Spirit and Truth Ministries


Biography of David Spakes

This web site contains a scrapbook and condensed biography of David Spakes, Pastor of Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville and founder of Spirit and Truth Ministries. In most cases, you can click on pictures to see an enlarged photo in a separate window.

[1980s] [1990s] [2000s] [2010s] [All Years]
[1980] [1981] [1982] [1983] [1985] [1988] [1989]
[1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994] [1995] [1996]
[1997] [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]
[2004] [2005] [2006] [2007] [2008] [2009] [2010]
[2011] [2012]


Accepted Jesus Christ as Savior

"The most important day of my life was the day that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. It was Sunday, March 2, 1980. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. It was early. My mother, Ruby Lea Spakes, was sitting in front of her make-up mirror getting ready for church. On the other side of the room, the television was playing a sermon by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. I was eight years old at the time, and I wandered into my mother's bedroom and sat down on the edge of her bed to wait for her. I had heard the story of Jesus many times before, but that morning I prayed and accepted him as Lord of my life. The picture of me below in my bedroom dressed for church was taken at approximately the same age I was when I first became a Christian.

One of my most treasured possessions is a letter that I started to write to the televangelist that day, probably right after my mother stopped crying (although I don't remember). I didn't finish the letter, apparently because I made a mistake and the letter was written in pen. My mother rescued this fragment of the torn page out of the wastepaper basket and gave it to me some years later. Click on the letter to enlarge and read."


Joined the Church

"My family attended South Harriman Baptist Church where my grandmother was baptized as a young woman in the early 1900s. After I became a Christian, I joined the church. Here is a copy of a letter that the church office sent to me after I joined the church. To the right is a picture of me and my mother that was taken at the church for the member directory."


Sang First Solo in Children's Christmas Play

"From an early age, I remember singing with my mother. I had a talent and a love for singing, and I joined the children's choir at South Harriman Baptist Church. My first solo performance in the church was in December, 1982. The children's choir performed a musical called 'The Christmas Factory,' and the song I sang was called 'The Evergreen.' Click on the link below to hear a recording of that performance."

The Evergreen

MP3 Audio - 1,582 Kb
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Sang Solo in Children's Christmas Play

"One two recordings survive of my singing solo as a child at South Harriman Baptist Church. The second of these two recordings was made in December, 1983. The children's choir performed a Christmas musical, and the song I sang was called 'Thank You Lord for Christmas.' Click on the link below to hear a recording of that performance."

Thank You Lord for Christmas

MP3 Audio - 1,172 Kb
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Attended My First Full-Gospel Church, Baytown, TX

"The economy of East Tennessee in the early 1980s was very depressed, and my family moved to Baytown, Texas to try to find employment. Baptist churches are not as common that part of the country. We began attending a non-denominational church called Victory Temple. The core beliefs of this church were similar to what I was taught in the Baptist church ('Trinity in doctrine'), but there was an added element that I could never before have imagined ('Pentecostal in experience').

In this church, I was introduced to the concept of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and to spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). At this point in my life, I was very much like the men in Ephesus (described in the Bible) whom Paul asked, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' They answered, 'No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.' (Acts 19:1-7). These concepts are simply not taught in most Baptist churches, and I was unaware of them because I grew up attending a Baptist church. To me, the term full-gospel can be applied to any church that teaches these concepts as things that accompany salvation (Hebrews 6:1-9).

There are three memories I have from the time I attended this church that stick out in my mind. First, I remember how Pastor Kyle spoke before the offering was taken. He would always say the same thing. He would inform the congregation that the money collected would first be used to pay the church's bills and upkeep of the church buliding. Then, whatever amount was left over was for the pastor and his family. This, to me, is the Biblical model for how tithes and offerings are supposed to be used. What impressed me so much about the pastor's words was the open honesty and his humble demeanor, both of which are extremely lacking in the majority of preachers I have heard since this time.

The second memory from this church that sticks out in my mind is that of an elderly man who sat across the aisle from us on most Sundays. At times during the service, he whispered to himself words that I did not understand. One look on his face told me that he was bubbling over with joy at these times. I understand now that he was praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:12-15,28) and doing so specifically as the Bible directs. There were times in this church when tongues would be spoken aloud, and then an interpreter would reveal the message God was speaking to the congregation in that instance. However, when this elderly man spoke, there was no interpreter, so he spoke quietly to himself.

The third memory I have from this church is the first time I ever lifted my hands in praise to God. The Bible speaks about lifting hands in Psalms 134:2 and 1 Timothy 2:8. At South Harriman Baptist Church, I never saw anyone lift their hands during a church service, but at Victory Temple this was a common occurrence. The first time I tried, my arm seemed SO heavy. My heart was pounding. Finally, I mustered my courage and lifted one arm heavenward. Looking back, it is hard for me to imagine why this was so difficult to do, except that I know that by embracing this new expression of praise, I was also breaking away from a silent and still method of worship that I had been taught by example in the Baptist church.

The pictures below show the Victory Temple Church building and sign in Baytown, Texas. The last picture is a high school class photo of me that shows how I looked during the time we attended this Victory Temple Church."


Received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Gift of Speaking in Other Tongues

"In 1988, my family moved back to Tennessee. We did not return to South Harriman Baptist Church, but instead we looked for a full-gospel church to attend. Coincidentally, we ended up attending another church having the name Victory Temple.

I had been praying for a long time about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I wanted to experience what I had seen in the Victory Temple church that I had previously attended, and on the day of God's choosing, I did receive Him. I was attending Roane State Community College at the time, and after classes were over for the day, I drove along Highway 70 to my grandmother's apartment in Kingston. I was praying as I was driving, and suddenly I felt an overwhelming wave of emotion come over me. Tears began to well up in my eyes, and the feeling of joy and love in my heart at that moment was so intense, it was all I could do to take my pickup truck out of gear and come to a stop on the side of the road. I sat there perhaps ten minutes barely able speak because I was crying uncontrollably and my lower jaw was vibrating intensely. I could only say 'Hallelujah!'

There are some full-gospel believers who would say that it is not possible to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit without the evidence of speaking in other tongues. There are some full-gospel believers who would say that my vibrating jaw was a form of speaking in other tongues. In my heart, I believe that I did receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit there in my pickup truck on the side of the road, but on that day I did not speak with other tongues. For several months after this, I prayed that would be able speak with other tongues just as I had witnessed the elderly man do in the Victory Temple church that I had previously attended.

During the week of November 30, 1988, we attended a revival at the Victory Temple church in Lenoir City, Tennessee. The guest speaker was Elaine Holmer, and there came a point during the service when she asked for anyone who desired to speak in other tongues to come forward. I responded to her summons, and she laid her hands on me to receive this gift from the Lord. Doctrinally, I don't agree with her method, because she spoke aloud in other tongues with no interpreter present while she ministered to me. However, I can not deny that on that day I did receive the gift.

A video recording was made of the revival service that night, and I have below a link to the clip during which I received the gift of speaking with other tongues. Two frames of that video are shown below. In the first frame, after the evangelist had walked across the sanctuary (right circle), I followed her across to the other side (left circle). The second frame shows the evangelist with her hands on me ministering the gift (2 Timothy 1:5-7)."

Gift of Tongues
Elaine Holmer to David Spakes

WMV Video - 1,356 Kb
Click to Watch

Called to Preach

"Sometime near the end of the year 1988, I began to feel God speaking to me, and I was given an assignment. Without hearing any audible voice, I knew in my heart what I was supposed to do. God told me to make a tape seven minutes long containing a message about the Body of Christ (advocating unity and cooperation among different kinds of churches based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and John 13:35). At the same time, God told me that I would hear people from all Christian denominations give some testimony about how they were lowering denominational barriers in their hearts.

I had no idea what I was supposed to do with the tape after I had made the recording, so I took it to my pastor and told him what God had told me. The church I was attending at that time had a daily half-hour radio program, and I thought perhaps that after the pastor had listened to the tape, he might play my little sermonette on on the radio. This did not happen, but a few weeks later, the pastor announced from the pulpit that I had been called to preach. I wasn't sure at first if what he said was true. After much prayer, however, I began to feel that the pastor was correct and that God was calling me to preach.

Not long after this, the Assistant Pastor, Jeff Schrimsher, spoke a prophetic word to me during the course of a sermon he was preaching. I received the word with gladness, because it confirmed what I already felt in my heart. Here is a picture of Jeff and a recording of the prophetic message that he spoke to me."

Prophetic Message
Jeff Schrimsher to David Spakes

MP3 Audio - 305 Kb
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Street Preaching, Lenoir City, TN

"My first opportunity to preach came in the Spring of 1989 when the church I was attending opened its doors on Saturdays and had street preaching. The church was located in the old downtown area of Lenior City across the street from the main Post Office, and there were always plenty of pedestrians within earshot of the church's PA system. The meetings usually lasted two hours or more, and there was constant preaching during that time, because when one of us would finish speaking, another one of us would take over and continue. Here are two short clips of me preaching on two different Saturdays. The second clip is my favorite, because you can hear me addressing some of the passers-by."

April 1, 1989

MP3 Audio - 221 Kb
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July 1, 1989

MP3 Audio - 804 Kb
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First Sermon

"I was very nervous the first time the pastor of our church asked me to be prepared to preach during the mid-week service. I laugh about it now, because I know that I must have tortured the congregation with my extremely long sermon. The title of the sermon was God Shut the Door, and I delivered it on Thursday, May 25, 1989. Click on the document icon below to read a copy of my notes.

Click to Download

Prayed for the Sick at the Hunter Healing Explosion, Knoxville, TN

"On June 9, 1989, an event called the Hunter Healing Explosion was held at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum (shown in the last two pictures below). The evangelistic team responsible for this event was Charles and Frances Hunter of Kingwood, Texas. The general public was admitted free of charge. After the Hunters delivered a sermon, the people in the audience were invited to come forward to receive prayer for their sicknesses and physical impairments. Local event participants who administered prayer on the coliseum floor were required to watch fifteen hours of training videos, to read two books published by the Hunter ministry, and to attend a live briefing held at Redemption Church in Knoxville a day or two before the event. I was privileged to be able to be one of the participants in this event. The first four pictures below were taken at Redemption Church on the day of the briefing. We broke for lunch in the middle of the day, and some people from the church where I attended invited me to eat with them at their tailgating picnic."

Helped with a Tent Revival, Harriman, TN

"From July 14 to August 4, 1989, Victory Temple Church conducted a tent revival beside the ACE Hardware Store in Harriman, Tennessee. I helped to raise the the tent a few days before the revival started, and I also helped with the advertising (through this effort, I became acquainted with Uncle Jody at WBBX Radio Station where I would later have my own weekly program). The pictures below show step-by-step how we raised the tent.

  1. We had the land bushhogged. I was amazed when we found an old rusty pickup truck completely overgrown and concealed by the weeds. We had no idea it was even there until the tractor was right on top of it!
  2. The old church bus holding all of the tent materials was towed to the site, and the rusty pickup truck was towed away.
  3. We stood the main poles on end and secured them with ropes. This took several attempts, because they kept falling over. My pickup truck had manual transmission and didn't provide enough control to stand the pole up and then stop in time. We ended up using the pastor's van for this task since it had automatic transmission.
  4. We unloaded the folded tent sections one at a time from the back of the bus onto the bed of my pickup truck. Each one was incredibly heavy! Then, one at a time, I hauled each bundle to its place, and we unloaded it onto the ground. There was a large square section for the center and a semicircular section for each end.
  5. We unfolded the tent sections and laced them together.
  6. We hoisted the tent cover to the top of the main poles with ropes.
  7. We lifted the sides with small poles and secured the edges with ropes tied to stakes that were made from automobile axles!
  8. Finally, we mowed the grass underneath and around the tent before setting up the chairs."

Taught Adult Sunday School, Lenoir City, TN

"On September 3, 1989, the pastor of our church was scheduled to preach a revival in Atlanta, Georgia. After that event had been scheduled, Assistant Pastor Jeff Schrimsher announced that he was moving in order to take over as pastor of a church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The pastor asked Danny Stimmie and me to conduct the church service as normal during his absence. Danny would preach the Sunday morning sermon, and I would teach the Sunday School lesson in Jeff's place. The teaching responsibility lasted for several months. Here is a list of Sunday School topics that I taught for the next several months."

Sunday School Topics (1989)
Live the Wisdom of God
Defender of the Faith
The Secret Place
The Body of Christ
Good Ground

Waiting on God, Cocoa Beach, FL

"In the Spring of 1989, I made a short trip to Florida with some of my fellow high school students to compete in a national DECA event in Orlando. While the trip was being planned, I convinced my teacher to add nearby Cocoa Beach to our itinerary, because my paternal grandparents lived in that city, and I wanted to meet them. My grandparents asked me to come back for longer visits, which I did several times over the next couple of years.

During one of my early visits, I learned that my grandmother was an ordained full-gospel minister, and for twenty years she had been active in prison ministry. Pictured last (below), her ordination certificate hung on their living room wall. Her life and testimony were an inspiration for me then and now, and I was pleased to be able to have her certificate after she passed away.

I spent the Christmas of 1989 with my grandparents at their duplex in Cocoa Beach. They attended a church called Beach Christian Fellowship that met in the Freedom 7 School building. I enjoyed very much attending church there, partly because they sang beautiful praise and worship songs, and I had never heard 'Praise and Worship' music until that time. The first picture below is one of me from about this time wearing a Beach Christian Fellowship hat. Next to it is a picture of the duplex where my grandparents lived.

After my grandparents would go to sleep about 8:00 or 9:00 o'clock, I spent several hours each night reading my Bible and praying, usually past midnight. I wrestled with the decision about whether I should continue to attend the Victory Temple church after I returned home to Tennessee, because my mother had already decided that she was going to look for another church to attend closer to our house in Harriman. During one of these nights, the Lord gave me a sermon to preach called 'Redigging the Wells of Abraham' (based on Genesis 26:17-18)."

[1980s] [1990s] [2000s] [2010s] [All Years]
[1980] [1981] [1982] [1983] [1985] [1988] [1989]
[1990] [1991] [1992] [1993] [1994] [1995] [1996]
[1997] [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]
[2004] [2005] [2006] [2007] [2008] [2009] [2010]
[2011] [2012]

Spirit and Truth Ministries / contact@spirit-and-truth.net