A Tribute to Del Fehsenfeld Jr. – Founder of Life Action Ministries

 I wrote this tribute a number of years ago for one of Del’s daughters who was serving in revival ministry at that time, on our team. I am sharing this publicly on the 25th Anniversary of his home-going. Del died on November 21, 1989 at the age of 42.

Del was a man of God … unique to this age … sent from God … Del was my friend!

Del was a man of faith.  Del paid the price of reputation and fellowship of peers and background in order to obey God in direction for Life Action. Knowing that most of his peers were afraid to make a break with their religious moorings in order to be obedient to God and in order to stand for truth, Del counted the cost, put his own reputation and that of Life Action on the line, and obeyed God.

Del was a man of passion … intense in anything he did. His praying, his thinking, his “sensing” in services, his preaching, even his note-taking … I can still see him sitting, taking notes. The way he wrote was fast and with purpose. I expect that each page below his notes (like each life under his influence) had an impression from the previous page! Del was impassioned … there was never any doubt about that.

Del was committed to obeying the scriptures. The Word of God had to be foundational to whatever we were doing if we were going to ask God to empower and bless our efforts. If obedience to the Word of God meant a total change of direction for our ministry, then we would pray, get the mind of God through the Word of God and the counsel of other Godly men, then pray some more, pull out the notepad, start conceptualizing and giving birth to what we perceived to be the heart and mind of God. Del’s approach to any new thoughts or ideas was not, “What will our constituents think about this?” but, “Is this from God? And if so, how do we as a ministry fit into making this happen? Does this further the cause of revival for the glory of God?”

Del was a prophet … much like a salmon, constantly swimming upstream, and almost always against the mainstream of much of Christianity in America. Del was not at home in this world, and would not risk the unique blessing of God and His sanctifying power over Life Action just to get into churches for ministry. He did not lend himself to following the trends of the day in the church movement, and was constantly confronting the “Madison Avenue” technique of doing church work. Del would often say,

“One of the problems in much of our church work today is that we sit in a meeting room and make our plans, then ask God to bless them … rather than getting in the Word of God on our knees first and getting the mind of God, then moving ahead with the confidence of knowing that what He has ordained, He will bless!”

At the same time, Del was always ready to use the latest innovations in equipment and media technology with a spirit of excellence in order to help communicate the burden for revival. He was not out to make Life Action Ministries a popular ministry, but only concerned that it be a holy, God honoring ministry. He knew and lived out the reality that a prophet and a prophet’s ministry would be uncomfortable for most of what was standard for modern day Christianity. Del was a threat to nominal, programmed, popular Christianity and knew it!

Del was teachable and expandable, even though he knew what he believed and where he stood. He was not threatened by bringing other strong men around him to help promote the glory of God. Yet at the same time, if he sensed in their philosophy a tainting of man’s thoughts versus God’s thoughts (a pragmatic approach to ministry), he was not afraid to say, “I can’t accept that unless you can show me that in scriptures.”

Del was, in many ways, “unspotted from the world.” He was sometimes perhaps a little naïve and uninformed in the ways of the world, yet really … in a healthy way. He was a pilgrim, a stranger in this world. He was not however, unwise or undiscerning about the ways “the wicked” one would try to interrupt or deceive. He was a soldier who did not “entangle himself with the affairs of this life.”

Del loved his family. One indelible impression left on my heart, while we were praying in the bedroom of his trailer in the midst of his sickness in Fort Smith, was seeing him weep openly for the spiritual condition and future of his dear children. He and Judy knew those children were uniquely, each one, a gift from God.

Del’s desire was not so much for a long life, as it was for a “totally surrendered … obedient to God … recklessly abandoned … living for His glory” life.

He did indeed live and die for the glory of God!

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