In Scripture, the Apostles called a believer named Joses by the name “Barnabas,” which translates to “Son of Encouragement.”
At Love Worth Finding, we have a volunteer we might call the “Grandson of Encouragement.” His name is Brad Beall, a young man who contacted us through social media and asked if he could come into the office each Thursday and lend a hand, or, in this case, lend an upbeat personality. Brad calls people who partner with LWF to thank them for their gifts, and to ask how he might pray for them.
He is a natural at cheering others on, says Nicole Schaedle, who helps coordinate ministry volunteers. “He came in ready to start making calls without blinking an eye. There are not many 25-year-olds who would drive from across town to give up a few hours every week without pay.”
Why LWF? That was natural too. “My grandfather has been volunteering here for 20 years,” Brad said. “I’ve been listening to Adrian Rogers since I was 5 years old. My grandfather talks about Love Worth Finding about every other conversation we have.”
Brad grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church, sitting next to Papa Charles and Mimi (Syrena) Beall. His grandparents also picked him up once a week from school. “My grandfather’s a talkative person,” Brad said. “I remember he was always encouraging people. He challenged his atheist friends. Even very young, I picked up on what Mimi and Papa Charles were doing. I watched them.”
“My grandfather told stories about how witty Adrian Rogers was. As I got older, I wanted to listen to Adrian’s podcasts.” Not surprisingly, Brad’s favorite message is about encouragement. “It’s a sermon about Barnabas, but Adrian calls him ‘Barney’.” Brad says he has listened to the message repeatedly so he can encourage himself as well as the employees at the Amazon Operations Center where he works as a shift manager 50 hours a week.
“When you’re on a shift with a hundred people in the building, there can be a lot of negative energy and discouraging attitudes. It’s an aggressive 12 hours.” Brad’s also looking forward to using Love Worth Finding’s new one-on-one mentoring tools with newer Christians he helps disciple.
When he’s not working or volunteering, Brad spends time with his friends, his parents, and, of course, his grandparents.
“I’m probably closer to my grandparents than most people in my generation. I just think that of anyone we can learn from in this life, grandparents have had more life struggles, more life experiences, and can teach more life lessons.
“I call my grandparents two or three times a week and visit about once a week. Whenever I’m around them, I try not to pull out my cell phone. It can be quite distracting. Last week we met at their house and went out to lunch, then went back and sat on the back porch and watched birds. It was really relaxing. Just conversation and nature.”
Brad’s grandfather, Charles Beall, volunteers on Wednesdays in LWF’s shipping department. He claims bragging rights to having been the first of those he knows in Memphis to have heard Adrian Rogers preach.
“In 1963, I joined the Air Force Reserve and was stationed in Ft. Pearce, Florida,” Charles said. “I heard Adrian Rogers for the first time at Parkview Baptist Church. I told my wife, ‘He’s got a great radio and TV voice.’”
“I think the Lord caused me to get in the Reserve because they moved me to the Memphis area,” Charles continued. At the end of his reserve service, Charles took a job with Liberty Mutual, where he worked for 30 plus years. During that time, the Bealls and the Rogers spent time together at Sunday School luncheons and parties and came to know each other well.
“One of the last things Adrian Rogers said to me was after his retirement from Bellevue. He was leaving the church and headed over to Love Worth Finding. I said, ‘I guess you’ll be spending more time at LWF now.’ And he said, ‘I sure am. I’m getting ready to put rocket boosters on this ministry.’”
While the Lord chose to take Pastor Rogers home shortly after that time, the forecast was correct. Today Adrian Rogers’ legacy ministry features thousands of messages broadcast on radio and television or accessed digitally literally around the globe. Books, Bible studies, and other printed and downloadable products, the movie, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, which heavily features Adrian Rogers, and the MyLWF App, add to the proliferation of ministry materials. LWF provides broadcast or print materials in several languages, with more international expansion planned. Rocket boosters indeed!
As for the Bealls, both Charles and Brad are content to play a part, each donating a day a week to do the small but immeasurably important work of thanking those in the Love Worth Finding community for their partnership and making sure people receive the resources they need to grow in their faith and share the Gospel with others.