Gary Pyke shares his testimony about the literature distribution work.
My initiation into literature distribution started when I was just a kid. We would spend an hour or so on Sabbath afternoons rolling up pamphlets or magazines and tying them with string or rubberbands. Then my parents would drive us into town or subdivisions, and we would throw our bundles onto driveways and sidewalks. Maybe it was not the most efficient form of witnessing, but it was fun for us kids. It placed in our minds the need to spread the message.
The Lord allowed me an experience in my early adulthood that propelled me more seriously into the literature work. We did demolition (highway sign removal) for the State of Florida. During time on the job, a state inspector, Richard Hayford, accompanied us. Richard did not appear to be a good candidate for giving a book to. But, on one of our trips to Florida, when I handed Richard a paperback book, he asked, “Was this written by Ellen White?” He knew about Ellen White because when he was a teenager, his dad had become an Adventist.
After that, Richard kept asking for more books, so we continued to give him more. Eventually, after joining the Church, he purposely left the books throughout the house, and his wife started reading them. She, too, was baptized. They both were on fire for the Lord and involved themselves in soul winning. Later, they commented that they were eternally grateful for the opportunity they received when Richard and I were disposing old signs in the county dump.
About five or six years ago, I was impressed to start sending high quality hardback copies of The Great Controversy to pastors. My goal was to get one to every active and retired pastor in the United States. The challenge was in getting names and addresses for the pastors.
One day, my wife told me that she was going to meet our daughter at McKay’s bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, the next afternoon. I wanted to go but did not think that I would be finished with my job in time. Miraculously, I was, so I decided to go with her. Outside the store was a bin of free books. In that bin I found a 2019 Lutheran book with 9,260 pastors’ names and addresses, and a 2008 Church of Christ book with 6,000 names. A couple of weeks later, I was in Chattanooga at McKay’s, and found a 1994 Southern Baptist book with more than 52,000 names. Since that time, I have found numerous denominational websites with thousands of pastors’ names. I currently have ready access to well over 100,000 pastors’ names, with potential for many more. When books are sent to pastors, we often receive thank-you cards or requests for more books.
If we invest our means in the work of soul winning, we will reap the results. God gives us the awesome privilege of having a part in seeing souls saved for eternity.
“It is in working to spread the Good News of salvation that we are brought near to the Saviour,” Desire of Ages, pg. 340.
Kentucky-Tennessee | February 2021