Ashton: Thank you for joining us on the communion connection. We pray that you experience the blessing of the Lord’s presence during our time together. We encourage you to subscribe to the podcast most everywhere podcasts are found or find our website at www.thecommunionconnection.com. Here you will find links to the show, info about your host, as well as resources that will prove beneficial to you. Please feel free to like, download and comment on our show. Now here’s your host, Josh.
Josh: All right. Communion connection, family. Well, as promised this week, I have with me, James and Letha Turner and we’re gonna have just a short interview with them. They are in town from Phoenix, Arizona, and they’re going to be speaking at church this morning at Wellspring. I thought I would just spend a little time with them before tomorrow comes. James and Letha. Welcome.
James: Thank you so much for having us on your show.
Josh: All right, so I just prepared a few questions that I wanted to ask you guys. So for people who don’t really know you real well, we’ll have James, we’ll have Letha go first. Ladies first and then you. Maybe just a short bit of your conversion story, how you came to know the Lord.
Letha: Well, I was age of six and my father was an alcoholic and God spoke to me one day and ever since then, you know, I had been following the Lord. He’s my one and only.
Josh: Wow. Six years old.
Josh: That’s pretty amazing. And you say you heard the Lord speak to you?
Letha: Yes, I was up on top of a roof and God spoke to me. He says, my child, you know, I’m, I’m your father and I’m going to take care of you. And I’m like, who is this? You know, I’m trying to figure out who it is. And a friend of mine down the road was my next door neighbor would come pick us up for Sunday school at the age of six. And I got to know the Lord that way. And one day, you know, I just gave my heart to the Lord.
Josh: That’s pretty awesome. What about you James?
James: Yeah, and so for me, I was raised in a great environment. My mother loved the Lord and took us to church several times a week and it was at the age of nine. I really made that decision for myself and walked down the aisle in Varseilles, Indiana. I gave my life to the Lord and followed the Lord in water baptism. And then it was that day that the Lord really put a calling on my life and told me he’s called me to be a preacher of the gospel.
Josh: That’s awesome, and Letha where did you say you were at when you had your experience with the Lord?
Letha: I was in New Point, Indiana.
Josh: New Point, Indiana, and where’s that at?
Letha: It’s a little small town. If you blink, you miss it. It’s in between Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
Josh: Okay, so on the Eastern side of the state over there.
Letha: Yes, midway.
Josh: Alright. I just love to hear people’s conversion stories and how they came to meet the Lord. I wish we spent more time in church talking about that. You know, the scriptures say we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony and, and recalling that I think really helps people. Whichever one of you wants to take this or maybe both of you, but, but how would you say the Lord called you into ministry. I know you said you had almost that immediate experience, James, but as it came closer to time to move into ministry, what, how would you say that happened?
James: Yeah, and so a few years after I gave my life to the Lord, it was like reading a book of judges. My mom and dad got a divorce and I went back and forth from mom to dad, from Colorado to Indiana. And I began when, as long as I was with mom, I’d serve God. And when I was with my dad, I began to do my own thing. And I began to run from God. And me and my wife, we went into marriage and I was not serving the Lord. She was 17. I was 18. I was still running from God. And that went on for the first two or three years of our marriage. And when we had our first child, and God really began to speak to my heart. And and then when I turned 21 years old, the Lord gave me a dream.
I was left behind and my family was taken in rapture and I was going through the tribulation hour. And that was really when I came back to the Lord. Went to church the next Sunday, and the pastor was preaching an end-time sermon. And I just rededicate my life to the Lord. And God began to remind me about the call of God he placed on my life at the age of nine. And thank God we had a pastor that took me under his wing and mentored us and discipled us. And before you knew it, the Lord began to show me visions and dreams of doing outreaches and in doing ministry in inner cities. And several years later, it was about 13 years ago, God called us to the inner cities and he called us to minister to the homeless and to the addicted to the afflicted and to the poor. And so what started out of the back end of our vehicle 13 years ago. Here we are several years later and God has used us to raise up thousands of outreach workers, we’ve launched numerous homeless ministries, numerous prostitution ministries, rescuing women from the streets and children’s ministries all over Cincinnati, Ohio, Northern Kentucky, Detroit, Michigan. And now God has us in Phoenix, Arizona.
Josh: Wow. Now do I remember from when I went on that first missions trip with you to Detroit, did I not hear you say that you had spent some time as a pastor?
James: Yes, and so we have literally served in about every aspect of ministry within the four walls of church that you could possibly think of, you know especially those beginning years. We’ve done youth ministry, adult Sunday school teacher, children’s ministries, van ministries, just about everything. Except on the worship team, they still won’t allow me on that. Probably cause I can’t sing so, but yeah, we pastored a church about 15 years ago and the heart of Detroit, I mean, I’m sorry, we pastored a church in Tennessee and honestly it was a very painful experience but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We went down there as young evangelists. Ready to do something for God and within five months we find ourselves, I resigned from that church. I felt like a failure and actually we lost everything that we had and, but I wouldn’t trade it because it’s literally made us who we are today.
Josh: Yeah. We have a friend who is just back from having taken a church over in Missouri and I would say they had about that same time frame and ministry and they’re back right now and, and dealing with some, the pain of having gone through that. What I find interesting is, you know, for so many years for people who felt like they were called into ministry, that meant becoming a pastor. And yet what you guys are doing is so entirely different. It’s just really exciting to me. I was sharing with a group of people recently that God is really opening up a lot of ways for people to minister that don’t, don’t look like the traditional path. I want to get back to one thing, that had to be pretty alarming or powerful for you to have a dream about missing the rapture and then go to church the next day and have the pastor preaching that must really have made a mark on your life.
Josh: Yeah, I bet you that it would. Okay. So Jim, I remember the first time that you preached at Ignite 360 down in Owensboro, something that really hooked me. You we’re sharing a message about something the Lord had talked to you about having an anointing and being in the church and out of the church. Right? You kind of want to share that.
James: Yeah, absolutely. And I call it a graveyard anointing, if that’s what you’re referring to. There’s a lot of Christians, as long as they’re in the church building and you have the great worship play and you have the platform, the bright lights, and sometimes even the fog. And you know why it’s easy to minister and as easy to preach when you’re under the corporate anointing. And there’s a lot of Christians that just has that corporate annointing when there in, you know, in that church service. The Bible says where two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them and also says that he inhabits the praises of his people. So when, when we come together as believers into a corporate setting, we have what you call the corporate annointing is among us. And if you can’t preach in that kind of atmosphere, if you can’t prophesy under that kind of atmosphere where the, the tangible corporate anointing is, you know, you can’t preach anywhere.
And so what we try to do is take people outside of the corporate anointing and take them to the streets, take them to the drug addicts and, and to the hurting and the hopeless, the addicted and the afflicted. And that’s where we need a flow in the gifts of the Spirit. That’s what we need to learn how to flow in the anointing of the Holy Spirit is in those kind of atmospheres and as just like Ezekiel, God had a pickup Ezekiel. And in the spirit, God set him down in a graveyard and we know that it refers to Israel, but the whole setting was that Ezekiel he was outside of his normal platform. In this vision, he was surrounded by death, chaos, confusion, and darkness. And it’s almost like God was saying, let’s see how anointed you are now. Let’s see if you can preach now. Let’s see if he can prophesy now where everything around you looks dead, hopeless, like it’s an impossible situation. And that’s where God has called us as believers that come into the most hopeless, the most impossible situation. Declare the word of the Lord and see the anointing of the Holy Spirit just show up.
Josh: That’s so powerful. I gotta tell you from the, from the very night you spoke that it just, it absolutely challenged me. And I remember we were in the meal part of the evening later on and fellowshipping and, and you came out and invited me to go to Detroit and, and that word was just so fresh in me still that you had just spoken and so just absolutely jumped at the opportunity to join you and go on that missions trip to Detroit.
James Right. You know, I’ll say it like this, I, I’m don’t, I don’t want a church anointing, I want a graveyard anointing. Just pick me up and take me to the hood, take me to the projects and let’s see, God moved there. Take me right next to the gates of hell and let’s claim it for the glory of God. Here’s my greatest saying, and I love saying, this is me and my wife, we’ve been in a ministry for 20 years and we don’t know much. But one thing we do know, we’ll never win a city just sitting in a church building. We got to go brother.
Josh: We gotta go. That’s powerful. Yeah. If we would put the energy into going that we do and trying to make the show right so people will come to see it. Imagine what we could do in our cities. Yes. I’m just really looking forward to, to the words you’re going to bring in the morning. So Letha what would you say is, is your part in this, I know that you’re always by his side and working with him. You know, I’ve just got to brag on you because I remember, and not that it’s you but the Lord in you, but I know we recently met for coffee and, and by the time it was over, you were there prophesying to a young man who was reading and studying at Starbucks there. But what would you say is, is sort of what the Lord’s called you to do in, in this ministry?
Letha: My part is ministering to the girls on the streets. They’ve lost everything. I mean, I give them the hope back, you know, to overcome their addictions and things like that because they’ve lost it all. They lost everything. I mean, their families, their kids, you know? And what I do is I just let them know that God loves them so much that they’re God’s jewels and that they can pick their self back up and get back into society and that we’re right there beside him because we’re their cheerleaders and net will never leave their sides. That we’re there for the counseling and the discipleship and whatever they need, is what my part is.
Josh: Mama Letha. Yes. That’s beautiful. Alright. You know, Rachel’s mom was a lot like that. Her parents were picking people up right off the streets. In fact, often the people that they would see saved would be homeless and they would end up coming home to live with them. And Rachel’s mom did real similar things in going so far, even as to teach some of these girls how to cook and clean and so, and just do things vocationally wise while also they were doing Bible studies with them and, and speaking into their spirit and stuff. All right. So why don’t you guys tell me kind of, what you’re doing now for those people who don’t know you, I know what you’re doing now, but go ahead and share what’s what’s going on in Phoenix. Exciting stuff every day.
James: Yeah, it’s exciting. You know, God called us to Phoenix, Arizona. Three years ago now, and two weeks from now, it’ll be three years. And literally when we moved to Phoenix, Arizona, three years ago, we was not even fully funded as you, as missionaries. And, but we knew that God called us. We knew the timing was now, we had a sense of urgency in our spirit that we needed to get there. And so we just stepped out on faith and got in our vehicle and move 2000 miles away from our daughters and our grandchildren. And we began to hit the streets. It didn’t have a building we didn’t have money for, but we just started hit the streets, find out where they’re hurting. People were, where the homeless were. And you know, within the one month of us moving to Phoenix, Arizona, and not knowing anybody, God literally gave us a platform where we were preaching, feeding, administering, almost a thousand homeless people every week.
And we weren’t even fully funded it as missionaries. And that went on for the first year. We began to build that homeless ministry and my wife began to build her prostitution ministry, rescuing and women from the streets. And, and then we as entering our second year, and we as finally fluidly funded as you, as missionaries. And the Lord said, I want you to take over that bar down the road and I want you to turn it into a church. And I said, Lord, I said, you know, that’s another $50,000 a year that we have to raise. And, but we knew that the Lord called us, we stepped out and given faith. And within one month of us taking over that bar, we already, we jam packed it full of homeless people and drug addicts and women trapped in prostitution. And literally, we already outgrown that place.
And we had to move into our third location just a few months ago. So, and so here we are, we’re entering our third year. We still do the street outreaches. We still have weekly worship services where we’re bussing in the homeless. And now about a month ago, the Lord spoke to us to begin rescue of homeless, pregnant women off of the streets. And I told the Lord, I said, Lord, you know, that’s another 50 or $70,000 a year that I have to raise. But nevertheless, we knew God was in it. We took another step of faith and I emailed one of our partners and said, there is a place for sale downtown and we want to rescue the homeless, pregnant women. And he comes down and looking at the building and, and then at the end of that conversation he says, what do you, what are you going to do with this building?
We begin to tell him about the vision that God laid on our hearts and he’s, he looked over at me and smiling real big and he said, how about I buy that building for you? And so he literally bought it $230,000 home for us and we just took the keys. We just got everything turned over on our name and next week we’re going to open up the house and we already got a house mom. We got a house manager, we have two case managers, we have a lawyer, we have many partners all across America that are behind us. And we’re able to rescue about 20 women and their babies every year because we just took a step of faith and partners have also taken a step of faith with us.
Josh: That’s awesome. Is there anything you want to add to that Letha?
Letha: No, no.
Josh: No. All right, well we’re going to be reading communion here real soon as a custom of the show but what would you say are maybe two or three prayer requests for the ministry right now?
James: Oh ok, so our biggest prayer request is a number one we need people praying for our ministry. Of course, lots of spiritual warfare that is involved with frontline ministries. And then secondly, we just need to pray that people continue to be moved by the Spirit and will partner with the vision and so that we’re able to continue doing the work of the Lord that God has called us to do.
Josh: Okay. All right. Well, as my guest, James and Letha I would love to have you guys to go ahead and and lead in communion, so I’m sure you’ve done this a couple of times, right?
James: It says in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verse number 24 and 25 it says, this is my body which is for you. He says, do this in remembrance of me. He said in the same way he took the cup and also saying, this is a cup of my, a new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. One thing that was so powerful about communion is literally when we take communion, we are to look back in the past. He says, do this in remembrance of me, what Jesus did on the cross. So when we take communion, it is a time that we’re looking backward. 2000 years ago. And remember about the work of the cross, about him shedding his blood for the sin of the world. But now is a time that we look backward. And it is also the time that we look to the present and that we look in really inside of our own hearts. He says, when you take communion, he says, make sure you don’t take it in an unworthy manner. He says, but let every man examine his own heart. And so now is this a time that we look back?
The way he did on the cross is also the time that we look inside of each and every one of our hearts because we’ve all sinned and fallen short, the glory of God. And so it was a time that we need to examine our hearts and ask the Lord, Lord, is there anything in my heart? Is there anything in my life? Is there anything that I’m doing that I need to repair? And is it a time to, you know, to repent before the Lord. And then thirdly, not one was at a time that we look back to the cross. And the time that we look to the president, what’s going on in our lives right now, but as also a time that we look for the future. He says, do this until I come. And so we look forward to when Jesus comes back. Every time we take communion, we’re looking backward, inward and forward until he comes again. So at this time we’re going to ask you to take that wafer and it, this just represents the body of Christ and he took any broke that bread and he says, do this in remembrance of me in the broken for the broken body that he did for us on that cross. So let’s take that wafer and remembered the body of Christ. Then after you took the, bought the bread, he took also the cup. He lifted it up and he says, do this, drink this cup and do this. And remember to me. So remembering this shed blood, let’s take that cup now. Amen.
Josh: All right beloved. Well once again, I thank you for joining me this week. I pray that your week is blessed and that you would know the presence of the Lord. And now Ashton is going to take us out
Ashton: On behalf of Josh and I, we would like to thank you for being with us today. We pray that you enjoyed your time with us in God’s word and that you will go into your week in the presence of the Lord. Don’t forget to download and like our show, and as always, join us at www.thecommunionconnection.com until next week. God bless.