Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by our website.
I grew up in Bismarck, ND with an active and positive outlook during my early years. Athletics was a big part of my high school and college life and I became the state champion in wrestling in 1976. I was able to attend college with wrestling scholarships. It was during my junior year in High School that I began dating Lori. She went on to graduate from Dickinson State University’s nursing program.
Down the wrong road!
As a young man, I knew little about the Bible, the Pentecostal church, or God’s plan for my life. Heavy metal music, experimenting with “mind control”, and other types of witchcraft left me confused and frightened. I was introduced to drinking and partying which seemed to be part of being on the team. Soon I moved to drugs and before I knew it, had developed a full-blown addiction to narcotics. It was when one of my best friends entered a drug addiction facility that I first realized I had a problem. After the initial effort and failure to “quit”, everything changed. I realized that I was following in my alcoholic father’s footsteps.
The Light starts to come on
It was during the height of my addiction lifestyle that Lori and I married. Soon afterwards our first son was born. After experiencing a troubling acid trip, I began to be serious about trying to change. While in the delivery room when my son was born, I felt something that I had never felt before. When I came out into the hospital waiting room a friend, who had been in the treatment center, was waiting. When told about the experience, he exclaimed, “That was God that you felt!” That night, at a party, was the first time in several years that I actually turned down drugs and alcohol. I didn’t quit drugs right then, but that experience brought about several unusual events.
Hearing God’s voice the first time
We were living in Valley City, ND where I had received a wrestling scholarship. One evening I had pulled my car to a remote spot and began smoking pot before I was to go home. I heard a voice speak and say, “Throw your pot and pipe and everything that goes with it in the river.” Another voice said, “Don’t do that, it is expensive and won’t help you anyway.” The first voice said, “Throw it away.” The other voice said, “Don’t throw it away, give it to your friends.” It was now I realized the first voice must be God and the second voice must be the devil! I jumped out of my car and threw the drugs and paraphernalia into the river.
Meeting God in a Pentecostal Church
That weekend we went to Bismarck to visit. I announced to Lori, “We should try a new church.” My wife, a faithful catholic, got excited that I even wanted to go. For some reason I said, “Let’s try that little Pentecostal church on the corner of 16th and Rosser.” That same Saturday, my friend who had been in the treatment center, called. He said, “Bob, my wife and I are trying a new church this Sunday and would like you and Lori to go with us.” I asked him which church and he said, “It is that Pentecostal church on the corner of 16th and Rosser!” That same day, Lori’s friend, Debbie, called. She said “I am getting baptized this Sunday and would like you and Bob to come.” Lori asked in which church she was getting baptized. She said, “It is that Pentecostal church on the corner of 16th and Rosser!”
Needless to say we showed up that Sunday morning!
The first time in a Pentecostal church was a brand new experience. The singing, the worship, the friendly people and the anointed preaching touched my heart. The hook was set and somehow I knew I was on the right track.
That next Wednesday, I attended the Pentecostal church in Valley City. During the sermon, the pastor read Acts 22:16: “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” As soon as he read it, the same voice that had told me to throw my drugs in the river said “You need to get baptized tonight.” When the pastor finished speaking he asked if anyone had any questions. I raised my hand and asked “Can you baptize me tonight?” That snowy November 2nd I was baptized in the river, in the name of Jesus Christ. This was the same river that a week earlier I had thrown my dope into. A few days later Lori was also baptized.
Who would have believed I would become a pastor?
We had experienced a true spiritual awakening! I, who had never wanted to go to church before, now went to church every time the doors were opened. Upon finishing in Valley City, we moved to Bismarck and began attending the First United Pentecostal church pastored by David Walters.
After much learning, growing, fellowship, and ministerial studies, I became a Youth Leader. Later I became Youth Pastor and then Assistant Pastor.
With careful prayer, help from our pastor, and special guiding miracles, we moved to Dickinson. In August 1989 we launched the New Life Pentecostal church. Our children, Luke, Sara, and Ben were key participants in this team effort. During the first few years, we held services in two different motels. Then God opened the door and the church purchased the building at 105 7th Ave West. In the years since, many precious people have been baptized in the Name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost!
Thank you for taking time to read my story. If there’s anything I can do to help you just let me know.
Pastor Bob Simons