The tough and devastating Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression caused the family to move to the North Valley-Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1936.
Rev. Fred Foster
United Pentecostal Church International
1926 ~ Present
Freddie Jean Foster was born December 28, 1926. His Father and Mother were John Wesley and Ruby Foster. The family had another son, Paul, and a daughter, Beatrice. They also had a deceased son, Billy Ray.
These younger and formative years took place in Durham Community, Rodger Mills County, a ranching-farming area of west central Oklahoma, abutting the Texas Panhandle north of present day I 40.
The Pearl Harbor bombing by the Japanese December 7, 1941, would again drastically alter the Foster familys future. The father would become an officer sailing in the Merchant Marine. The brother would be a US Navy Gunners Mate aboard merchant ships. The mother and sister would work in the shipyards in Richmond, CA.
At the age of 16 years and 2 months, Fred Joined the US Navy in March 1943. He served, after electrical school, aboard the minesweeper USS Vigilance. After leaving Pearl Harbor they were catching up with the Pacific war in the Gilbert Islands.
The US, then pushed on through the Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, to the strategic Ulithi Atoll Port, and on to Peliliu in the Palau Islands. Fred left the ship then for Military Government School at the Presidio, in Monterey, CA. They were learning Japanese and readying for the November 1945 invasion of Japan.
President Truman and Military Leaders thought the loss of life (estimated at 75,000-200,000) for the invasion too high, so the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was made. This ended the war in August 1945.
While going to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and participating in the athletic program, Fred and his future wife, Pat, came to God the same night, April 1948, in the pastorate of W.H. Massengale during an A.W. Hicks revival.
Fred, feeling a call to preach, transferred to Pentecostal Bible Institute in Tupelo, Mississippi.
P.B.I. summer school students, 1949, held a brush arbor meeting. After two weeks they were going to close it down, so Fred and another student decided to continue with many coming to God. They resolved to start a church. Pat joined in this endeavor after marriage September 10, 1949. This was the beginning of Cedar Grove Pentecostal Church. Fred and Pat went back and preached the 50th Anniversary.
In September 1954, because Albuquerque had tripled in size, Fred and Pat founded Calvary Pentecostal Church.
While here in his late twenties, God called Fred to begin a bible college in the Texas District where he had never ministered. For this to be done, miracles and a few years, had to happen. (Read the story in Mary Wallaces book, Miracles Still Happen.)
The unknown Fred and Pat in 1958, through the miraculous, became pastor of the great Orange, Texas Border Street Church (now First United Pentecostal Church). Sizable growth and a Saturday Bible School for area preachers was developed. Fred and Pat went back and preached both the 75th and 85th anniversaries of the Orange Church.
Fred was founding president of Texas Bible College and it was a phenomenal success from its beginning. Gods rich blessing, with the great Texas District leadership, and the most effective faculty and staff that could be assembled, struck a cord that within a few years had over 400 students. This, amazing all time U.P.C.I. record, was seen through the Fosters last three years.
A whos who of Pentecost comes from those 6 years Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries, Sectional, District, Conference and Camp Speakers, and International Leaders. The ones we name from the faculty and students are only the International Leaders and District Superintendents.
From the faculty: The sitting Texas Superintendent, V.A. Guidroz, J.T. Pugh, James Kilgore, Arless Glass, O.W. Williams, and E.L. Holley. From the Students: David Mathis, Tommy Hudson, Wayne Huntley, John Grant, Jimmy Hayes, James Sandy, Norman Mills, Leonard Westberg, Charles Bolinger, Edwin Harper, and those now serving as Superintendents, Patton Williams, Mark Jordan, Mike Conn, and Royce Andrus.
Fred and Pat and family were elected pastor of First Pentecostal Church, West Monroe, Louisiana in January 1970. Following the retiring E.W. Caughrons, the first Sunday they had 379 in attendance. The great congregation was poised for wonderful revival and growth over the next 28 years. The church grew to average between 800 and 1,100 with a high of 2,608.
A number of talented young preachers, pastoral assistants, and music directors were mentored during this time. College of Pentecost, which developed into Twin Cities University, blessed many preachers and teachers including several missionaries.
The Fosters made sure the church was U.P.C.I. all the way, by the church giving liberally to all departments, district and international.
After relinquishing the pastorate to his son Mark, Fred redirected to other works of ministry; writing, speaking, etc. He was also challenged by his three years at Jackson College of Ministries, and enjoyed the presidency of that college.
Fred and Edwin Judd were unexpectedly called to the platform by General Superintendent A.T. Morgan, during a business session, as the first General Conference Parliamentarians in 1965, at Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is Freds 40th year to serve that position.
Fred has felt privileged to serve on a number of committees, boards, and offices since his first license in 1950. He has also authored 10 books. He has four earned college degrees.
He and Pats three surviving children serve U.P.C.I. pastorates Mark, West Monroe, Louisiana; Tom, Dallas, Texas; and Debbie and her pastor husband, Steve Saiz, Torrance, California. They have one deceased son, Tim.
The Fosters feel this is a privileged day after all these 61 years, and appreciate serving God and His work, through the U.P.C.I. Audio recordings of Fred Foster are available in the Audio Library of the Apostolic Archives International.