James Porter Story

My name is James Porter, and I own an independent insurance agency in Dallas, Texas.

I would like to tell you my story. I was born and raised in Bridgeport, Texas. I was above average in the classroom and excelled at sports and went to church regularly. But I did not have a relationship with the Lord. I was neither a good enough athlete nor student to receive a scholarship. So this meant that I had to work my way through college. My wife and I met and married in my senior year at the University of Texas.

My wife Suzanne was a Believer, but I continued to drift further and further away from God.  Work became my focus, and I worked for insurance companies.  Things went well at work, and I was promoted to a Vice President at the age of 28. As much as my work proved successful, our marriage was failing.  When work is your god, you become a workaholic. Had Suzanne not been a Believer, we would have gotten a divorce. She believed and read the Bible, but for the first 16 years of our marriage we did not attend church.

Our relationship was depressing for Suzanne, and she felt powerless to do anything about it.  Since she had ruled out divorce as an option, the situation seemed hopeless to her. She became desperate, and the only hope she had was to pray. She was so depressed that she could not pray in English.  So she began praying in tongues. I forbade her to pray in tongues in front of me.  So she would hide in her closet and pray. She started to go to church without me because I was not interested. One evening the congregation was invited to come to the altar and pray.  So she went forward and prayed in the Spirit and called out to God. A few weeks later her mother bought me a ticket to attend an all-day seminar with Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole.  There were 700 men in attendance, and Dr. Cole was the only speaker.  At one point in the seminar he compared and contrasted the Kingdom of God to the Kingdom of Satan. The central figure in the Kingdom of God was Jesus Christ, and the only way to become a member of God’s Kingdom was to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

On the other hand, the central figure in the Kingdom of Satan was self.  As long as one continued to put himself first, you were a member of Satan's kingdom. At that point I realized that I was in the wrong kingdom and repented.  On that day, February 25, 1984, I was a new creature.  I wrote my wife a letter of apology and asked her to forgive me and told her that I really did love her. In July of 1984 while attending a men’s conference in Houston, Texas the speaker, Dr. Cole, introduced Ben Kinchlow to give his testimony, and the Holy Spirit floated down over the auditorium. Kinchlow couldn’t speak as the Spirit was so strong. As I came forward into the anointing, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.

When you repent and give your heart to God, you are instantly forgiven, but with humans it takes a little longer.  It took a lot more evidence of change before I had credibility with my wife. We then prayed the first prayer of our marriage.  At that point in our lives I had resigned from the insurance company and agreed to buy out a partner with the money from my second job. It was a simple prayer for God to take over my life, and if he did not want me to buy the company, to close the door. If it was the right course, then make things easier so I would not have to work so hard and would have more time to devote to the family.

God answered that prayer causing my former friend and mentor to renege on the sale of the business, and I went from being vice president of three corporations to being unemployed in just a few weeks. That was totally unexpected, but I knew that it was God's answer. It was my desire to be in agreement with God's plan for my life because that was the plan that would be blessed. So I continued to pray and seek God for my next assignment.

Through more prayer and meditation on the Word, my mind was filled with the thought of starting my own insurance agency.  This would be difficult because property and casualty companies do not want to give a contract to an inexperienced agent with no customers. God gave me favor with my former companies, and they both gave me a contract to sell insurance.  Now all I had to do was to get some customers. When discussing these plans with my wife, she was very supportive, and during my first year our commissions exceeded my former income as a vice president.  “Glory to God.”

Suzanne did not directly work with me in the business, but since the agency office was in our home she was very aware of what was going on.  My first year in business I continued to do income taxes for others,  and one night a referral client came in the home and I  did his tax return.  He was not introduced to Suzanne, but on the way out she got a glimpse of him and asked,  "Who was that and what did he want?"

I answered her, and her next statement was, "Don't ever let that man in our house again.”  Suzanne had picked up something in the spirit, and a few months later on the evening news we learned that this man had just been arrested for bank robbery.

There were many other instances where God gave a Word of Knowledge to Suzanne.  It is our prayer that we continue to be used by God and to operate more in the gifts of the Holy Spirit to edify the Body of Christ.

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Would you like to start a relationship with Jesus? Check out the Salvation - Coming to Jesus teaching, or our survey to find out for about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Also see Mentoring the Joshua Generation.