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NASHVILLE — Pastor Allen Jackson of World Outreach Church was honored with the “Faith of our Fathers” Award, presented every year by Bott Radio Network at the annual National Religious Broadcasters Convention, which wraps up in Nashville today. This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies multi-generational faithfulness to the Word of God in ministry.
“I can only accept this award today because of the work my parents started 50 years ago, when they didn’t know much about following Jesus, but recognized the power of God at work in their lives,” Pastor Allen said.
The Jackson family was living in Missouri when Pastor Allen’s mother, Betty, received a cancer diagnosis and was given six months to live. At the time, the family attended church, but weren’t true followers of Christ.
“Betty and I had both grown up in Christian homes and had attended church all of our lives,” Pastor Allen’s father, George Jackson, said. “We were not only married in the Methodist Church but had further been active there for the first ten years of our married life—even spear-heading the youth ministry. It was only at that pivotal point in 1965, however, that God began to have an impact on our lives. Immediately following the doctor’s prognosis, Betty realized that she did not know where she would spend eternity. In our Sunday School Class, we had been told that there was no Heaven and no Hell. We also learned that there was no such thing as Daniel in the Lion’s Den—it was just a story that never really happened. We were not spiritually prepared for the events that were unfolding.”
On the way to the Mayo Clinic, Betty prayed, “If there is a God, please let me know the truth before I die so that I might tell it to my children.” After she was examined by five different departments at the Mayo Clinic, the test results were conclusive: The cancer was gone!
“God responded to her prayer of desperation, and he brought a healing event to our whole family, changing the entire course of our lives,” Pastor Allen shared.
The family moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where Pastor Allen’s father, George, began an equine veterinary practice. With their Christian faith playing a new role in their lives, the Jacksons began a Bible study in their home.
“They’d play a cassette tape, then talk about it with a few other hungry souls also searching for bread. It was just about a half a step beyond the blind leading the blind,” Pastor Allen said. “I am so proud of what they accomplished, being willing to be used by God when they were brand new believers themselves. They continue to inspire me today, and I thank God for them and their hearts for the Lord.”
God honored their faithfulness, and the first official World Outreach Church service was held on Easter Sunday, 1980, in a rented meeting space at a hotel in Murfreesboro, with 29 people in attendance. In 1981, the church purchased 28 acres, and Pastor Allen began serving as senior pastor in 1989. Today, World Outreach Church has grown to 15,000 congregants, and their services are broadcast across the world over television, radio, and the internet. George and Betty, now in their 80s, remain very active in the church, playing a vital role in its prayer ministry and the daily life of the church. They also serve as Directors of Derek Prince Israel and have devoted their lives to helping people find freedom through the power of Jesus Christ.
Recognized by Bott Radio Network for “honoring his parents’ sacrifice and faithfulness by boldly proclaiming the Word of God in this generation,” Pastor Allen is grateful for the acknowledgment of his parents’ vital role in his ministry today.