Baptist World Mission
Dr. Pickering was a part of John’s life, and was influential in that life, when a young John Cole came onto a personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1983. He was the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio at that time. This same man had helped to form Baptist World Mission some 20 years before John had known him.
I never went to Emmanuel Baptist Church while Dr. Pickering was the pastor there. In fact, I don’t think I was a believer until after he was gone. I was, at that time, headed straight for hell. I did meet Earnest Pickering at a later time, however.
Some five years after the Lord came into my life, I met John and started going to Emmanuel Baptist Church with him. (I won’t talk about the wonderful man of God serving there at that time, I must save that for another post). Soon after John and I began to date, he announced he wanted me to marry him and move to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Much to everyone's surprise, I did this.
Guess who was the pastor at Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis? Yes, it was Dr. Earnest Pickering. Guess who had never been baptized as a believer? Indeed, me. What happens when you put a believer in Christ (with a husband like John) who has never been baptized ... together with a great man of God? Voila! ... you get a baptism. I had always wanted to be baptized since I was converted from darkness to light, but I had not been a part of a real church for the first five years of my Christian life. (That is another story, too!) I am so glad to have known Dr. Pickering for our brief stay in Minnesota.
About 5 years later, after having been ravaged by brain cancer, he became blind in both eyes. He came to Emmanuel Baptist Church (where I was now happily a member, John and I having moved back to Toledo) and preached so powerfully at our 100th anniversary celebration. He stood before all those people with absolutely no eyesight, and he still seemed so strong and confident. The impression it left on me is one I will never forget. He died about a year later.
On this website, you can read about the mission agency that Earnest Pickering co-founded: why it started, what they do and what they believe. You can also order some of his books and booklets here. I have read about ¾ of his small booklets. There is one that is especially needful today.