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Sid: Well my guest Tommy Reid I’ve known for many years but there are a number of things that I’m finding out now that I never knew about you Tommy. For instance your parents were among the earliest Pentecostals in the eastern part of the United States. Your father came in dragging his feet because his father was a bar… owned a bar and your dad was an alcoholic, your Mom of course was a strong believer but your dad was an alcoholic and when you were 4 years of age what happened?

Tommy: When I was 4 years of age my parents my mother dragged my father to church to a Wesleyan Methodist Church. And my dad was an alcoholic he was dying of alcoholism; he had bleeding-ulcers doctors had given him up to die. He came to the altar instantly he was converted, I mean he became a believer that was probably the strongest believer in this part of the country everybody wanted his testimony. At the same time he was healed; at the same time he was delivered of alcoholism so he walked out completely healed, completely delivered of alcoholism. Didn’t even know it was religiously wrong to drink. So he went the next night to the bar and ordered his usual drinks and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said “You’re going to serve me you can’t serve me in this room.” And my dad turned around and said Al I wanted wine, ring it up it’s my last drink and it was instantly. He came back to a home that was broken not between my mother and dad but because he was dying of alcoholism and started serving God it was a total miracle.

Sid: What was he healed from?

Tommy: He was healed from bleeding ulcers that were a result of the alcohol.

Sid: Hm. And this instant, I love these instant healings, instant deliverance. But then at 8 the devil tried to take you out; you developed polio.

Tommy: I developed polio. Well before that I actually had spinal-meningitis and my parents prayed over me and I was healed. But then I had this dramatic healing which was told in that award winning video, award winning story of my life on DVD. In that time I was unable to walk, laying on a bed the devil telling me I would never walk again. My mother telling me “By His stripes you are healed” and began tell me all the healing scriptures. One day I awakened and God said to me “Today is the day I’m going to heal you.” And at the instant I knew that was the day so I called my mother and said “Mom, would you call the pastor have him come and pray for me.” He couldn’t come he was in Buffalo making rounds in the hospitals and he couldn’t come. And I said to the Lord “Why did You tell me today the pastor can’t pray for me?” The Lord said to me he’s not here but I’m here and I’m going to heal you.” At that point I pointed my finger at the devil and I said “Devil you are not going to keep me in this bed any longer.” Pushed myself to my feet, took a step with my good leg and I realized that was the wrong thing to do I realized I should have started with my bad leg first so I’d have the good leg to stand on. But all of a sudden I realized my bad leg worked and I walked across the floor, ran up the stairs and I didn’t walk up the stairs I always run. And at 82 I still run upstairs; I ran up the stairs and got on my clothes, came back down looked at my mother and said “Mom I want a glass of milk.” And my mother had this pan of milk in her hands so shocked that her son could walk that she dropped the milk all over the floor. I said “What are you doing walking?” And I said “Mom I told you today Jesus said He’d heal me.” And she said “Well, your going to have to do one or two things either lap the milk off of the floor or go down to the store and buy it.” So I put my coat on and ran out the door of the house, ran two blocks to the store, ran back home and poured my own glass of milk. Instantly healed by the power of God. So I saw my first miracle in my own body.

Sid: I have to ask you you’re a young child, you’re 8 years old and your using phrases such as Jesus spoke to me. In what way did He speak to you? Was it audible, was it a thought, was it an impression?

Tommy: I think I’m not sure it was audible but to me it was so strong it was audible. To say it was audible I can’t say that but it was so strong in my heart. Many times when God speaks to me because I lived a life I believe that in the morning you go into the presence of God and you hear God’s voice. I believe that He not only talk to Him but He speaks to you; so all of my life I’ve had this innate ability to being able to hear His voice. And I heard His voice that day but I heard it many many times.

Sid: Tell me exactly what He said to you after you were looking for the pastor and the pastor couldn’t come.

Tommy: Exactly what He said to me “Tommy, Pastor is not here and I am here and I’m the one that’s going to heal you. And at that point all doubt was gone I knew that was the day.

Sid: But He also said, “Take me by the hand.”

Tommy: Yeah, well the other thing He said… and that’s kind of what I said to Him. I looked at that and when I couldn’t stand, when I got to the place in my life where I didn’t have the ability to take the next step I knew that I got to do something. So I reached out and this is what I thought in my mind “Jesus if I’m healed I’m going to take your hand and walk because I heard You voice and I’m going to take You hand and I’m going to live my life, the rest of my life.” At 8 years old I said “God I’m going to live the rest of my life holding Your hand and hearing Your voice.”

Sid: Well those are two important things for an 8 year old to learn. I didn’t even know God was real until I was 30. But then you started having visions of your whole future. How does an 8 year old… I mean I was in college and I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

Tommy: Well I think I was brought up by my mother who taught me that. I would kneel by her bed and she would describe the story of the crucifixion and it was so real she worked for Cornell University she was an Educator. And she had an ability to tell me what was in her heart and I began… she began to teach me to listen to God’s voice. So all of my life I would go to altar on Sunday night at a little Assembly of God’s Church and at that Assembly of God’s Church as I knelt at that altar I would begin to see things. I don’t know what happened to me but I would be lost in what I was seeing. And what I was seeing was this big church. Now our church was very small it had hand made benches and hand made altar rails and all worn out 8 x 10 carpets laid together and about 30 people. But what I was… the church I was in in my prayer life was in this big church. It was 100s and 100s of people and the people were singing and worshiping and raising their hands. And when I would awaken and this happened not just one Sunday but happened Sunday night after Sunday night. And I would say “Lord, where have I been?” And it was like I was in two churches the little church and the big church and the big church was more real than the little church. And the Lord would say to me in my spirit “That is the church that you’re going to build.” I lived in that vision the rest of my life I said all of my life that I would come back to Buffalo and build that church.

Sid: I’ll tell you what you had so many opportunities to not fulfill your destiny but having that foundation from your mother teaching how to hear God’s voice. And what about this dreaming of dreams explain that.

Tommy: Well, see I think God speaks in a language and the language of destiny I believe is the language of visions and dreams. I don’t mean just late night dreams you dream when you’re at sleep at night. I mean there is a world in which you live in the world of the Spirit. Jesus went every day to that world, He said “He did those things He saw the Father do, and He said those things He heard the Father say.” Jesus did not just study for a sermon; Jesus went where He heard God’s voice and saw God’s face and saw the future. So when He came down He saw blind Bartimaeus before He saw blind Bartimaeus. And my mother taught me to live in that world, that world where of the supernatural, that world where so many of us don’t know much about where God actually speaks to us and we hear Him and see the things of the Spirit.

Sid: Well Paul Crouch who founded TBN is now in heaven when you were a young kid and just recovered from polio you didn’t know how to play baseball or anything and he taught you how to throw. But he taught you even something more important than that what was it?

Tommy: Paul was a young man that came back from the mission field with his father and his father died on the way home. So he was basically fatherless, he had a wonderful mother. So my parents bought him most of his clothes and he was like my little brother, he was 8 and I was 10. No, I’m sorry he was 10 and I was 12. One day he said to me “Tommy let’s go play catch” and I kind of looked down and I said “Paul, I can’t catch the ball; what do you mean every boy can catch the ball.” What would happen was couldn’t coordinate my eyes with my hands and so I would see the ball in a different place. So Paul took me and he said you know got close to me where the ball wasn’t very far away and he’d say “Tommy would you just watch it; let your eyes follow it.” And he taught me to catch my first ball I never forget when I caught the first ball. And then he looks at me as we walked back from the field where we were catching ball or the place that we were playing catch. And then he looked at me and this is what he said to me “Tommy, (He was 10 years old) Tommy you can do anything you want to do if you will just believe.” And it changed my life; I will never forget that. The last thing he did for me was that to do the introduction on my video and he said in their “Tommy let’s you and I never quit dreaming.”

Sid: Hm. Now one of the things about your docudrama your DVD that we’re making available and it is that as you talk step by step of how the dream within you was more real than what was going on on the outside. I believe people will have the same encouragement that was given you when you were young. And also your brand new book “How to Live Out a Dream.” Well, I believe that it will help those that are listening right now discover the God dream that is within them. And then step by step how to see this dream implemented. You believe that every Bible believer has a God given destiny, a God given dream. It’s not for the special people, explain.

Tommy: Well I think the Bible teaches us in 6 verses in the New Testament the Bible says that our future or our name was written before the foundation of the world. When it says name it just doesn’t mean Tommy it means who Tommy is. My destiny was written by God before the world was created; your destiny was written everybody’s destiny was written before the world was created. Which mean our destiny is greater than nature itself, before there was a rock, before there was a river, before there was a sun, before there was a constellation God wrote our destiny. Which means every single one of us have a destiny. The language which God speaks to us about that destiny is the language of visions or dreams. And that’s what I began to see as a child that… and I believe that God has sent me in these years of my life after I built churches and after I did everything I’ve done in life it’s now my time to begin to go out across America and teach them how to hear God’s voice and dream God’s dreams. And that is much simpler than we can ever realize.

Sid: I’ll tell you something else that I was absolutely amazed at I didn’t know your whole connection with the pastor of the largest church in the world. Except you had a connection with him in Korea before it was such a large church. Tell me about that relationship you had with Dr. Cho.

Tommy: That was in 1962 we had been pastors of the large church in Manila built by Lester Sumerall.

Sid: Hey, did you know Lester by any chance?

Tommy: Oh yeah he was my first mentor. Lester Sumerall was the man that taught me most of what I know. He was the man who took me under his wing when I was a boy; not a boy but a young preacher. And because we had followed him as pastors of the church of Manila, Springfield, Missouri Assemblies of God thought we’d be good to help Dr. Cho get started so they sent us to Korea to work with him. Little did I know that he was pastor of the largest church in the world and so we worked with him the entire year watch the church grow from about 300 to over 3000 that year. And let me tell you an interesting prophecy about Dr. Cho. We were in Tanchon, Korea the whole city was almost destroyed. We were staying with Dr. Cho in a hotel there, we had had breakfast in the train station because it was the only restaurant left after the Korean war. And would in the morning my dad looked across the table one day, I remember he was passing just a few other people, grabbed Dr. Cho’s hand and looked at him straight in the eye and said “Sir, one day you will pastor the largest church in the history of the Christian Church.” And I will never forget him he often tells the story when I am with him “I remember that moment when God put in my heart that I would pastor the largest church in the world.”

Sid: And for those that are not familiar with that church what was their largest membership?

Tommy: I think it was over 800,000 at one time.

Sid: I mean how can you have a church with 800,000? I don’t know how you can have a church with 8000. (Laughing)

Tommy: He brought me back with my family for the 20th anniversary.

Sid: But he wanted you to be not a pastor under him of the largest church in the world he wanted you to be his co-pastor. How could you turn him down?

Tommy: I had to turn him down because I had that vision; you know I knew that this was going to be the largest church in growth. I had heard the prophecy from my father and I knew I watched him grow that church. I mean it was exploding but I knew that was not the vision, it didn’t matter how big it’d be. Now when I got back and things didn’t work right away I thought maybe I made a mistake.

Sid: Or you know what my favorite story about you, especially things are going to so bad you get a phone call from a pastor in a church in Hawaii gigantic church extremely prosperous, one of the nicest places in the world to live. I know about Buffalo it maybe a wonderful place but the weather, you can have it Tommy. How in the world did you turn that church down when they wanted you to be the pastor?

Tommy: Well actually we were here all ready at that point. and I had when I Pastured Manila I used to go back and forth you know commuting between America and the Philippians quite often. And we’d always top in Hawaii and preach at First Assembly. And it was a large church but then in those days you know we’re talking 1960’s… 1950’s I mean or late 1950’s. And we would stop there and I feel in love with Hawaii and I fell in love with that church and I fell in love with those people. But we came to Buffalo and I always had dreamed of going in the natural not God’s dream but my dream was to go to Hawaii God’s dream was Buffalo; my dream was Hawaii. And the phone rang and the voice of Eldon Vincent the Pastor of the other end of the phone said “Tommy would you talk to your wife and would she come with you and you’ve just been elected Pastor of the First Assembly.” And did I ever want to go I was struggling I was ready to give up and in the middle of all of that I get the “I’m elected to the Pastor of this church” but I knew it was not the church in my heart a different church that God put there.” It’s the church I put in my heart hadn’t been built yet we were just struggling. But I knew that there was something inside of me that was bigger than the world around me.

Sid: Well, I can’t wait to get your new book “How to Live Out of the Dream” and this DVD docudrama which is actually won some awards. But there is a supernatural quality about this docudrama that will cause you to discover your dream and to fulfill your dream. Everyone has a destiny before God, everyone has a dream and in fact in a portion of this brand new book is a workbook which will help you identify everything you have to understand to fulfill your dream….

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