HOW BIG IS YOUR TENT?
He was, “God’s Man Of Faith and Power.” Originally said of Jesus, the banner over his platform read, “No man can doeth the miracles that this man doeth, except God be with him.” He was A.A. Allen and I met him once, for a moment, a moment indelibly etched in my mind.
The tent seated five thousand people, and it was full. David Davis made the Hammond B-3 Organ scream. Richard Littlejohn pounded the miked Steinway piano. Billy Preston, who was called “The Fifth Beatle” because of his work with the Fab Four, played for Allen too. An adhoc choir made up of the singers from a dozen small, largely African-American, Pentecostal churches made a joyful noise. In the audience people kicked chairs over and raised clouds of dry Dallas dust as they danced dances God had never seen. I said to myself, “Someday I’ll have a tent.”
This is not an exercise in nostalgia, a reminiscence of days gone by. It is spiritual, practical, personal insight that will help you to have a bigger tent. Because you need a bigger tent. I’ve had three of them literally, and many more metaphorically.
A few months after seeing A.A. Allen I attended an R.W. Schambach tent revival on the corner of Beckley and Overton. Schambach had been Allen’s “morning man,” and had launched out on his own. He was flamboyant, but not as much, powerful, but not in the same way. In fact, he was happy to admit that the most astonishing miracle that he ever witnessed didn’t take place in his meetings, but in Allen’s, when a boy with untreatable hydrocephalis was instantly healed. Schambach’s tent was big. It wasn’t as big as Allen’s, but it lasted a lot longer.
We had just started the Lima church when I saw an ad in the classifieds— tent for sale, truck included, twelve hundred dollars negotiable. I had to have it. We negotiated. I bought it on “time,” three hundred dollars every time I put it up. The tent was thirty by sixty, one piece of canvas, with three center poles. We called the truck, “The Green Slime.” It was an old, (you guessed it), green breadtruck with a cracked windshield. It looked rough but it never broke down. Sixty chairs looked good in the tent, which was good because that was all of the chairs I had.
We had miracles. And some crazy times. Like the time that I was doing a “Pool Of Bethesda” service, and had people wade through a pool of water. The only kiddie wading pool that I could find had a happy face sun painted in the bottom of it. One of the microphones had a short, and people were getting a little jolt as I touched them. Most of them thought it was the Holy Ghost. But we had miracles.
One of them began inauspiciously, and I would never have heard of it if our organist hadn’t been a bank teller in her day job. A young woman was in the first service of my annual Kenton, Ohio tent revival. I knew that I had a word for her but I could tell that she wasn’t comfortable in her “Holy Ghost Miracle Revival” surroundings, so I pointed to her and said, “If you come back, I have a word for you.” She came back six days later at the very end of the concluding service. I remembered what I had said, and asked her to come to the front. Quite honestly, I had no idea as to what the “word” was but I had been do this for some time and was pretty confident in the gift, (Now it’s been a longer time!), so I began to speak. I told her that when she went back to the doctor he wouldn’t find the tumors that he had found.” I prayed for her, she walked away, and that was that. Until.
Six months later our organist was at her post at the bank when the woman walked up to the counter and asked, “Weren’t you under that tent in Kenton?” Replying in the affirmative the woman told her story. She didn’t understand any of this, and she really didn’t understand it when I told her that the doctor wouldn’t find the tumors because she didn’t know that she had any tumors. She did know that she had been to the doctor for a check-up and that he had asked her to come back. On the return visit the doctor told her that she was full of tumors, and that they would operate but couldn’t guarantee getting them all. She told the doctor, “I don’t understand any of this but this preacher told me that you wouldn’t find any tumors so could you make an incision that won’t show if I’m wearing a bikini and check before you do anything?” He said that he could and would, but she needed to know that the tumors were there. But they weren’t. She concluded her story by saying she was healed, had gone to welding school, and had a good job as a lady welder.
We saw miracles under that tent but tents are hard work and I got tired of putting it up, so I sold it. But I still loved tents.
The next tent was a three piece canvas, a ninety by sixty bell pull with two huge aluminum center poles. We saw more miracles under that tent. It was bigger. But it was harder work putting it up and after a super successful meeting in Toledo I sold it and used the proceeds to take a long vacation. I might never have had another tent except…
The late, great Bishop James Copeland, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Deliverance Center Church did an annual tent meeting in the Firestone area of Brooklyn and invited me to preach five nights. Miracles happen. One night twenty-nine people testified to creative dental miracles, (aka teeth filled). Several had their dentists confirm what God did. One woman literally spit up a cancer. I came back from that meeting saying, “I need another tent.”
And yea verily a tent manifested—fifty-four by eighty, three piece, yellow and white striped vinyl. Easier to put up, but still hard work. And miracles manifested.
I don’t have time to tell you of the miracles that manifested under that tent. The child born to a crack addicted mother that the doctors said would never walk, that did. Others equally astonishing. There’s something about a tent… but I eventually gave it to another ministry to use for outreach because I wasn’t using it enough and tents are hard work.
Did you catch that? I’ve repeated it several times. Tents are hard work. I’ve shared the personal and the spiritual and I hope your faith has been built. When you join me “Behind The Door” I’ll share the practical—because you need a bigger tent!
I have changed the format of the blog. You no longer have to sow a seed to get the password that let’s you go “Behind The Door.” I’ve done that for a couple of reasons. The first is, (as I’ve already seen), that those who have discovered that what I share at DocStutzman.com actually works are sowing anyway because they see the value in it. The other is that by giving you acess “Behind The Door” you too will see the value and act accordingly. Act accordingly is a nice way of saying—sow a seed! Truth is that, historically, people that have supported my ministry have prospered because prosperity is a part of my anointing. So, when you sow, sow with an expectation of increase, and know that I am standing in agreement for God’s Best in your life. Meet me “Behind The Door.” The password that will get you “Behind The Door” is POWER.