by Glenda Williams, BNc correspondent
GENEVA, Ala. (BNc) — Carl S. Sims, preacher of the Main Street congregation, Manchester, Tenn., is a disciplined, self-motivated, worker for the Lord. Carl and Patsy, his wife of 43 years, have three children and both have earned doctorates in Pharmacy. After many successful years in business, the Sims retired from their pharmaceutical work and Carl began preaching the gospel full time.
Carl is a student of the Bible. For the past 21 years Carl has read through the New Testament from one to two times each month, as well as parts of the Old Testament. “I figure this is what we are living under and this is what I want to study most,” Carl said in a seminar conducted recently in Geneva, Ala.
Carl is a disciplined man. “Early to bed, early to rise,” could easily be his slogan. He is in bed every night by 10:00 p.m. and rises early every morning. Exercise is a very important part of his life. He walks two miles every morning before going to his office at 8:00 o’clock. He looks over his schedule for the day, addresses church business necessary for his secretary, and is ready for his first Bible study at 8:00 a.m. “I study with people who are retired in the earlier appointments,” Carl said. By 10:00 a.m. he is on to a second study, or to speak at a local nursing facility. Afternoons will find him with an early afternoon Bible study and another around 5:00 p.m. Some days he has as many as five studies. During the week he speaks at three local nursing homes. He states this is where he presents his sermon material for the following Sunday. When Sunday arrives he is prepared to preach what he has presented all week. “I’m always home early evening to spend time with my family,” Carl added.
Carl is a fisher of men. “I look at every person that I see and wonder if they are a New Testament Christian,” Carl states. Introduced to the three lesson Open Bible Study early on, Carl was impressed with it and has been using it wherever he goes.
“Where do you go to church,” is a question Carl asks often as he seeks people with whom to study the Bible. When they answer, he continues with “I have this little nondenominational three lesson Open Bible study that I like to do with people.” He pulls a card from his pocket and continues, “If you will put your name and address on the back of my card, sometime when I am out in your area I will stop by and show you the first lesson. It is very informative.”
“I don’t get their phone number. I don’t want it,” Carl said. “I don’t call, because it would be too easy for them to say it is not a convenient time for me to come. I just pop in.” He continues, “When they do the first study, I’ve never seen anyone not want to study the others.”
Carl will tell you that 2 Timothy 2:2 says we are to teach others, and he practices what he preaches.
The first congregation Carl worked with after retiring had 26 people with 5,000 people in the city limits. When they moved, attendance was up to 200. He moved to Cookeville, Tenn., where they had 370 in attendance. In 24 months the attendance was up to 540.
Carl and Patsy have been working with the Main Street church in Manchester, Tenn., since January 2008. That first year they baptized 90 people. In 2009 they had 86 baptisms. This year they have had 43 baptisms thus far.
The Main Street congregation in Manchester makes available a DVD of Carl presenting the three lesson Open Bible Study before a live audience. The DVD is available, free of charge, to anyone, or any church, interested in learning from Carl as he shares how he gets appointments, how to conduct each lesson in the Bible study, as well as other helpful hints. You may reach the church office at 931-728-3306, or reach Carl for a seminar appointment at 615-306-9602. The church allows Carl to be away three Sundays and four Wednesday nights to present this seminar. Carl says, “If we can teach others to fish, we can multiply our efforts for the Lord,” and he is busy fishing.
As a teenage girl, I prayed to marry a preacher. I knew no one who was desiring to be a preacher but each night I knelt by my bed and prayed, “Lord, if I am capable of being a preacher’s wife I would like to marry a preacher. If not, just let me marry a Christian.” God answered that prayer for me. Our local preacher, Jerry Humphries, preached in two gospel meetings that summer and invited a young man from Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University) to preach in his absence. He brought his girlfriend with him so that took him out of the running. But when I learned they were coming back in a week or so, I asked if they didn’t have some fine young man they could bring down and let me meet. The girl thought for a minute, snapped her fingers and said, “Old Doug.” Old Doug and I have been married 54 years and have two children and two grandchildren. All our children are faithful members of the church. God is so good. I love Him so.