Mother Flower

I pastored five Assembly of God churches before I came back to Jefferson in 2017 to co-pastor Hope Community Church with my wife, Lori.  Both of us have deep roots in the Assemblies of God.  This Pentecostal fellowship was formed in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  God was so good to allow us to come to faith in Christ through the auspices of the Assemblies of God; and then later to prepare for ministry.  

Lori and I met at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, headquarters city of the Assemblies of God.  We were privileged during our four years in college to meet some of God’s choicest saints, forerunners in the Pentecostal movement — most who were elderly.  

One of the highlights of my journalistic training came one day in I978 when I interviewed the Rev. Thomas Zimmerman, General Superintendent from 1959-1985. He certainly was a Gospel great!  During my sophomore year, I had the privilege of being an intern in the Radio and TV Department at headquarters.  I remember editing sermons for Dr. C.M. Ward, renowned “Revivaltime” radio speaker,  He was truly a character!   

On another occasion I was honored to visit the home of Mrs. Alice Reynolds Flower.  Affectionately known as “Mother Flower,” she and her husband, J.Roswell Flower served the Assemblies of God in several capacities with great distinction. The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center in Springfield, was of course established in their honor. Located in the Assemblies of God World Headquarters, it contains the world’s largest Pentecostal archives.   


Daily chapel attendance was mandatory at Evangel University.  We were allowed a certain number of cuts throughout each semester and admittedly, I always used my quota!  During the spring of 1975 one of the guys in the dorm announced that “some older lady” was speaking in chapel.  While still lying in my warm bed, I immediately made plans to use one of my cuts!

“But God…” (Ephesians 2:4).  The Holy Spirit quickly began dealing with my attitude.  Conviction eventually landed me on the second row in that old chapel.  Alice Reynolds Flower spoke that morning.  At 85, she was articulate and wonderfully anointed. This precious saint of God took her text from Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out?  Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?  For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be glory forever!  Amen.”

I was captured by the love that emanated from her.  She said, “God is not as interested in our ability as He is our availability and expendability.”  I sat there spellbound as she rendered a heartfelt challenge to expend our lives for God.  This occurred at the end of my freshman year.  

During my sophomore year I joined a team that ministered to residents of a local nursing home on Thursday evenings.  Study time was precious, so some weeks it was tempting to excuse myself.  Such was the case one Thursday until I learned that we had been invited to the home of Alice Reynolds Flower.  I dropped everything to go!  Nothing would deter me from such a grand opportunity.

Five of us spent two glorious hours at the feet of Mother Flower.  Story after story captivated us, as the presence of the Lord filled her living room. Her home was filled with furniture, gifts and artifacts collected from 70 years of ministry. Heaven kissed us as we sang, and Mother Flower closed in prayer.  

Before we left, she called  each one of us to her side for prayer.  She held my hand.  Love personified looked into my eyes and said, “Precious son, let your life be a symphony of praise to Jesus.  Follow Him with your whole heart.  Look not to the left or the right.  Delight yourself in Him and He will grant you the desires of your heart.”  

I thank God for granting me an audience with this great lady of faith.  I wept when I learned this great Pentecostal legend went to heaven in 1991 at 100 years old.  My tears were not tears of sorrow, but of joy for having had the privilege of meeting her.  Alice Reynolds Flower affected the lives of countless numbers of people, spanning ten decades.  My life was personally impacted when feeble hands and a kind heart reached out to me from a wheelchair!




Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *