Growing up in New Orleans and then Des Moines, Ashton Bell always felt that he’d been groomed by older preachers to learn their skills.
His announcement to his congregation that he was called to ministry at age 15 was the culmination of a lifetime of feeling predestined to preach, but it was only the beginning of his journey.
“My first few sermons were kind of rough,” he said. First, they were too short, then they were too long. He wrote every word down and read off the paper. “I was trying to find myself as a preacher,” he said.
Then, when his pastor’s wife died, he began to question God.
“I started doubting: I don’t understand how God being God could allow this to happen; how God being God could allow kids in Africa to starve; how God being God could allow soldiers to die on the battlefield; to allow families to be broken up, kids to be moved.”
Bell said he still doesn’t understand, but he came to realize that there was a design to everything: “God has his own timing and his own will.”
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SOURCE: The Des Moines Register