Well, here we go with part three of Who Am I. Sorry for the delay as it is tough being a bi-vocational pastor/minister. See, I work a full-time job as the Lead Cybersecurity Analyst, bowling, and a minister. I have a video series called “My Thoughts with Dale Van De Bogart” every Wednesday on YouTube. Let’s start out with how I became a born-again Christian.
You Really Need Jesus
I heard that phrase many times and ignored it more than I can count. When I got transferred from Pensacola to Charleston, SC, I’m sure the bowling community in Pensacola threw a party and probably told Charleston “Too bad for you.” When I got the Charleston, I was scared, but everyone welcomed me into the association. It was a real breath of fresh air. Even bowlers of my caliber offered their friendship to me.
For almost a year, I hid my drinking problem until the accident in 1991. I don’t talk about it much and for a good reason. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1992, He took all the bad that happened and made it good. I was a changed person. Jesus took the taste of booze from me, I could actually have friendships and relationships with others, and I was free for practically the first time in my life.
I read my Bible, and actively participated in church (worship services and Bible studies), and everyone saw the change and they were praising Jesus. I started to praise God for my bowling talents. Jesus showed me a whole new life that I thought was never possible.
Who Me? A Minister of God’s Word?
I was a Christian for 15 years and I heard God say I want you to be a minister of My Word. It stuck in my head for a while. I retired from the Navy for eight years at that point. My Mom and Dad accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior just before they passed on. So happy one day I will see them in heaven. I backed off my bowling to raise my son and daughter alone. Now, it still stuck with me, so I went to see my pastor who lived just down the street from me.
I told him what I experienced and he was jumping for joy. God spoke to him also about mentoring me as a pastor. We met three or four times a week. Always talk in church before services began. Clayborne Faircloth was a true servant of God. He helped me grow more as a Christian, but also as a father and a man. God sent me to the right person. He is with Jesus now and I know I will see him again.
I was preaching with him at the church and he was sending me out to other churches when they needed someone to preach when their pastor was out. It was a great experience and I met so many people. As a matter of fact, I met some people that knew of me as a professional bowler. Even signed a few autographs.
Time for School
So, now it is 2014, really have not bowled much if any. Just got one out of High School and into college. Now, I have one more to get through High School, so not have much time to think about anything. Here comes God’s voice again and this time He wants me to go to college and get educated. He told me that He has big plans for me.
I enroll in one class, “How to Study the Bible” at Carolina College of Biblical Studies in Fayetteville, NC. My eyes were opened greatly and God began to speak to me more about attending college. I knew I could not afford it as I already used all of my GI Bill. Kept feeling a deep pain in my left leg from my pelvis down to my ankle.
Have not felt this pain since my accident in 1991. He woke me up just after 3 am and on my knees, I went. I was in so much pain. I begged Him to make it stop. Then, I felt a hand on my back between my shoulder blades and Jesus’ voice in my right ear. He told me not to worry about payment just go to school, learn about me, and get ready to spread the Gospel. So, I did. Not just I received my Bachelor’s, but I also attended Oral Roberts and received my Master’s.
Online Ministry and Preaching
All of this leads to our online ministry and getting back into bowling. Bowling about three times a week, getting to know people, and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hopefully, the PBA will find it in their hearts to either allow me membership again or reinstate me. I am a changed person, not like the one from 35-40 years ago. Let me tell you if Jesus can change me from what I used to be to the person I am now, he can change you.
Let me end part three. Come to our website and check out more of what Van De Bogart Ministries offers. Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube Channel where you can watch our My Thoughts video series as we feed everyone God’s word and help in growing disciples.