Branded for Life…A Year Could Never Erase Him.

182104_4186600951760_1848326285_n   For 57 years I knew him. It was the longest I had ever known any man in my life. From childhood my memories of him were etched with a broad smile, twinkling eyes and arms that held me close for as long as I wanted. He walked with an aura…well, maybe two. Whenever he entered a room it immediately lit up, and when he departed, he left behind a strong presence of cologne. He was my joy.

He didn’t always understand me, and that frustrated him, especially when I was navigating the rough waves of my teenage years. Many were the times we did not share the same appreciation for style, fashion or music. He would shake his head when he caught me dancing along with American Bandstand or Soul Train.  Then he would try to torture me by singing Charlie Pride ballads.

No he didn’t always “get” me, but he knew me. He read me well when I told the truth or when I lied; he felt my pain when I hurt and tried very hard to match my intensity when I was serious. Usually, though, he just tried to lighten me up by making me laugh.

That preacher-man Papa of mine was a man of few words at home. I don’t remember long lectures with sage advice. After listening to my ponderings and angst, he would usually just state the spiritually obvious. He wasn’t a man who entertained too much “gray area” contemplation. He took every word of the Bible at face value and lived his life accordingly. In the turbulent, questioning times of my life, his simplistic approach was often my greatest comfort, because deep inside I always knew he was right. He was my plumb line.

Like so many who knew him, when he preached I paid attention. His voice was captivating; his stories, compelling. Although I heard him tell certain ones hundreds of times and could recite them verbatim, I never grew tired of hearing them. With anticipation I would smile as he approached the climax of an extraordinary testimony, knowing when and how the audience would respond. Like clockwork, although I had heard it for the 250th time, I would be right there laughing, gasping or crying with the rest of the folks as he came to the dramatic conclusion.

Nothing was quite as thrilling as watching God work through him. No matter what message the Holy Spirit directed him to preach, whether it was about faith, fear or finances, Dad always took time to deal with the hearts of men and women. He would not close before leading lost hearts to the point of decision. He told about his own salvation story; shared about those who missed God; talked about the man who was saved from hell when he raised him from the dead. Then, he would give the call for salvation and count to 3 over the next 30 seconds: “counting down to eternity,” he called it. They would come running by the thousands. Big, burly men who looked like ex-cons; youngsters painted and pierced from head to toe; and some, swirling in semi-drunken stupors, all flocked to the altars, with tears coursing down their cheeks, kneeling in the sawdust or sand.

When I followed the call of God to the Bronx, NY, for 9 years, my mother prayed and Dad sent money. He knew my pioneer spirit, but he also knew in a place like NY, starting from scratch was hard work, and I needed encouragement. About once a week, he would call me and say, “Donna, do you have a pen?” I knew exactly what he meant. He was going to read to me from our favorite commentary, one written by Scottish theologian, Alexander Mac Claren. I would run to get a legal pad and pen and then ask him to read slowly, because I knew I was going to receive a deposit of spiritual gems over the next hour. I cherished those times like no other.

One day, he called me to say, “Donna, I need you.” He was asking me to come and work with him in ministry as his general manager and afternoon speaker. That was 21 years ago…and that is how long I have been serving alongside him.

Almost immediately I was thrust into global evangelism, visiting Uganda first, and then planning meetings in Scandanavia, Moscow and Far East Russia. We conducted training seminars for ministers and pastors, planted churches and saw miracles of healing in every crusade. My travels with him took me to 40 nations of the world and I became an eyewitness to the supernatural. Legendary stories rose out of the Kamchatka, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Mexico City and Nigeria crusades. His trust in me to help plan those meetings and learn cross-cultural gospel communication was invaluable to the work I am now doing as the ministry continues.

Dearest to our hearts were the inner-city tent crusades, particularly in the boroughs of NYC. The people were our extended family; many we knew by name. Dad’s trailer would be laden with banana pudding, pound cake, fried chicken, apple pie, and all kinds of goodies baked by our favorite cooks: Mom Harris and Sister Chandler. My brother Bob always sneaked the banana pudding away, so Mom Harris started to bring 2–1 for Bobby and the other for the rest of us.

It seemed to us, no one could worship like inner-city folks. We loved preaching in NYC, because no one ever had to preach alone. The folks just preached along with us. The services would go for 10 days, 17 services, usually in the blaring heat. They were long days, longer nights, but oh so exciting! Every night God did something outstanding–so many addicts delivered; so many cancers disappeared; so many deaf ears opened; so many healed by the power of Almighty God. As Dad often said, “Bible Days [were] here again!”

I suppose I would be writing for eternity, recounting the glorious times we shared over the past 57 years. Yet, in all the times together, I remember a regular man, who didn’t believe his own press report, loving on people, preaching his heart out and ministering until he almost passed out. He never quit. He always showed up. He kept the faith. He finished his course.

Still, with a year passed, I struggle to believe the one constant in my life who connected with me on so many  frequencies is gone. The scent, the look, the smile and the voice of my father, friend and favorite co-laborer have been taken from me. Yet, I have great comfort, that his heart lives on as the ministry he labored hard in continues to impact nations and call people to Jesus. His passion lives on, as we on an ongoing basis, disciple leaders to carry the gospel around the world.

In my heart there is an ember of his love still glowing. For the rest of my life I will be quoting him, laughing at him, and remembering the life-time of moments we shared. I am permanently branded with the brilliance and tenderness of his one-of-a-kind, kind of love.

About donnaschambach

President of Schambach Ministries; Evangelist and Director of GOSPEL School of Ministry International.
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42 Responses to Branded for Life…A Year Could Never Erase Him.

  1. Pastor/Evangelist Philip J. Campbell says:

    ~ Precious Memories ~ … how they linger! My heart swelled & tears filled my eyes as I read this post. What a legacy and heritage you have and may the LORD continue to use you mightily in His Kingdom and in this End-Time Harvest!

  2. Outstanding reflections! I have so many fond memories of much that you shared! I’ve never been more engaged in a narrative account than by listening to your father tell so many of the Biblical stories. He truly was thoroughly gifted for the task to which our Lord called him. And he certainly faithfully discharged the divine mandate: “From the one to whom much is given shall much be required.” He surely gave it ALL. What a wonderful model for all of us! Blessings, dearheart!

  3. Mary T. Morris says:

    Donna, that was so touching! Such a wonderful tribute to such a wonderful Man of God! I remember seeing him many, many years ago, in New York. When I think back on it, I believe that’s when I starting feeling God tug on my heart! God Bless you, and HAS Blessed you, with the father you had!

  4. Any time, every time I took a friend of mine to hear him, to see him and to meet him, they would always comment on his love and on his genuineness. And yes, for so many years now, you were right there at his side helping him and watching out for him too as he continued getting older. Thank you, Donna Schambach and thanks for your wonderful father.

  5. Bea Freeman says:

    Wow! Wonderful observation of someone others should know about ….sounds like someone I now…my husband, passed away 18 months ago after 51 years of ministry, 49 Pastoring, and marriage of 48 years, leaving 3 viable ministries and a church that others 3 other ministers have picked up to continue building on the foundation left by such a man. Thank you for this post.

    • Thank you Be a for reading and for sharing. May God bless you and your family; I know you have many stories to share as well. I trust God is helping you in your grieving process. May the Lord strengthen and encourage your heart today. Deut. 31:8

  6. Louis Wiggington says:

    What an awesome man of God your Dad was and still is carrying on through you ,I aways loved his ministry. I’ve known the Grace of God since 1978 my mom and Dad and oldest sister are now with Jesus, He is my everything ,and since my Divorce in 1988 He’s been my all in all ,now my life is wrapped around Him and my grand baby her name is Krysalin she is 6 years old ,Well guess I better go for now speak the Grace and Blessing of God over your life . God Bless you Donna hope I spelled your name right Your friend and Brother in Christ Louis L. Wiggington

  7. Kelly Perkins says:

    He was a giant among giants, paving the way for others to follow. This was and is the legacy that R W Schambach left us: You Don’t Have No Trouble…You Just Need Faith In God…

  8. Israel Orta says:

    Donna, i had the pleasure to go to a few of your father’s crusades in South Florida, and work in one he held in Homestead, FL, in 1994, after Hurricane Andrew. I loved to hear your father preach. Few men preach with such vigor, intensity, and fire. We need more R.W.’s in this world. He is sorely missed, but we know he is good hands with our Lord, and his legacy lives on.

  9. Derek Hughes says:

    I had to put my socks back on because your blog blessed them right off my feet! HA! I have been watching Voice of Power since I got saved 4 years ago. Your dad’s zeal to share what matter’s most, Gods Love, continues to inspire me and encourage me to keep hitting the streets and evangelizing. Your blog really showed me a whole other side to this amazing man of God although I think it was confirmation to what I thought he would be like in private. The heart to see revival and the dedication to seeing God move and see people encounter God’s power is beyond my typing abilities. What really blesses me is how the commission has been passed down amongst the generations, as it should. Thank you Donna, for your obedience, and devotion to Jesus. Thank you for spending your anointing on others and bringing hope to this world! Blessings you Donna, and your family.

  10. Don Cox says:

    Wonderful! I love seeing someone honor their parents as you have honored them and continue to do so daily. I remember my mother and I going to see your Dad at Crossroads Cathedral here in Oklahoma City. He shared a wonderful word from the Lord and began praying for folks. Seated in front of us was a black man who was blind. My mother and I had followed him into the service and the ushers seated him right in front of us. I watched as your father prayed for this man. I watched the Lord turn the milky white eyes of the man brown and the man screamed I can see! There were other blind eyes opened that night and it was those who had rushed to the alter to receive Jesus at your fathers invitation. It was the last time my mother and I sat in church listening to your father preach, she passed away not long after. One of the things that I have celebrated as the years have passed is not only will I get to see Jesus, soon, but I will get to see my mom and dad as well as yours! Isn’t it great that in the end we are one big happy family? What a reunion it will be!

    • How exciting Don! That is a powerful testimony. I have been to Crossroads with Dad and Mom: they loved spending time with the Sheaffers. Many blessings to you and yours as we stay busy in the Lord’s work.

  11. paula says:

    We met your Dad in Seattle years ago when he was at the Tacoma Dome, we helped set up the meeting for the Pacific Northwest, we loved him the minute we met with him and stayed in touch throughout the years. One of the great men of God. Thank you for sharing Donna, you are such a blessing to the body of Christ…Pastor Larry and Paula Vines

  12. Linda Palmer Bartolomeo says:

    Dear Donna…your daddy was always dear and special to me…..mt mother and I attended Glassport Assembly of God in Glassport, Pa., when I was only around 7 years old…..a very longgggg time ago. I can still remember his preaching, even back then. What an anointed, spiritual powerhouse he was. Through the years as we moved, we got to see him preach in Springfield, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., KC, Mo., and the last time I saw him was in Harrisonville, Mo., in 1992, at church. With all those years and millions of people in his life, he still remembered my other and me!!! He was absolutely incredible, and always my favorite preacher. So, yes, Donna, you were highly blessed to have him as your daddy, and I was enriched from those few years he was in my life….he really left an impact on it!!!

    • Hi Linda, You cannot know how much your message touched me! I have heard stories of my parents’ time in Glassport, but since that is where I was born, I remember nothing. I only have their memories. I would love to speak with you someday. If you wouldn’t mind calling Wade at 903.825.8822 he can schedule an appointment for us to talk. I would certainly love to ask you a bunch of questions. Thank you for taking the time to let me know about your relationship with Dad.
      Donna

  13. Roger Walker says:

    When difficult times lead to miracles. I went through a painful divorce that I did not want in 1987. Because I was a member of a Baptist Church at the time, the pastor told me I could no longer teach Sunday school classes because I was now divorced. I had accepted the Lord in January 1973 and this came as a real blow to me. It was now April 1988 and I was working in a school where the principal made it clear he hated Christians whom he referred to as misguided dinosaurs who refused to get with the secular program. He threatened to fire me if I did not remove my bible from the top of my school desk. I was really struggling to find an answer to what was in store for me. I came home one afternoon and turned on the TV. Brother R.W Schambach was speaking about the need for all believers to do their part to serve the Lord. He then made a statement, “There is a place for everyone on the mission field.” I looked at the TV in desperation and said out loud, “Do you mean there is a place for Roger?” Brother Schambach pointed his finger at the camera and said “There’s a place out there for even Roger.” I was so stunned I began to shake, I felt Holy Ghost bumps all over me. It felt like my hair was standing on end like Fido-Dido. I went into the bedroom and cried out Lord gives me the peace that passes all understanding. I was immediately struck deaf. As I lay on the bed praying I could feel my vocal chords vibrating but heard absolutely no sound whatsoever. I put my fingers in my ears and could feel the drumbeats but absolutely no sound. Thirty minutes passed when suddenly a warm rush overtook me and that was followed by the return of my hearing. I arose from the bed immediately and the phone rang as soon as I did. It was a pastor from some thirty miles away who asked me to do a lock-in for teenagers on Friday night. I did and 13 kids got saved. I then ended up in the summertime in Mexico and as I spoke in a number of churches people began to respond in great numbers. Several were healed and a cancerous wound on one man closed up as I laid hands on him and prayed. After praying all night I entered another large church in Mexico City. As soon as I entered I began to weep uncontrollably. I was so ashed I moved to a far away corner and asked the Lord why I was crying. Then I heard a voice which said, “welcome home. Welcome to your home.” Once again I felt the warm rush. I returned to Texas. As I entered the church a man came out and said “God has a word for you.” I told him I was listening. He said “The Lord says you must go back to Saudi Arabia.” I did. I was blessed beyond measure. I was there developing underground church networks and smuggling bibles 1988-1991. We prayed for more bibles because they were hard to come bye. That very night after meeting with our underground pastor I took my wife to a Thai restaurant in Al Khobar. While walking down the street I was stopped and arrested by the Islamic religious police (the Muttawa) and interrogated. Later that night we got the shocking news that Kuwait had been invaded. We got a War instead, the First Gulf War. I was and am still an active member of the Gideons. We prayed for bibles on a Wednesday night, we were invaded some 6 hours later and the Gideons sent 1 million bibles to Saudi on C5A aircraft. That was 444,000 more copies than troops sent by the US. I contacted a chaplain with the American forces and received 250,000 scriptures which was far more than we would have ever believed was possible. Ther night of my arrest we had prayed for only 25,000 copies. I met a lady on a visit to Thailand. Later I ended up marrying her and have been in Thailand serving as a head of an orphanage and have distributed over 300,000 new testaments to Buddhist children and teachers in the schools. My wife is a committed soul winner and is totally sold out to serving the Lord. We make a good team in ministry. Brother Schambach was absolutely right. There was a place on the mission field for even Roger.

    • What an awesome testimony Roger! I love to hear about the ongoing work of the ministry! God bless you in all you do for the Kingdom! if you are ever in Tyler, I would love to get your testimony on video. Many blessings to you!

  14. Karen Bellini says:

    Beautiful…. <3…..

  15. Dale Anne Johnson says:

    He was an amazing Man. I was so thankful to have had the chance to meet him in person & have a picture taken with him at Power & Praise church. His words will live on as I continue to listen to his sermons on ipod cd’s, dvd’s & read his books.

  16. Michael Olu. Akinlabi says:

    R.W. Schambach was a preacher and teacher of the word I was privileged to listen to during my formative years in the faith. Although I was in the Nigeria and never had the opportunity to meet him in person, the tapes and books were as powerful as his presence. I consumed as many of his tapes and books as I could lay my hands on.

    The stories and testimonies were faith-building process for me….seeing the God of all possibilities in impossible situations. His fiery prophetic voice, speaking without fears, was also something I can never forget. The impartation I got from these resources sets my heart on fire and the fire still burns till today. I’m grateful to God for calling your father, and I thank him for not rejecting God’s calling.

    God bless you Pastor Donna for keeping the fire burning. Generations yet unborn will remember your service to God, if Christ’ second coming tarries.

  17. Nzikahyel Mari says:

    I am inspired by your eulogy, it is rightly said he has made a great impact in our lives. I come know him through my Pastor (Pas. Zack’s) who regularly quote him in many instances with an inspirational testimonies this draw me closed to R.W Schambach using all his medium of teaching and i am blessed it. His memory linger, God bless you Donna as you carry on with the mantle.

  18. Karen Bellini says:

    I’ve been thinking about how this affected me. When you talk about the loving relationship between you and especially your father it helps me so much because I didn’t have that. It’s hard for me right now to put in words. Your life and how you write helps me understand our heavenly Father more. I can sense His Love in a special way. Keep writing sister Donna…and speaking His Word with stories as led. It will warn and melt cold hurting hearts. God bless you…

    Karen

  19. schar says:

    I will never forget the tent revival that I attended when I was 13 with my mom in Jamaica Queens around 1979. That was my first revelation of God. God’s spirit filled that tent and there was a visitation of the holy spirit. From that age until my 30’s I have lived a sin-filled life and through everything I have never forgotten my experience with God. I went to church in my 30’s and became so convicted and tired of living in sin, that I cried out and asked God to reveal himself to me once again, and that vision that I had in that tent when I was 13 came back and God spoke to me and said that he never forsake me. Thank God for RW Schambach , my mother’s favorite evangelist. I will never forget that service. Donna what beautiful words you speak of your father. He carried out God’s will!

  20. Evangelsit Wayne Savage says:

    I remember when Bro. Schambach came to Life Church in Mobile Alabama. I was listening to him everyday on the radio and then got to go to the meeting. I went earlier enough to get a seat on the front row. One thing that will always stand out to me is the cologne he had on. At one point he came and stood in front of my wife and I. I have some tapes that I listen to still today. What a great preacher and follower of Jesus Christ! Blessings Evangelist Wayne Savage

  21. Tonya Hollingsworth says:

    Bro Shambach was a great man of God. I pray that his legacy lives on. I thank God for him and for the work he’s done. Follow in his foot steps whole- heartedly Donna…God Bless!!

    • Thank you, Tonya! You will be pleased to know that the legacy continues and God is doing mighty things. Our every effort is to blanketing the globe with the full impact of our glorious Gospel message. You can stay in touch with the ministry at http://www.schambach.org. Thank you for praying for us and with us! Many blessings.

  22. I knew yourDad for many years! Yet reading this, I learned even more about him.I will always treasure my private times with him and your Mom.I loved the fact that he was Pentecostal to the core and not ashamed of it.he would call me when he was in Miami and twice I arranged Tent meetings for him in Fort Lauderdale. None of these current day preachers come near him, his anointing and his ministry. My Sister, keep up the good work. Jesus is coming soon. We will rejoice with him in Heaven soon.

  23. DANILO APOSTOL DELA CRUZ says:

    we….loves you…..brethren,,,,my…fellow-workers in him….Pastor shambach……you will be there…..to our real home…..thats the promises…….always thinking…you and your whole family…..evangelist DANILO APOS TOL DELA CRUZ……….PHILLIPPINES

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