Bud Sparks a man of God
Greetings in the name of Jesus our precious Lord and Saviour, who
baptizes you in the Holy Spirit!
Holly and I have just come from the memorial service of a very dear
and precious friend and brother in the Lord, Rev. Bruce "Bud" Sparks,
who died Wednesday, February 28th. It was two days of celebration
from the moment that folks gathered in church on Sunday morning until
around midnight on Monday. Those who truly knew Bud - actually began
to praise the Lord from the moment they heard of his passing. At the
same time our heart goes out to his very beloved wife, Sandy, and his
sons, Mike, Don & Bruce, along with their families.
Many of you who have been receiving email from us have never heard me
speak of Bud Sparks until now, and as I write this I am reminded of
the words of St. John, when he says, "It would not be possible to
write down everything that Jesus did, because there just are not
enough books to do so." That is the way we feel about Bud. Our
friendship goes back for about 20 years, so that I could fill volumes
just outlining how Jesus used him for the sake of the Kingdom.
Bud was by no means the typical Pastor. And it is because of the
unusual nature of his ministry that I am writing to you today. I
believe that this testimony will change your life, because no one who
ever knew Bud and his wife, Sandy, were ever the same afterward.
Bud never went to a seminary, not even a Bible school. He had a high
school education and after that, as he told everyone, "I graduated
from Holy Ghost University." Holly and I praise the Lord that we got
to mentor Bud in the things of the Kingdom. His training came by
simply watching us minister. He and I had a saying, "If Richard can
do it, I can do it." Later we changed it to, "If Bud can do it, you
can do it!" In fact, as time went by Bud was able to minister even
more powerfully than we were. He and Sandy could go forth on their
own because they were fully equipped to do so.
Holly and I always watched with amazement as we saw Bud step forth in
manifesting all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and manifesting each of
them as though he had done so all of his life, and doing it better
than just about anyone you might think of. The power of the Lord was
so great in his life that he tended to walk as though he were drunk.
Sometimes he could not walk; he just simply slumped to the floor.
And, it did not matter where he was. That anointing flowed through
him in the marketplace as well as in church or at home.
When Bud saw signs, wonders and miracles of healing and deliverance in
our meetings, he hungered for the same thing in his life, and so it
was that he invited me to hold a meeting in his living room for "5 or
6 people." I agreed to go for a weekend driving 200 miles to his
place. Friday night the Spirit of the Lord began to move, healings
and deliverance flowed through a group made up mostly of Methodists as
I laid hands on them and they were slain in the Spirit. Again all day
Saturday, the flow of the Spirit increased with an abundance of signs
and wonders for almost 14 hours as Bud stood right next to me watching
and listening intently to every move I made and every word I spoke
hungering all the more for the Lord to use him in the same way. Later
we both began to understand that equipping the saints was not so much
what people learned in class, as it had to do with learning to imitate
others even as Paul had declared.
Sunday morning Bud got his opportunity. Jesus told me, when I called
folks up for the laying on of hands, to step aside and let Bud
minister to the folks. And, so I did! I stood back and let Bud and
the other men lay hands on the folks. Then it happened! Healing and
deliverance began to flow with signs and wonders as folks were slain
in the Spirit and went down under the anointing.
The most powerful healing on that day was for a young woman who was
scheduled to have her joints replaced with plastic because of
rheumatoid arthritis. Bud laid hands on her and prayed. No one saw
anything and if she felt anything, she never mentioned it. But that
week her doctor was absolutely amazed that her healing was complete
and total. That was 20 years ago and just this week we saw her again
and she is doing just fine and has a ministry of her own.
That is the way it was for several years. Holly and I would go places
to minister. Bud and Sandy would tag along. Bud would observe with
an intentiveness that reached into the heavenlies and the glory would
come down. Soon we were a team. I would minister and Bud would
minister. Then others saw what Bud was doing and they wanted to do so
- and they did, so that the flow of the Spirit went from person to
person inundating meetings with an abundance of healing and
deliverances mixed together with signs and wonders as the rains
ceased, bread was multiplied, whole rooms went down under the
Then Bud and Sandy formed their own ministry as they continued to
equip people even as we had equipped them. Bud's ministry grew in
power and authority. Several other ministries sprang up in the same
way. Cancer didn't stand a chance if Bud was there. Aids and
leukemia would flee. Curvature of the spine vanished. Warts would
fall to the ground. Demons and evil spirits fled. Signs, wonders and
miracles flowed in abundance day by day, week after week. And Bud
never cared where he was in a market or a restaurant or simply on the
sidewalk, at someone's home or in a church.
In his West Salem, Oregon church, drunks and drug addicts came in off
the street, were set free, born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit,
and in no time at all they too were setting others free. And this is
what made his memorial service so amazing. All day long there was
just one testimony after another as dozens of folks spoke of how they
were delivered from sickness, and disease, from demons and evil
spirits, from anxiety and depression, from every sort of affliction.
But, most of all, every person who was set free also had a testimony
of how the Lord used them to set others free so that their lives
exemplified how Jesus took common, ordinary working folks, fishermen,
tax collectors and the like and turned them into powerful men and
women of God doing mighty exploits for the Kingdom.
Bud had a church between fifty and a hundred folks. However, during
the memorial service over 500 people crowded the auditorium, letters
were read from numerous churches from New York to Texas to North
Dakota and back to Oregon of how this man of God, a lumberjack in
Oregon, had transformed the lives of so many.
But, it wasn't always that way. He never got the Holy Spirit until he
was 46 years of age when Ben Kinslow, a black man on the 700 Club,
happened to be on the television one day testifying about Jesus.
Bud's desire was to watch football so he made an effort to stand up
and turn the program off because he never watched Christian TV, and he
was not about to watch a black preacher. But, God had other plans.
He glued Bud to his seat, and gave Ben a word of knowledge that a
lumberjack in Oregon was trying to shut him off and he had better not
do so, because God was going to transform him right there. And sure
enough Bud was nailed as Ben read his mail and led him to the Lord
over television. In just a few weeks a Catholic priest led him to the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. And shortly after that Holly and I met
Bud and Sandy and a great adventure began and it has not ended even
yet. Oh yes, at one point the 700 club sent a crew to Oregon to film
Bud in action and then featured him on one of their programs. Praise
At the center and core of all of this is the Scripture which the Lord
set before us in Ephesians 4:11. "And His gifts were that some should
be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and
teachers, 12. to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for
building up the body of Christ." And 2nd Timothy 2:1-4. "You then,
my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2. and what
you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men
who will be able to teach others also. 3. Share in suffering as a good
soldier of Christ Jesus. 4. No soldier on service gets entangled in
civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted
In closing, I know that Bud would simply say, "Go and do likewise.
Heal the sick, cast out demons and evil spirits, raise the dead, and
proclaim the Word with power and authority."
Breadsite Editor's note: I personally knew Bud for a number of years and considered him to be one of the best examples
of what a man of God should be. The power of the Holy Spirit was very evident in his life, the fruit of the Spirit was
in full bloom in his life, especially humility and most of all love. It was incredible to witness
the shear number of miracles that Jesus performed through this man.
Testimony submitted to the Breadsite. To submit yours click here.