On January 8, 1988, my wife Margaret and I arrived in Mobile. We had only been married for two years. We moved from Detroit where we worked in secular jobs and in the ministry. One day, our pastor asked us to move to Mobile to help a church he had planted in Mobile.
We prayed, and I heard the Lord say that He was sending us to the Gulf Coast. I also heard that He was sending us to a land flowing with milk and honey.
I know milk comes from cows and honey from bees. But I did not know all that would be involved. We found that cows can be stubborn, and bees can sting. Even so, we left everything that we knew and loved in Detroit to encounter the cows and bees as they may come.
One day, after hearing the voice of God speaking to me regarding Mobile, I suddenly felt an overwhelming joy about moving there. Margaret and I did not have a clue of what we were about to get into. God had given us a joy for a city we knew nothing about.
Soon after arriving, we began to prayer walk the entire city. I received an assignment from the Lord to rebuild the spiritual gates of our city. To do so, we began the Jesus Patrol, and prayed with a team downtown every Friday and Saturday 10:00 pm till 12 midnight.
Each week, we worked with children in the housing communities, teaching Jesus to as many as 800 children. We were blessed to include taking 60 children to summer camps as well.
Working in the community we also worked alongside other ministries, churches, the policemen, and each mayor that Mobile has elected since our arrival in 1988. We developed lasting friendships and partnerships, many of which have grown and flourished.
Because God sent us here, we have maintained a fervent love affair with Mobile, regardless of cow messes and bee stings. That love has continued to grow for Mobile and its people. By the way . . . don’t let me catch you throwing trash on the street of my city! If there is something that will make Mobile grow and its people better, sign me up.
As I travel to minister in different cities, I invariably encourage people to get involved with their city. I share the responsibility to pray for the leaders and the citizenry. As Christians, we are to take ownership of the land God has given us to live, work, and play in.
It is my duty and my honor to pray and to seek God for what is best for Mobile and its people. Knowing that I was sent to Mobile by God places a perpetual smile on my face.
David and Margaret are founders of GC3 Church (formerly Gulf Coast Christian Center). David pastors a virtual church and oversees a fellowship of churches in US, Nigeria, and Cuba. The Richeys are blessed with 6 children, 13 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. They also have a host of spiritual children.