A Heart For The Lord And For Ministry
Dave Butts, president of Herald of His Coming (Gospel Revivals Inc.), went to worship at the feet of his Lord and Savior Jesus on November 26, 2022. He was born June 11, 1953, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to godly parents who raised him to love the Lord with all of his heart. After graduating from high school, he received degrees from Lincoln Christian College (1975) and Indiana State University (1978, 1982).
After a brief season in politics and other occupations, Dave felt the call to Christian ministry and served as a pastor for a number of years. In November 1992 he married Kim and the two of them co-founded Harvest Prayer Ministries in 1993. Through Harvest Prayer Ministries the Lord expanded Dave’s outreach and gave him the opportunity to teach and preach in hundreds of churches all over the United States and in other nations. He also had the opportunity to serve on several Boards of Directors and committees focused on prayer, revival, missions and evangelism, including America’s National Prayer Committee, National Day of Prayer, Pioneer Bible Translators, America Prays, OneCry, Church Prayer Leaders Network, and Heart-Cry for Revival.
The Herald Ministry
While Dave’s faithful service as president of the Herald ministry officially started in 1999, the seeds were planted well before that time. For some years Dave had been reading Herald of His Coming and had developed a deep appreciation for it. Lois Stucky, long-time editor of Herald of His Coming, had been reading Harvest Prayer Ministries’ newsletter and developed an appreciation for Dave and Kim and their heart for prayer and ministry.
In 1998, Lois, along with Elmer and Leonore Klassen, president and vice-president of the Herald ministry at that time, began seeking the Lord for new leadership for the Herald ministry as the Klassen’s planned to retire in 1999. Because of her admiration for Dave and Kim and their ministry, Lois contacted them to request prayer for the Lord’s provision of new leaders. Dave and Kim took the request to heart and agreed to join in prayer. Out of the praying and subsequent interaction, the Lord eventually led Dave and Kim to become the new president and vice-president, and the ministry moved from Kansas to Indiana to be near them.
Contributions to the Work
During these past 23 years Dave provided wonderful leadership as the Herald’s president. He appreciated and honored the Lord’s calling upon the Herald and did not seek to make any major changes in the operation of the ministry. He, along with Kim, showed much love and provided much encouragement to the Herald staff.
While Dave’s main work was with Harvest Prayer Ministries, he contributed to the work of the Herald in a number of ways. For example, he was a prolific writer and contributed numerous articles for the Herald. He was also an avid reader and provided suggestions for books and authors for Herald articles. He also served as a sounding board for material the staff considered for new editions. In addition to this, Dave helped the Herald ministry make new contacts and reach new readers as he promoted the paper through Harvest Prayer Ministries and through his involvement in other ministries and organizations.
Passion for the Lord, Prayer, Revival and Missions
But what especially blessed the Herald ministry (and other ministries) was Dave’s heart for the Lord, for prayer, for revival and for missions. As his wife Kim shares, “Dave was passionate about the church learning to pray corporately for revival, the completion of the Great Commission, and for God’s people to learn about intimacy with God through prayer. His ultimate desire was to see the church become a unified, worshiping house of prayer for all nations as described in Isaiah 56:7 and Mark 11:17 – ‘...My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.’”
Dave’s life verse was taken from Colossians 1:27 – “...Christ in you, the hope of glory.” One of his favorite verses to teach on and pray into provides a glimpse into his desire for intimacy with the Lord: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple” (Psa. 27:4). Another verse vital to his ministry was Matthew 9:38 – “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Some of his favorite chapters for teaching and praying included John 17, Colossians 1, and Revelation 4-5.
Dave also had a special heart for Israel and the U.S. As Kim writes, “Dave loved the nation of Israel. He and I led several prayer journeys to Israel, teaching on prayer while visiting biblical sites. One of Dave’s favorite places in the world was sitting on a worship boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. He also had a passion to see our own nation seek the face of God. Much of his writing and teaching was focused on praying for revival in the church and in the nation.”
The Peace of God
Dave authored many books (several with Kim) on various aspects of prayer. Perhaps his favorite was Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God which he wrote in the midst of a battle with cancer in 2017. During that battle, and during his recent battle with cancer, Dave was filled to overflowing with the peace of God which transcends all understanding (Phil. 4:7). The following excerpts from the book provide wonderful insights into the keys to such peace:
“I know that for me personally, pursuing peace during chemotherapy has meant looking for Scripture passages that teach me more of what the peace of God is. It has meant actively praying those scriptures regarding peace into my life on a daily basis, asking Jesus Christ to bring those things to pass within me. It has also meant listening to the testimony of other believers who have sought and found the peace of God.
“Without a doubt, the most powerful thing I have learned regarding pursuing peace is that it means pursuing the presence of Christ. Again and again I have found myself waking through the night with a passion to get up and worship the Lord. Seeking His face has meant walking in His peace. As I have delighted myself in His presence, fear always leaves and is replaced by the peace that is beyond understanding. And it is not just through the night hours. Worship throughout the day has become a way of life as I pursue peace.”
“A stage 4 cancer diagnosis typically takes one’s peace away; however, in many ways, it has restored our peace. The seriousness of the cancer has taught us to trust in the Lord and not in ourselves. Because of this, peace has been deeply rooted and well-established in our hearts. The life or death nature of my situation has brought us into deeper intimacy with Christ and His presence brings ultimate tranquility. Of course there are difficult times, but the journey has pushed us more and more into the Word of God. That strengthens our resolve to continually seek the peace that replaces stress, anger, confusion and doubt with a joy-filled trust.
“…In the midst of the uncertainty of life lived with cancer, we have discovered the peace that is totally separated from our circumstances. It is peace in the midst of pain and discomfort. Above all, it is about the presence of Christ. Where Jesus is, there is life and peace. Drawing near to Him each day brings the peace that passes all understanding.
“You can live and walk in this peace, too. Simply call on Jesus, the Peace-Giver. Lay everything that is stressing you before Him, and let the shalom of Jesus envelop you!”
How grateful we are that Dave experienced the peace of God in his life here on earth, even in such difficult circumstances, and that he is now experiencing the glorious reality of what it means that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).
Thank the Lord with us for Dave’s passion for the Lord, for his faithful service during his lifetime, and that he is now in the glorious presence of Christ. Pray for ongoing comfort for Kim and all who are grieving his loss. Pray also for the Herald ministry as we continue on without the leadership and fellowship of our dear brother.