For today’s post, we’ve pulled our founding author out of a premature retirement, and are pleased to have his contribution, which concerns his elder brother, the Rev. John Andrew Myers, IV.
Can Anything Good Come out of Thunder Hawk?
Bible readers might remember the famous question of the future apostle Nathaniel upon being informed by his friend Philip, that Jesus the Messiah from Nazareth had been found. Nathaniel asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:45, 46) We might as well ask the question of this post, “Can anything good come out of Thunder Hawk?” Named for a famous Indian chief of the Sioux tribe, the tiny South Dakota town was the site of the birth of John Andrew Myers IV in 1936. Why there, you ask? Because that was one of the preaching points of the famous “Athboy Circuit” of mission stations of the Rev. David K. Myers. And John was his first son born into his family. Later that year, Rev. Myers would move his family to Lemmon, South Dakota and begin the first Bible Presbyterian church in the nation.
John was a sickly child in his birth. In fact, he was not expected to live long after his birth. His mother, Hannah Myers, was also expected to die from this difficult pregnancy. The husband and father would spend hours on his knees praying that in God’s will, both wife and son would be spared from death’s dark door. Added to his inner turmoil was the outward turmoil of circumstances around his ministerial ordination. All of this occurred around the difficult days which occasioned his forced departure from the Presbyterian Church USA over the issues associated with the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, of which our readers of these posts should be familiar. God was gracious in granting his request. His wife and first son were preserved in life.
In his early years, like the rest of the family, John traveled with his military chaplain father to Army installations around the world. In time, he attended Shelton College, located in Ringwood, New Jersey, graduating in 1958. In addition to his degree, he married a college coed from Shelton named Janice Corby, who greatly aided his future home life and ministry. And to prepare for the latter, he went to and graduated from Faith Theological Seminary in 1961. Ordained into the Bible Presbyterian church, he served two B.P. congregations in Ohio and Delaware.
John always had a tremendous sense of humor. While a pastor in Delaware, he invited this writer, who was then a Senior at Faith Seminary, down to his home in Delaware for the Easter break. Both brothers spent happy times catching up with one another until the late hours of Saturday evening. Just before midnight, John asked me what was my sermon theme for the Sunrise service the next day? I replied that I wasn’t preaching, that I supposed that he was the speaker. Whereupon he pulled out the church page of the local newspaper where it announced in big bold letters that Calvary Bible Presbyterian Church would have as their speaker at the Sunrise Service, “David Myers, Senior at Faith Theological Seminary.”
Leaving the Bible Presbyterian denomination, John, Janice, and their family of four traveled to Tennessee to pastor two more Presbyterian Churches in that southern state. Eventually, through the Joining and Receiving process by the Presbyterian Church in America and the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod, in which the latter body, John was a member minister, he became a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America in 1982.
Due to complications from diabetes, John suffered the loss of both his lower limbs in his latter days. Still his dedication to the spiritual needs of the Church would be evident as he, now equipped with prosthetic legs, with obvious difficulty walked to many a podium to pray for revival in the visible church and a spiritual awakening in our land. As Rev. Myers so faithfully attended the National Days of Prayer, (never missing a time), another participant once confessed that seeing his example, he knew he had no excuse not to attend.
Clearly something good, by God’s sovereign grace, did come out of Thunder Hawk, South Dakota. God would call John Myers home to Himself on July 27, 2003.
Words to Live By:
It wasn’t God’s sovereign will to take John Myers home to heaven in his infant years, simply because God’s Spirit had important work for him to do in His service. And he was faithful in that work of ministry in four congregations. Faithfulness to God’s Word is ever the key to a successful ministry. Let others look to numbers, offerings, and buildings. Keep your eyes on God and serve Him faithfully. God will bring the increase He intends, in His time.