We Have Come This Far By Faith
From the early part of Bishop Bush's life, there always existed a zeal within him to be a warrior for the Lord Jesus Christ. Bishop Bush was born September 20, 1932 in the rural area of Louisiana in Natchitoches Parish. Approximately between the ages of 5 and 6 years old, he decreed in his heart that he would not confess anything about God until he was sure he had the right relationship with God. His parents and others taught him that he had to pray and get "religion" in order to be saved. Believing this to be the right way, he prayed many times from approximately the age of 5 or 6 until age 22. He never confessed to receiving such. Later he received information that one must be filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues as the Spirit give utterance, and live a holy and sanctified life free from sin. This seemed right and biblical. So Brother Bush made up his mind to go to the altar and tarry for the Holy Ghost in 1955 among the Church of God in Christ thinking that they were the true people of God. And God blessed him and filled him with the Holy Ghost. Immediately he began to realize that there was much lacking. Thinking the people were honestly ignorant and had not been informed, he began to share with them the things that were revealed to him in the scriptures. He was vehemently rejected and he realized the people he was among simply did not want the truth. Brother Bush was no longer at home among the Church of God in Christ and left this organization never to return.
Not long after, he heard that Bishop S.C. Johnson from The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, was coming to Memphis, TN. He and his whole family went there and was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. After arriving back in Louisiana, he began to search for someone to worship with in the whole truth. Unable to find anyone who believed the whole truth, the Lord moved on Brother Bush's heart to find a place to rent to worship in the whole truth. After searching the city over he found a building at 225 North Street in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Bishop S.C. Johnson, being concerned about the "large family that was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in Memphis, Tennessee", sent an Elder to see about them. Upon the Elder's arrival at the home of Brother Bush's parents, they informed him that he was in Natchitoches in service at the church. This was the opening service at The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith at 225 North Street. The Elder came in and found them in prayer and inquired what was going on. Brother Bush then informed him that the Lord had put it on his heart to rent a place where they could worship in the whole truth. The Elder encouraged him that this was good and he stayed a couple of days to help. The Elder also told him to contact Bishop S.C. Johnson to inform him what was going on for he knew he would be glad to hear this news. Brother Bush wrote Bishop S.C. Johnson and informed him of the happenings there. Bishop Johnson wrote back and said he was glad and to let him know when the building was finished and he would announce the address on the air. Bishop S.C. Johnson announced the address and many souls came and were baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. We rejoiced in the whole truth until the death of Bishop S.C. Johnson.
After a while the Lord put it on Brother Bush's heart to go to Dallas, Texas. It was Brother Vuray Bush, now Bishop V. Bush, who started the first work in Dallas, Texas. It was in the early 1960's when he arrived in Dallas, Texas on the Continental Trailway bus. When he stepped off the bus, he prayed, " Lord give us the land". After being in Dallas and contacting several preachers and elders, he realized that it wasn't any whole truth in Dallas, Texas. He then realized it had fallen his lot to establish the whole truth in Dallas, Texas. Not many days hence, he was contacted by Brother Delbert Anderson and his family. They believed in the whole truth and heard about him being there. They wanted to meet him and invited him to their house. Brother Bush went and visited them and set up worship services in their home.
Not many months after, a small building was rented on the lower end of Second Avenue here in South Dallas. The building was in a very bad and dilapidated condition. There were broken window panes, holes were in the floor, and water came in under the door. Sometimes the saints had rain water under their feet. Many trials and tribulations were met during our stay there. Did this discourage Brother Bush and the saints? No, the zeal which Brother Bush had was still pulling him. We were still leaning on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Soon after, a better building was rented farther up at 1519 Second Avenue. While trying to get established at this building, many problems confronted him, such as getting the utilities on. Determining not to be defeated, Brother Bush, then Deacon Bush, went out and bought flashlights to hold services at night. One of the brothers held a flashlight over the bible while the word of God was preached by Deacon Bush. After much negotiating with the City of Dallas Utilities Department, Deacon Bush came in one day and the electricity was on. And the saints worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ in comfort for quite some time. Quite a number were baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost and received fellowship.
As time proceeded another problem arose. In 1976 thereabout, the property was purchased and we were informed by the City of Dallas that our building had been purchased and we had to move. And immediately Deacon Bush began to search for another place. He then informed Bishop S. McDowell Shelton about the condition that existed in Dallas. We were looking for a place to buy so that we would not have to move again. Bishop Shelton informed Deacon Bush to look for a place as he did not want the saints to be without a place of worship in Dallas. Later Deacon Bush found two locations for sale. He then informed Bishop S. McDowell Shelton about them and put him in contact with the real estate agents. Nothing materialized. Time began to run out. The city was pressuring us to move because they were ready to demolish the building. Deacon Bush again informed Bishop S. McDowell Shelton by telephone and by letters and also by traveling to Philadelphia, PA a number of times. However, he did not get any action from Philadelphia. Deacon Bush then realized that Philadelphia was not doing anything about the Dallas condition. Immediately we had to take steps to acquire a place of worship for the saints in Dallas.
After searching, Deacon Bush found a location at 3015 South Oakland Avenue, now 3015 South Malcolm X Blvd. We contacted the realtor and negotiated a sale and purchased the property.
Bear in mind, problems did not cease. After purchasing the property there was not any money left for renovation of the building. As Deacon Bush toiled and struggled using his personal money to get materials to
work on the building, he began to renovate the building. Deacon Bush did much laboring on this building, working late at night, mostly by himself. He had a vision-he was striving to make this vision a reality. In addition to working on the building and striving to defend this truth, many tried to hinder, not only those without but those within also. In the depth of despair, in the blackest hours of trial there was nothing strong enough to shake his faith. He always remembered the words of the Lord, "Now my son, the Lord be with thee, and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as He hath said of thee, only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel." - 2 Chronicles 22:11
Through his teachings, many have been baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. Many have been fellowshipped,
on the contrary, many have returned to Egypt's sand. Yet there are some of us who are still holding on and whose determination is to pitch our tents far up in Beulah land.
In conclusion, truly we can say through these years, if it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be? We praise the Lord. We honor the Lord for all his benefits to us.
On behalf of Bishop Bush and the saints at The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, we can truly say that “WE'VE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH LEANING ON THE LORD."