The Cost of Our Pentecost

We were young fresh up starts. Pentecost was all new to us. We were in a season of traumatic transition. There was a whirlwind of wonder happening all around us. We were being blown away. The Holy Spirit had overtaken and overwhelmed us. 

Stephanie and I were living in the beleaguered married dorms of American Baptist College when she was gloriously baptized into the Holy Spirit. In an old time Pentecostal “prayer band” in the back of a beauty salon a girl raised as a Catholic, saved as a Baptist has now received power from on high. I am a witness of the workings of the Holy Spirit. I attest, as God is my witness, the Holy Spirit still fills as He did on the Day of Pentecost. 

Two weeks later I too was immersed into the power of God. The Spirit of God had us. We were living and learning the Holy Spirit. Everyday was an adventure in the anointing. We were being driven. We only knew whatever the Holy Spirit taught us. We read the Book of Acts with fresh eyes. We believed every word.

We believed that we were called to continue what we were reading in The Book of Acts. What we experienced was in The Bible. Spiritual phenomenon is real. Pentecost is not in the past. The Holy Spirit still falls. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is still happening. It happened to us. It can happen to you! 

We left Nashville, Tennessee on the Greyhound Bus headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We had our clothes and my books. The Holy Spirit spoke to us and then sent us. When we arrived at the Baton Rouge bus terminal we bought and shared one order of red beans and rice. It was not a gesture of young love; it was us conserving our funds for an unknown future. That’s the kind of faith walk we were on. 

I would continue my education on a campus that was sponsored by and centered in one of the most classical Pentecostal ministries of the 20th century. I can still remember kneeling at the altar in that empty 7,000 seat sanctuary with the sounds of vacuum cleaners going over the ever kempt crimson carpet. My sobs were submerged under their sounds and with hot tears streaming down my face I was asking The Father, “Why are You doing this to us? What are we doing here?” 

Our whole world was foreign territory. This was a mega ministry in every sense of the term. The machinery of the ministry was vast and voluminous. The intensity of the ministry could be felt in everything. The rapidity of the ministry required a flexibility and elasticity that stretched our capacity daily. The Spirit was moving. We were being moved. All ministry was “urgent”. We were “keeping up with the Spirit!”

We were not only baptized into The Spirit, we were being baptized into styles and streams of ministry we could not have imagined. We were being introduced to doctrines and dogmas that we never had to discover, decipher or digest. The supernatural was not yet our normal. We were still being shocked and surprised by all the wisdom, works and wonders of The Holy Spirit. We were spiritual neophytes trying to learn how to live in the power of Pentecost. 

Within a year of being baptized in the Holy Spirit Stephanie and I launched a nationally syndicated radio ministry that was being featured on 16 stations across America daily. “Grace Alive Radio Network” was being produced weekly in the studios at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries on a “reel to reel”. Stephanie managed and mailed out hundreds of cassette tapes from a linen closet out a student apartment. 

We were filled with The Spirit and full of faith. We were “water walkers”. Whatever we did, it didn’t make sense. It made faith! We were living in a student apartment and writing checks for over $3,000 a month to cover radio time and production. We believed God was calling us to world evangelism. I was “Evangelist Sean Teal”. Our ministry was being fully funded by honorariums, the freewill offerings of listeners and those blessed cassette tape sermons. 

The day when things broke for us was the day when I pulled up to the daycare center on the campus. Stephanie worked there. I was driving a friend’s car. We did not yet own our own. Stephanie got into the car, looked at me on that Friday afternoon and said, “We don’t have any money. We need $10 so I can feed us through the weekend. You have to preach on Sunday. After you preach on Sunday we’re going to have to cash that check!” 

The reason I borrowed my friend’s car was because we needed to go by the post office to check the ministry’s post office box. Our weekends had become the time we fulfilled orders and tried to handle any necessary business before close on Fridays. On the ride to the post office I am rehearsing what Stephanie told me. “We don’t have any money”. I am now beginning my negotiations with God. 

We cut a covenant with Father God that all funds that came in for the radio ministry would go directly and solely to the radio ministry. We wouldn’t and we hadn’t received any salary or stipends from the offerings or product sales. Many times we were sowing my preaching honorariums to help cover ministry costs.

But in that car with the care of my newly minted wife so close to my mind, I prepared God for what I was about to do. I was going to the post office box and retrieve the mail for the ministry. I was going to “borrow” from the ministry any money that came through the mail to get us through the weekend. I would give it back after I got through this “tight”.

We arrived. I went in. I opened the box. There was one envelope in the box. I was stunned in disbelief. We never received just one piece of mail. I took it out. Slowly and sullenly I shrunk my way back to the car. I got in the car and tossed the envelope over to the passenger’s side where it landed in Stephanie’s lap. She looked up at me and didn’t have to ask. 

Before I could put on my seatbelt she reached over and touched my forearm as if to ask me to wait a second before we pulled off. I complied to the intention of the touch. She then opened the envelope.

She unfolded the letter and within was a ten dollar bill. She set the ten dollars on her lap and then began to read the letter. “Dear Evangelist Teal, I heard your message today on our Christian radio station. I was so blessed by the Word. This offering is not for the radio ministry. I’m sending this gift for you and your wife. I hope you are encouraged. Please continue to broadcast your messages”.  

This letter and offering came from a sweet, dear and saintly White lady who lived nearly 100 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska. She had to have mailed it by Tuesday for us to receive it by Friday. We didn’t even know I was being heard in that region of the nation. The station she heard us on was not even one of our paid stations. The LORD was moving upon that dear saintly sister in time for our need to be met. He knew our need before we knew we would have the need. 

I wiped the tears from my eyes as Stephanie finished reading the letter. I was rebuked and rewarded. Stephanie then pushes me on the shoulder, smiles and says, “Why didn’t I say we needed $100?!” We both broke out into a raucous laugh. We praised God! We ate good – neckbones and red beans.  It all ended in joy!

From that day on, we have never wondered or worried. God will stir people you don’t know and bring you blessings you never expected. Putting God first is how we prosper. Order is God’s strategy for increase!

This Pentecost Sunday 2021 that same couple that shared a bowl of red beans and rice at a Greyhound bus station will sow a $500 seed to The House of Prayer Everywhere. We are blessed to finance and further The Gospel and Prayer around the world. We are still that same couple committed to giving whatever we have and whatever it takes to fulfill God’s purpose. Our passion for world evangelism and global prayer burns now with a greater blaze than ever before! 

Say “Yes!” to Pentecost. Join our house and The House! Sow your “Super Seed”. May this be the significant and supernatural seed that breaks you through into a new season of outpouring and overflowing! 

“….And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all, that there were no needy persons among them (Acts 4:33-34)

Bishop Sean Teal, Visionary

© Reserved 2021

Prayer / Donate

Servant Kimberly McCarther,  TAC Administrator

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