The Life of Rev. David E. Penrod

Guest Article by Debbie Creay (Rev. Penrod's Daughter)

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I am so proud to be writing this article about my dad.  My dad was David Earl Penrod born on February 21, 1937, in Dawson Springs, KY.  He was delivered in his parents’ home by a midwife.  He was the youngest of seven boys and the only one to stay in church.  His parents were Ida Irene Penrod and John Henry Penrod.  He was raised in Beech Creek, KY.  They later moved to Chicago, IL for a few years and finally to Drakesboro, KY.  There he graduated from the Muhlenberg County Consolidated School in 1955.  His parents had received the Holy Ghost before he was born.  His father pastored the Beech Creek Holiness Church for many years and his mother taught Sunday school and played the piano. So his upbringing roots were in the Pentecostal message from the start.

When dad was 19, he felt his calling to preach.  In high school he even played the part of a minister in a school play. He married in 1958 and my mother and him started traveling the evangelistic field. on March 16, 1959. He received the Credentials of Recommendation from the Independent Holiness Church of God of Madisonville, Ky and was ordained as an evangelist.  He met many wonderful ministers and people along the way.   They were so blessed by this young tall man that they would refer him to other ministers who would then have him come to their church for revivals.  He and the ministers would sit up until 2 AM discussing the Bible as well as his travels, family life, gardening and horseback riding.   Some of the states he evangelized in besides Kentucky were as follows: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.

My dad loved life and many things about it.  He loved gardening, horseback riding, mowing his yard, and bee keeping.  He did get stung a few times, but this was the only time he was a robber; he sure loved that honey.   His best loves were ministering the Gospel and Missions.  He had an amazing memory for God’s word, even in his older years.    Dad sure loved to travel, and ministering was his calling and his life.   He and my mother would also sing as he played the guitar, and my mother played the piano or accordion.  They would also speak and sing on the church radio programs.

As years went on, and I started school, my parents continued to travel while I stayed with my grandparents.   Dad had a tent and P A system.   On the speakers was painted JESUS SAVES.   I even had my own chair to sit on the stage with them.  We all sang some songs together and would learn new songs from those we met.  Some of these songs we continued singing were as follows:  I’m Willing Lord to go, Inside the Gate, and Until Then.   In his revivals He had many converts; 2 of which he never forgot; in his first revival, his first 2 converts were Betty Cardwell and her husband of Morgantown, KY.  They later moved to Indiana and kept in touch with dad.  I’m so thankful that in September 2022 she came to KY to visit her family.  While she was there, dad was able to visit her and share the memories of that wonderful revival.  This was 13 days before he passed.

In 1966 we visited a church in Bowling Green, KY.  Very soon dad was voted in as the pastor of the First Apostolic Church on Barren River Rd.  We lived in the basement of the church while he pastored there for about 4 years.   After that he traveled for several more years in evangelism.

In 1972, a coworker of his invited us to his church. Soon dad was voted in as pastor there at the Hillview Free Methodist Church in Hadley, Ky. From 1972-1976. Dad preached the Acts 2:38 message with the fiery anointing he was well known for. Many of the saints accepted Jesus and were baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. One year a revival lasted for 6 weeks straight. In 1977, a new church was built and became the current Bible Center Assembly, Inc. in Bowling Green, KY.  He was founder and pastor there until his death on October 13, 2022.

In 1978 dad started taking flying lessons at the Bowling Green-Woodhurst Airport, Bowling Green, KY.  He was ready to do his solo test when he was invited to go on several mission trips with 2 ministers: Pastor A.D. Van Hoose of Evansville, IN and Pastor Gene White of Akron, OH.   Bro Van Hoose had an orphanage in Haiti through the Christian World Outreach from Evansville. While on these mission trips to Haiti with these Pastors, dad fell in love with the people and the people loved him.   He felt his calling to continue some mission work there after these 2 ministers passed away.  He left his solo flying behind and took on bigger flying wings to Haiti. While in Haiti, he met several young men in Haiti that took him places to minister the gospel.  One young man’s name was David Guerrier.  So when they preached It was David interpreting into Creola for English speaking David.  David G. told dad of some property outside of the town Jacmel, Haiti, called Raymond. They went to look at it and through donations, a church and school were built. Over the years, many pastors, teachers and friends went to Haiti with Dad.  As time went by, other locations we mentioned. Again through donations schools and churches were built in Anse-a-veau and Fontaine outside of Port-Au-Prince.  When David Guerrier passed away, a young man dad had been sponsoring for school stepped forward. Dad had met him when he was 13 and baptized him in a swimming pool in Port-Au-Prince.  This young man was Willes.  He is still the Senior Pastor and overseer of the 3 churches. These 3 churches and schools are still growing for the Lord today.

By 1978 & 1979, Dad had flown to Jamacia several times.  Sometimes he would go by himself and 2- or 3-times Bro J.W. Searcy accompanied him.  They were invited to preach at an annual conference at Bro Ohara’s church in Kingston Springs. The people enjoyed their preaching and invited them back several times for their annual conference.  Dad would bring back cassettes of the congregation singing in English and of his preaching.  And oh what wonderful worship services they had.  And of course he brought back many pictures as he did from all his travels. A camera was always around his neck.

A much-desired opportunity arose for him in 1978.  He was invited to join a group going on Holy Land Tour.  During this excursion, he toured the many sites of Israel and Greece.  In 1984 mom and I joined dad on a pilgrimage with a total of 42 tourists.  This tour included Ammon, Jordan where we road a bus to Jerusalem.  During our 5 days there, we toured Bethleham, Nazareth, Caesarea, Capernaum, Masada, Megiddo, the dead sea, and rode a small boat across the sea of Galilee to spend the night at Tiberias.  Dads’ favorite places to visit were the tomb and the Upper Room.  Following our stay in Israel, we took a 9-hour bus ride to Egypt. It was a long ride on a Mercedes Benz Bus, but we were so glad it did not take 40 years.  We saw the many wonders there including the pyramids, the sphynx, rode down the Nile River, observed how papyrus paper is made, and toured King Tuts Tomb.

My dad had many accomplishments. In 1984 and 1985 he attended and taught classes at the First Apostolic Church in Nashville, TN. He was very thorough and easy to understand.  His deep knowledge of the word kept his student’s interest and gave them a desire to learn more.

In 1987, dad was voted in as the Missionary Arm Secretary of the Associated Brotherhood of Christians in Hot Springs, AR.  He remained in this office and served it proudly until 2007.

A pastor friend of his invited him to come to a bible college where he attended the Great Commission Theological Seminary in Bowling Green, KY.  In 1991, he received his Bachelor of Theology.  In 1996 he attended again and received his Doctor of Divinity. To my knowledge he never introduced himself as a doctor.   He was the same fiery country minister he always was.

May 17, 1999 Certified Counselor in Marriage, Family, and Life Development and Adjustment Counseling, United Association of Christian Counselors, Ministry of the Great Commission Bible College/Theological Seminary.

Beginning in 1991, dad received many awards and certificates of appreciation from the Kiwanis club of Bowling Green, KY. These awards are as follows: 

September 25, 1991 Distinguished Service Award as a token of appreciation for Outstanding work in Benevolence    

July 01, 1992, and June 10, 1996: Certificates of Appreciation in recognition for his presentations before the Club.     

September 03, 1992 New Club Building Award for untiring and diligent effort for individual service in extending the Kiwanis to Franklin, Kentucky.

He received 5 Distinguished Service Awards as Follows:

  • September 25, 1996: Devoted Servies to the Kiwanis Club
  • September 24, 1997: Spiritual Aims Chairman
  • September 30, 1998: Sergeant at Arms Service
  • September 29, 1999, and September 27, 2000: Human and Spiritual Values Chair

Other Certificates dad received are as follows:

  • October 19, 1993: completion of Word Perfect 5.1
  • January 20, 1994: Completed the requirements of the training course Word for Windows 2.0 Beginning
  • May 17, 1996: The United States Chaplaincy Association appointment in recognition of is ministerial and academic achievements he been commissioned by the Board of Directors with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL and is entitled to all rights, honors, titles, and privileges of this rank. Ministry of Great Commission Theological Seminary.
  • No date of the certificate from the Associated Brotherhood of Christians in Recognition of 15 Years of Loyal Service.
  • No date on the NETWERKS CORPORATION Certificate of Completion for successfully completing the Self-Management Course and is a Certified Self-Management Professional Instructor.
  • He was a member of the AWCF 7,000 Club for World Evangelism
  • June 01, 2009:  received the Ministerial Credential that he has been called by the Holy Ghost to be a minister of the Word, working in conjunction with Apostolic World Wide Missions, Inc of Visalia, California, USA. He was recognized as an ordained minister in good standing and was here by commissioned to preach the Gospel and perform all functions of the Christian Ministry in compliance with State, Provincial, and international laws.

In Summary, dad was a man who was loved by many.   He had great compassion for the lost and hurting.  He would put others first, no matter what he was going through.  He would receive many late night calls from Haiti or friends in America.  He was a caring counselor, did many weddings, including mine, and funerals.   After his death, I received many wonderful comments about what my dad meant to them.  He was so many things to so many people. Even to the children in the church he pastored, he would cut their hair and pull their teeth free of charge.   Most importantly, he was everybody’s friend and never met a stranger, not even in Wal-Mart or the post office.  When we told them about his death, they immediately knew him and expressed their sadness of his passing. He always stopped to talk with people wherever he went and left a lasting, memorable impression.   I’m so proud to call him my dad and continue his work in Fontaine with the help of my husband Darry and Bro. Willes.  Many thanks to everyone who knew and loved my dad, Rev. David Earl Penrod.