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In 1928, a husky 13-year-old boy was plowing in a farm field in the South when suddenly he lifted up his voice in a fervent prayer. His words surprised him and motivated him for the rest of his life: “O God, let the Fields family have a part in reaching your world.”
By 1993, this young boy had become a dynamic pastor in Indianapolis. He attended a special luncheon for local pastors that was held at the newly acquired Indianapolis Training Center.
During the luncheon I sat next to him and listened with delight to his powerful insights into God’s truth. Finally, I stood and said, “I would like all of you to hear the rich truths that I have been enjoying during this lunch.” The luncheon that was supposed to last an hour went on for almost three hours.
The grasp of Scripture and the power of prayer of Pastor Rubin Fields reminded me of what I had lost when my father passed away. Therefore, I later asked Pastor Fields if he would be my adopted father. He enthusiastically agreed, and we formed a very close friendship over these past ten years. He traveled with me to Pastors’ Seminars and other special events. Audiences were challenged with his words and delighted with his humor. One of his favorite lines was that fathers and sons tend to look alike, so he decided to wear the gold chain so people could tell us apart.
Pastor Fields was a wise and discerning counselor. When a haughty teenager would be brought in by his parents for counsel, he would ask the teenager, “Is it ever grammatically correct to say, ‘I is’?” The confident teenager would say, “No, it should be ‘I am.’” Then, with a smile, Pastor Fields would say, “Wouldn’t you say that ‘I’ is the ninth letter of the alphabet?”
The humbled teenager would then hear Pastor Fields explain that we may think we know everything, but we really don’t know anything until we see how Scripture applies to every area of life. Pastor Fields knew Scripture so well that whatever question was asked, he would tell the person to turn to a certain chapter and verse and read the answer.
The results of Pastor Fields’ counseling were remarkable. His office at the Indianapolis Training Center was like a crossroads for people from throughout America as well as other nations. He not only had a world outreach himself, but he counseled and encouraged many others who are involved in reaching the world. He rejoiced at every report he heard about ATI students and families impacting other nations.
His love for the Lord and for ministry was demonstrated by rising early in the morning and driving to the training center before anyone else got up. He studied the Word and spent time in prayer so that when people came for counsel he was as a sharpened sword and clear voice to give them God’s message.
Pastor Fields diligently served his church, whose faithful members supported him in his work for the Institute. Also, city officials would meet at his church once a month for discussion and planning. Pastor Fields was a faithful man, a dear friend, a wise pastor, a community leader, and a cherished adopted father. The loss of Pastor Fields is great to the city, his church, and the Institute, yet he leaves a great spiritual heritage to us that will motivate us to further fulfill the words of Jesus to go into all nations to teach the commands of Christ.
Pastor Rubin Fields went home to be with the Lord on December 7, 2003. He was 88 years old.
Listen to an excerpt from Pastor Fields’ message at the 2003 ATI Training Conference in Knoxville (MP3 Format; 17 minutes; 3.96 MB).
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