Who am I and why did I start this ministry?
Here’s how my twitter handle,@PhilHenryPG describes me; Happily married – Proud father – Co-owner of Henry Wealth Management, LLC – President of Phil Henry Power Gospel Ministry
I am the oldest of four children, born to Phil and Carol Henry, the greatest parents ever! Raised in a loving Roman Catholic home, I knew about Jesus Christ and believed in Him, but was slightly more interested (well, more than slightly) in sports as a youth, until I discovered girls, then, sports + girls.
In 1977 I was off to college, Indiana University of PA, where I was a semi-practicing Catholic, but a fully-practicing, arrogant, football-playing big man on campus… or so I thought.
Not long after those years, as a young businessman, I began to feel life’s pressures. I was working long hours building my clientele in the financial services industry and paying my own bills, including a mortgage on a condo I had probably purchased too soon!
Around that time a young lady invited me to attend a non-denominational church service. I had never darkened the doors of a non-Catholic church, but I decided to attend. There I heard a compelling message as the pastor preached, as if to me directly, in a way that I had probably been told many times over but never “heard;” that God did love the whole world (me included) and sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die as a sacrifice for all sins (and no one had to convince me that I was a sinner!)
Yet there was a flip-side to his sermon that involved fear. If I did not respond to God’s love, I would suffer consequences.
Eternal death and agony while conscious, forever, in a place called hell!
Separated from believing loved-ones who would be joyous beyond belief, despite my absence!
Not like the rock n’ roll songs that make hell out to be a great party.
By the end of the service, I found myself at the front of the church, at what they referred to as an altar call, partly drawn by love, partly scared, yet nonetheless confessing my sins and asking Jesus to come into my heart and life.
For some, this might have been an emotional experience that quickly wore off. For me however, I did begin in earnest to walk with God that day and started a lifelong passion of reading and studying the Bible and sharing this message about Jesus with others. In those early days, you would hear the message from me, the message of love and fear, whether you wanted to or not! My college buddies would tell you that I got “religious” on them and judgmental of their lifestyles.
I’m leading up to telling you why I am starting a ministry.
Like most people, life hit me with some serious trials, where I had to actually “walk” and not just “talk” my faith. I had married the young lady who invited me to church and soon thereafter, we had three beautiful children together. Nine years into our marriage, it unraveled and was a gut-wrenching time. I can tell you that during that rough time, I clung to God and walked ever so close with Him; He saw me through that most difficult stretch.
I did accept another church invitation, this one from my sister Pam whose husband Rick Knapp was and is the pastor of Tetelestai Church. Tetelestai is the Greek word that means “it is finished,” the famous words that Jesus uttered before He gave up His life for us (John 19:30).
At that church I studied God’s Word as never before and it was there that I met the one who would become the love of my life! Beth and I were married in 1998 and soon after were blessed with our own two children and very often, had a busy house full of five kids, and lots of love!
In 2005, four years after moving into our current home, Beth and I knew that God was leading us to start a neighborhood Bible study. As that study grew for the next 11 years, it was watched-over at my request, by my brother-in-law and pastor. In 2011, Rick began to include me on a short-list of men that would substitute in the pulpit for him when he traveled. This is when I truly realized that my passion for sharing the Gospel was a calling from God on my life.
So presently, no longer coaching multiple soccer and basketball teams, I actually have more time to devote to studying and sharing the love of God, a love that I see in the scriptures that will ultimately result in all of creation being saved (Isaiah 45:22-23) and restored (Acts 3:21). All people will ultimately be blessed, not just people like me who responded to a message of love… and in some cases, love mixed with fear.
So there you have it, my path leading up to the inception of the Phil Henry Power Gospel.
Going forward, my messages will dump fear, focusing rather of the blessings that God intends for all of us! In fact, these blessings are found in this verse, the one that this ministry is founded on;
2 Timothy 1:7 (YLT) for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
My hope is that all would respond to and believe in God’s offer of love NOW, by believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world (1 John 2:2). Yet I believe that one day, God will reconcile all people to Himself (Col. 1:19-20, 1 Tim. 2:5-6).
I have much more to say about what I believe the Scriptures teach regarding God’s ultimate plan of universal restoration and universal reconciliation, for all of mankind. I hope you’ll stay tuned. This is after all, only the beginning.