Doyle Lamar Spears, namesake of Rev. D. L, Welch, born October 3, 1930, in Zama, Mississippi, the son of Zacky and Eula Mae Spears. His parents pastored churches in Mississippi and Louisiana and also started several churches with the “brush arbor” method in Mississippi. He was very proud of his brother, J. W. Smith, who started and pastored the UPC church Columbus, Mississippi until moving to Sumpter, SC to start a church there.
He received the Holy Ghost at the age of 10 and his father baptized him in Jesus Name in a pond near Kosiosko, MS. At 14 years old, Bro. Spears enrolled in Southern Bible College at Milford, TX.
At 16 years old he went full time evangelistic ministry. He was a God called evangelist.
At 18 years old, he met and married Mary Faith McFarland. The moment he met her, he was totally in love. Writing her a letter the very next day, he said, “Without faith it is impossible (for me) to please God. Dear Faith”… From that day forward, Mary McFarland became known as Faith McFarland. June 6, 1948 in Columbus, Indiana they were married. There were 4 children born to their union. David Spears, Steve Spears, Daniel Spears, Judi Spears Boyd. David and Daniel went to be with the Lord at a very young age.
Bro. Spears pastored 4 churches in his 49 years of ministry: Hartford City, Indiana; Longview, Texas; Powell’s Grove, Jayess, Mississippi; and Pearl, Mississippi.
He loved preaching Youth Camps and served as the Indiana District Youth President in the early 1950s and on the committee that named the Youth Missions branch, Sheaves for Christ. He tells of being in the meeting to develop a missions giving program for the Youth Dept. Everyone was on their knees, praying for God to lead them in the correct direction. Someone got up and walked to the black board and wrote, “Sheaves for Christ”. The Holy Ghost fell in that room as the Lord anointed their choice. He was privileged to preach the second Youth Camp ever held. It was in the Missouri District in the early 1950s, These are some of the Youth Camps he preached, many more than once: Missouri, Hawaii, Northern California, Southern California, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Texas, Idaho, Florida, and West Virginia. His love for youth was ongoing in his life right to the end, preaching his last Jr. Camp 2 years before his death.
He was known for his signature white suits and shoes and his Native American heritage that produced a “war whoop” when he felt the Spirit. He played the piano, guitar, trombone, upright bass, but was most known for his tambourine, He was involved in recording 12 LPs and wrote several songs.
At 21 years old the Lord began to deal with Bro. Spears about evangelizing the mission fields. He pursued that calling looking for open doors for 20 years, until one night in Longview, Texas, the Lord spoke to him through a message in tongues. “I will go with you, but I will not sit with you”. Plans were made for the Spears family to hit the road. It was a mighty step of faith. No promise of income, no invitation to preach anywhere on the mission fields. The Lord opened the door for the family to move into a music ministry and the sale of their albums helped mightily with the finances. Also, several brethren, pastors, friends, and supporters of missions gave abundantly to the cause. There are too many countries to name each one and be sure not to miss some, but here is a list of the places Bro. Spears and his family carried the Gospel of Salvation: Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Philippine Islands, Samao’s, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, Madagascar, British Isles. Along with some other missionaries and pastors, Bro and Sis. Spears took Bibles into to China helping to spread the Gospel where Bibles were not allowed. Many of these places were visited more that once. He was involved in the development of Partners in Missions which has been such a blessing to the Foreign Missionaries.
The Bro. Spears and his family sang and preached in malls, on street corners, in thatch huts, in the open fields, in the sunshine or rain. In the middle of upheaval of countries being overthrown, in the wake of hurricanes, in places where no one spoke English, sometimes as high as 5 interpreters/translators. Often theirs were the first known voices to share the Gospel in that location
Phoenix College, Phoenix, AZ
During the crusade in Monrovia, Liberia, 1972, Bro Spears favorite Bible was stolen. He had preached from it so many years that his handprint was faded into the leather. But, it was gone. A year later a missionary on furlough brought his beloved Bible to him. This is the story: the man who stole the Bible took it home and read it, obeyed it and repented of his sins, received the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues and came to find the missionary to baptize him in Jesus Name. The thief repented for stealing the Bible and returned it.
Bro. Spears served as a panelist on several doctrinal symposiums where his subject was always the Oneness of the Godhead. He spoke at UPCI General Conferences along with several other organizations of like faith, was often Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speaker for UPCI General Conferences. While preaching the European Congress, 1988, in Vienna, Austria, he baptized a group of Romanian Gypsies in the lovely name of Jesus in a fountain in the middle of the traffic circle in front of the hotel where the conference was being held. It was freezing cold, but there was no swimming pool, bath tub, or else available and these people must leave and go back to their home country. Someone called the police who came to say baptizing in the fountain was not allowed and they had to leave. They happily obeyed because by then they were all baptized!
Bro. Spears baptized folks in Jesus name where ever he found them. In rivers full of Piranha, in bathtubs, in swimming pools, anywhere to see them come out of the water speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Thousands received the Holy Ghost under his ministry. Deaf ears were opened, those who could not speak uttered their first word “Jesus”, and many possessed of demons were freed.
While living in Mississippi, it was his honor to serve as a Missions Director, Presbyter and Dist Secretary.