Biography & Background:
My name is Donald Raymond Whitchard. At the time of this writing (2021), I am sixty-one years old and have been in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ in the roles of pastor, teacher, evangelist, businessman, and chaplain for nearly forty years, starting in 1986 by preaching in small country churches across central and west Louisiana. I now consider myself semi-retired but still active in evangelistic work through writing articles, Bible studies, curriculum, and sermons for online ministries, specifically those dealing with Biblical apologetics and end-time prophecy. I have a personal website where I post varied messages, videos, and links designed to interest the potential viewer in learning more about the Lord Jesus and sound biblical doctrine. The total views that have been recorded on all the sites to which I contribute are estimated to be more than 60,000 and growing, with visitors from over 68 countries on average. This is a rich harvest field and will probably be the primary means of preaching and teaching the Word in the days and years ahead until Jesus returns.
I was born on January 3, 1960, in Lake Charles, Louisiana in critical condition, with the doctors telling my parents that I may not survive the night. My Dad, grandfather, and our pastor went to the hospital chapel and stayed all night in prayer, asking the LORD to spare my life and use me for His service. My condition improved over the next few days, but I was kept in NICU for three months and ended up as something of an insomniac because the nursing staff kept playing with me to keep me active and gain strength. Only recently did I start to sleep longer than six hours a night or less. One of the side effects of my condition was that I lost several minutes of oxygen after birth, and it rendered me with high functioning autism that was not diagnosed until a few years ago.
My parents began buying story books for me as I got older and by the time I was three years old I was reading coherently without help, and my Dad told me that when he would read Bible stories to me, I would correct him on how to pronounce the Old Testament names. I was tested in first grade and found to be on a high school comprehension level in all areas save for math, which was always a wonderland to me. Throughout my school years, I often managed to achieve “Honor roll” and did my best to be a good and attentive student and not cause trouble. My teachers allowed me to read the stories to the class and help others with problems or classwork. I took after my mom and developed a talent for art, calligraphy, and writing stories. My childhood was stable until my parents got divorced when I was eleven. I had expected it because of their constant disagreements over a variety of issues. My Dad and I grew apart and I ended up for a time not wanting to have anything to do with him.
While they were still married, my parents took me to Sunday school and church services at First Baptist Church in Lake Charles, which would be my church home until I left town in 1980. After they split up, the task of getting me to services fell to my grandparents, both godly people and ideal role models for me. It was their dedication to the LORD and care for me (I was an only child) that started me on the road to being saved. In December of 1975 while watching an Oral Roberts TV special, he preached a message on the need to surrender your life to Christ. It hit me that while I was a good kid, I was still lost in sin. I bowed my head in my bedroom and asked the Lord Jesus to save me. Not only did that happen but was also impressed by Him that I was to serve in the gospel ministry.
I told everyone what had happened, and I was met with a polite affirmation but not much else which surprised and saddened me. My pastor and the deacons believed that it was more than likely a phase of juvenile growth and emotion that would soon go away. The people whom I thought were my friends began to avoid and mock me behind my back. When you’re sixteen, a new believer, and no one around to guide you in your walk with the LORD, it will take a toll on the spirit and cripple any intention of maturity in mind, emotion, and soul. From the time I was sixteen until I turned twenty, my Christian walk was not something I want to discuss nor remember. I graduated high school in 1978 and was without a rudder or motivation. I drifted through the first two years of college without a clue as what to do. This is when the LORD in HIs mercy took me out of the miry clay and put me on the road to service.
Right after my second uneventful year of college, my Dad called me from the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (long before it was the powerhouse it became in that part of the world) and asked me if I wanted to come live and work with him overseas. Mom told me that if I could get along with him, then ministry would not be much of a problem for me later in life. So, in August of 1980, I found myself in the fabrication yard of McDermott International, helping to construct oil rigs for operations in the Persian Gulf. There was no one my age working there, and because of it, I grew up emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and dropped over sixty pounds over the course of nearly two years. I ended up as the assistant supervisor of the paint department and was put in charge of finishing the final coatings and corrosion control for a multi-million -dollar fabrication project. I completed the project under budget and on time, which was the final activity I performed for the company before leaving in November 1981. I had also bonded with Dad, re-establishing our relationship, and he was my best man at my wedding two years later.
After travelling to India, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hawaii, and southern California, I arrived back home in Louisiana right before January of 1982. I enrolled at Louisiana College, located in Pineville, and earned a degree in History Education and Biblical Studies in May 1984. I also met and married the love of my life, Cathy, in the summer of 1983. She graduated with a degree in business administration in 1986. In 1988 we welcomed our first child, Amanda, while I worked as a teacher and Cathy had just gotten a job with the U.S. Government in Alexandria, Louisiana. We were both active in our local church as teachers, choir members, and were involved in varied ministries. I started traveling on weekends preaching in the small rural churches around the area and all was well until the summer of 1989 when our second child, Rachel, died at birth, sending both of us into a period of incredible sorrow and emotional turmoil that almost ended our marriage. Our parents, my grandparents, and our church family got us through that rough time along with the mercy of God. He graciously directed us to other couples who had lost children at birth or other circumstances, and we launched a ministry and support group to address and deal with these tragedies, using the Scriptures as our foundation for counseling.
In the fall of 1991, we moved to New Orleans, where I enrolled as a student at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, attending classes in the evenings while teaching school during the day. I was called to my first pastorate in the toe end of the state at a town called Buras. We ministered and got to know some wonderful people over a three-year period. Over the next few years, I also worked as a jeweler, Bible college instructor, pastor, interim pastor, children’s camp evangelist, taught varied Sunday school classes for young and senior adults, and completed training as a hospital chaplain. I also found time to homeschool both Amanda and my son Robert, who came into the world in 1993. We loved New Orleans, the food, people, carnivals, parks, museums, and liitle things like watching the boats travel down the Mississippi River. Then came August 28, 2005 and with it, Hurricane Katrina.
The less I remember about Katrina and its devastation, the better. We lost everything, but were aided by area ministries, churches, the National Guard, and other agencies in the area when we tried to salvage what we could (which was nothing), and here in Oklahoma. We ended up going to Cathy’s mom’s house in Altus, located in SW Oklahoma and stayed there during September of 2005. Cathy was able to transfer from the New Orleans VA Regional Office to the office in Muskogee, where we have lived since October of 2005. Since then, I have been active in ministries involving local rescue missions, serving as a volunteer chaplain in the local medical center and for a brief time as both an interim and bi-vocational pastor here in town and pulpits in area churches when needed. In 2003 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and placed on medical disability. I have not held a full-time position since then but keep busy with internet evangelism and writing for varied websites.
Cathy and I are active members of a local church and as the days draw closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to use the gifts and talents He has given me to preach the Word either in person or online through video, social media, or other outlets. Both Amanda and Robert are grown and have their own households to manage. She is now married to our teddy bear of a son-in-law, Jordan, and manages a pest control office in Chickasha, and Robert works full-time and goes to school online in Tulsa. The LORD has blessed us over the years, and for that we give Him all the glory and honor. Cathy and I will have been together forty years next February 2022, and we cannot wait for the day of the Blessed Hope and our heavenly home with the Lord Jesus. Amen.
Phone: (918) 351-4884
Address: 3521 Chandler Road, Muskogee, OK 74403
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