story, but this brief excerpt from a review of the book (that Amazon later removed) will tell you more about it:
“With the same love God’s creation of animals shows their little ones, Barbara helped lead me to Christ. That same divine fate is speckled throughout her book, The Drummer Drives. Anyone who reads this book can’t help but see that God has always moved through Harry and Barbara’s life, including the touching way they met. Sadly, and with great regret, I only had Harry’s kindness and wit in my life for a short time, but what a ride it was while it lasted—the man was a hoot! All I can say to people is this: Take this ride with Barbara and Harry; sometimes it’s sad, most times it’s funny, it’s all the time educational, and it never seems to be far from the hand of God.” – Shawn Smith, author of God’s Truth or the Liberal Lie: America at the Crossroads.
• Marcella’s Secret Dreams and Stories: A Mother’s Legacy. In my second memoir, I document three generations of a Midwest farming family going back to the 1880s. My writing revolves around the life and times and writings of my mother, Marcella, a remarkable woman who had three secret dreams as a teenager that were never realized or even revealed to me or my sisters until she was nearing the end of her life. In this book, I share a part of my life as a daughter and sister never told anywhere else. I was raised in the small town of Buckley, Illinois, and readers will learn about my faith and that of my grandparents and my mother and father, both of whom had born-again experiences in their last years of life.
IN SUMMARY, the above pastors and ministries continue to give me reasons for how to be at peace and live joyfully with hope in my heart every day, even though we are all now living in the “new normal” of a country that is more divided in its beliefs and opinions than at any time in history. Every day, it seems, something new happens that has never before happened in our country’s history. Currently in America and other countries as well, Christians in the public eye have become victims of the political correctness movement and “cancel culture” and are being persecuted for their faith. Sad to say, there is also division in families that can greatly impact one’s peace and joy.
In short, God is no longer a topic half the country wants to hear about, and I believe Christians now need much more than a single sermon on Sunday morning to get through the week. They also need “daily doses” of biblical teaching in one form or another—either in their private or group Bible study sessions, and/or daily teaching on radio, TV, or the internet. Otherwise they leave themselves open during the week to feelings of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness, which can only lead to depression.
Copyright 2021 by Barbara Brabec.
Are You Thinking about Leaving Your Church? This story will help you clarify your thinking on this topic. It features the letter Barbara sent to her church with her reasons for leaving. Includes stories from six of her friends who told why they too had to leave a church they’d once loved, and tells how God miraculously led her to a new church.
Born-Again Gifts from God. Immediately upon accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you immediately become a child of the living God and the recipient of many gifts and blessings. An encouraging Bible lesson from Chuck Swindoll’s ministry in a personal letter to Barbara.
Breast Cancer: What Women Need to Know [PDF]. This special report on Barbara’s bout with breast cancer in 1993 was a faith-building experience. It includes inspiring comments from survivors in her network.
Documenting Your Christian Journey. The benefits of journaling about your life experiences, with Barbara’s special journaling tips and short examples from her own Christian journals to inspire you to document your own walk with Christ.
Reader Comments for Barbara’s Testimony for Christ. Features excerpts from Barbara’s journals with some of the comments she got from readers of the first version of the testimony, and where you can add your comments to the current Testimony.