John LaNoue Story

My name is John LaNoue and my specialty is saving lives. My passion is to do the impossible and build relationships around the world.

My dad was constantly teaching me as a youth to work with my hands and be creative. As an adult I started to design and build equipment to handle field medical operations and food kitchens. I would like to tell you about my journey in life.

My father was in and out of my life through marriage and divorce twice before I was 14 years old, and I had a stepfather in between. He left when I was four, returned when I was eleven and left for the last time when I was 14. As a child, I did not understand divorce, my father’s absence from my home, and had no way of verbalizing my confusion, depression, and pain. Over the years, I internalized these and coated them with humor, while developing an emotional armor. No one was allowed inside the barricade because they might cause me pain.

My mother sent me to Alabama to work in her cousin’s auto repair shop. I was fifteen years old and a fairly good mechanic. The cousin was a Christian and had four godly brothers. I had never been with men like that.

I returned home in August with many questions about God and salvation. Two weeks after my sixteenth birthday in September, two men from Mom’s church visited me. When they asked if I was a Christian, an image of the five godly brothers in Alabama popped into my mind! I saw the contrast between their life and mine and answered, “No, sir.”

They walked me down the Roman Road of scripture: Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, 10:13. As I prayed from a broken heart, broken because of my sin; I felt a release…as if a heavy load had been lifted from me!

As the men were leaving, one of them turned and said, “John, 1 Corinthians 5:17 says that you are a new creation in Christ, a new man, John! You can become anything God wants you to be.”

I was stunned! I had always looked at what I was. It never dawned on me to look forward in life to what I could be. I suddenly realized my life had a windshield and I had spent all my life looking only in the rearview mirror!

I joined First Baptist Church of Beaumont, Texas and my discipling began. Great Sunday School teachers, fantastic pastor, strong Christian youth group; these all worked together to teach me God’s ways. But the greatest teacher was the man who hired me to work in his small foundry and machine shop for the next three years.

Cecil Worley was a Godly man who lived his faith and shared it with me. He taught me Christian ethics, a God centered world view, about the power and work of the Holy Spirit, the difference between justice, mercy, and grace, and how to love others unconditionally. And much, much more!

I heard God’s call to preach during this time. I was confused because I had not spoken without stuttering since my father left when I was four years old. Mr. Worley convinced me that my speech problem was God’s business, not mine. The stuttering halted during my first sermon and disappeared completely six weeks later!

How to get a college education was a mystery. No one in my family had finished high school. God moved!

I received four year football scholarship offers from Baylor, Hardin-Simmons, and the University of Idaho-- but God said, “Not yet.”

An offer came from Stephen F. Austin State University to come tryout for the team, but no scholarship promised. I questioned God and He pointed me to SFA. He was teaching me to walk by faith. I got the scholarship!

Step by step He led me. Only giving me enough light for my uplifted foot as I followed Him.

I was pastoring a church near the university when I was 19, I was also interim pastor of a black Baptist church for a year, I met and married my wife of 59 years when I was 20, and became one of those mystical idiots who really believe Jesus meant what He said in the Word of God. I stopped trying to rationalize any variance between the Word and my life. I began to read the Bible for transformation…not just for information.

God led us to seminary for my Master of Divinity and my wife for her Master of Religious Education. I pastored churches continually from my 19 th year until I was 27.

But, in my third year I was at a pastor’s conference, and I became so burdened by the Holy Spirit I left the meeting to sit in the back seat of my car and weep. I prayed for God to show me who I was. I was so confused by what part of my life and ministry was for my labor and what part was His. I cried out for God to help me, to show me what to do in the ministry, who was I?

I cried a puddle of tears on the rubber floor mat of my old Plymouth…then it happened! God showed me a sheet of paper with a big zero in the middle. I prayed, “Yes, Lord , that is me! I am a zero. I am nothing”…then the lines of the zero disintegrated and the page was blank! I prayed, Oh, my God, I am a zero with the lines rubbed out…an absolute nothing!! It is you and you alone!”

The presence of the Holy Spirit filled my old car! I realized He was consuming what remained of me and replacing with an anointed servant of Almighty God!

When I came home, my wife asked, “What happened to you at the conference? There is fire in your eyes, your countenance is different, and you are preaching with a power I have never heard before!” I told her about the anointing of the Holy Spirit and my lesson about who I am and who God is.

He has used my complete reliance on Him to minister in unbelievable places like Iran during Desert Storm with the Kurds, North Korea for 14 years (I was “the hated American monitor” now I am Grandfather John), with Muslim refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Sri Lanka’s tsunami, Japan’s tsunami and nuclear accident, and many others.

My life is His… it is ALL about Him!

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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.