Godly leaders serve as examples! They show us how to live. They teach not only by their words – they teach us by their lives.
As a young man preparing for ministry I had the privilege of having such a leader. His impact on my life and ministry were profound. He wasn’t a perfect person (none of us are) – but with sincerity and devotion he sought to follow the Lord and serve others with all his heart. That person was Rev. W. H. Kesler who back then led Trinity Bible Institute (earlier named Hub City Bible Institute and today the school goes by the name Trinity Bible College and is located in Ellendale, North Dakota).
Back in those days, W. H. Kesler not only led the school which trained young men and women for ministry; several of the young men who were students had the privilege of living in the basement of the Kesler’s home. We would wake up in the morning to hear the sounds of this godly man and his wife in prayer. The Kesler’s passion for prayer deeply influenced my life.
Those who were students at the school at the time will recall that W. H. Kesler started every chapel service by leading the students in the following prayer taken directly from Scripture…
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (From Psalm 139:23-24)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer!” (From Psalm 19:14)
And then W. H. Kessler would lead us in this final affirmation from the Bible: “I am crucified with Christ! I live – yet not I, but Christ lives in me! And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!” (From Galatians 2:20)
Yes, today I’m remembering – remembering a godly leader with appreciation! This morning as I read Psalm 19 in my Bible I was reminded of what W. H. Kesler taught me as a young man preparing for ministry… A wonderful daily prayer, a wise practice, and a godly life… Thank you W. H. Kesler! (Wish I had a picture of him to honor him with… perhaps one of the former students from the school have one that they could scan and send me.)