The Herschel Powell Story

by Lin Powell, Stewardship Director


If God is in the Plan, Nothing can Stand in the Way


My phone rang.  It was Sister Xochitl Guerra asking if I would help with the Memphis First Hispanic Church renovation of a building they had just purchased.  Someone in the local conference office recommended that she contact me because I am a mechanical engineer and have worked with the conference on other projects.

Now this does not seem like a major request, but I was dreadfully sick with an uncontrollable e-coli infection that had colonized in my body as a result of a surgical procedure.  I struggled with this infection for nearly two years. There is no need to go into detail.  Suffice it to say I was losing the battle.  I was so weak and sickly that I had given up driving.  It was all I could do to get through each day.  I had to turn down several jobs due to failing health.

I did not know how I was going to manage this project in my weakened condition, but I knew that if God wanted me to do it, I would be able to do so through His strength.

At first, I had to be chauffeured to the church for meetings and for inspections.  Mentally, it was a joy, but physically it was totally exhausting.

Out of the blue, my internist suggested a course of treatment that hadn’t been used for years.  Within a week’s time, I was feeling so much better and stronger. What still amazes me is how quickly I improved.

God is so good!  What a reminder to me that when we are about our Father’s business, he is faithful to provide all our needs. I do have to laugh a bit, because on the dedication Sabbath I hobbled on a cane due to having just torn a tendon working out too hard at the gym!   At age eighty-four, I am working full time, again.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.

On September 25, 2010, Memphis First Hispanic Church dedicated its new sanctuary.  This congregation is so alive in Christ.    One dear brother shared with me that Sabbath, “We believe in the mission of the church.”  I have witnessed this first hand over the last twenty years as the Memphis First Hispanic Church congregation has grown from one member to over three hundred and has also helped establish two more local churches.  What a joy it was to be a part of the dedication service.

Herschel and Rita Powell are active members of the Memphis First Church and living examples of Christian stewardship, realizing that in the giving of their time, talents, and resources they may rejoice in the blessings that come to others because of their faithfulness.