"As I look back I realize that it was only God's hand on my life that kept me going all those years. It wasn't easy. He was definitely my inspiration and drive."
AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE LIFE OF OUR SHEPHERD
"From a very early age in my life I felt drawn in a special way to the Lord God (YHVH), to worship Him, and toward a calling to serve Him and His people," says David McCoy, a leader at Yeshua's Love.
There was a twenty-eight year span of time from age to five, when God first started tugging at his heart, to age thirty-three when he would graduate from seminary.
"As I look back I realize that it was only God's hand on my life that kept me going all those years. It wasn't easy. He was definitely my inspiration and drive. Without Him, I couldn't have ever accomplished anything."
David was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1957 to Charles and Betty McCoy. He graduated from high school in 1975. For eleven years he worked full-time for the U.S. Postal Service, attended college year round as a part-time student earning two college degrees – an Associate Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in Religion & Philosophy, was very active in his church, and preached in many churches throughout central and southwest Virginia and West Virginia. In 1986 David and his family sold their home, stored most of their belongings, and moved to seminary where he experienced four hard years of study as he pursued his Master of Divinity degree.
"There were so many times as I climbed the hill to get to my classes at Virginia Western Community College that I wondered if I was going to make it and ever finish college. Working full time, going to school, and caring for a home and family year after year for over a decade is a difficult challenge. Had I not felt such a strong call to ministry, I don't think I would have ever made it."
"As an adult in my late twenties, pursing ministry meant going through lots of transitions. I remember my final night at the Post Office. I handed my identification badge to my supervisor as I left the building for the last time. To this day I have never forgotten what he said to me – 'You'll be back.' Those words stung, but they never came to pass. I have learned, as have many others, that wherever God guides, He also provides. Truly, that has been the story of my life. I will tell anyone who will listen that my loving Father, the only true living God, can definitely be trusted."
In 1990 David graduated from seminary. He has served three different congregations in his twenty-five years as a pastor. Through the years, conferences and training events have greatly blessed him, but nothing has so dramatically shaped his life and ministry as the times when God directly and supernaturally altered and transformed the course of his thinking, understanding, beliefs, and faith.
"Throughout my life there have been many times when God touched me in a way that changed me. Since 1990 when I was ordained, there have been five extraordinary times when God completely redirected me by either opening the way for me to have a much greater intimacy with Him or by transforming my understanding of Him and His word. Actually, when I think about it, in some way, both of those things happened each of those five times."
In 1995, five years after David was ordained, God brought him into a personal relationship with Himself through Messiah. Even though he had believed in God and loved Him, he had never had a personal relationship with Him because it was not something that his church denomination ever taught or stressed.
In 2000, as he sat down for the first session of a conference in Chicago, he heard God whisper in his spirit, "I want you to rethink salvation." It was such a strong word from God that he wrote it down in the margin of his note pad. A few days later when he got home and was showering late in the evening, he realized that he hadn't really rethought salvation, but said to himself that he was too tired to even think about it. Then, almost like a flash through his mind, a prayer was said, "Make this clear." It was as if the Spirit of God had prayed for him, and indeed, in the moments that followed, God completely transformed his understanding of salvation. David totally trusted the clarification God had given him and within a year was led to scripture passages that completely confirmed God's new word to him. While still in the shower, he asked, "Lord, is there anything else?" The answer that came back was, "Yes, the Bible is a lot more literal than you have thought it is." That completely and supernaturally changed his understanding of God's word from that moment until today. He considers this his real "born again" moment because he has come to know and believe that until a person comes under the authority of God's word, they are just living out of their own opinions.
In 2005, David went to a Men's Encounter retreat, and to his great surprise, during the last time of worship, he was baptized in the Holy Spirit of God. For more than two hours, with many tears flowing as he lay on the floor, God ministered powerfully to him in the Spirit. He later said to the pastor who was leading the Encounter, "You're going to have to help me understand what just happened and teach me to walk in this." Since that time, he ministers to others as God ministered to him - always as guided by God's Spirit.
In 2010, with the help of a mentor and after much prayer and reflection, David felt led to be water baptized by full immersion in the name of Messiah Yeshua as is modeled throughout the B'rit Hadasha ("New Testament") beginning in the Book of Acts. His decision was made based on 1st John 5:7-8 (not the King James version that distorts this particular text) and replaced his infant baptism that was done in the Trinitarian formula.
In 2012, at 55 years old and after 23 years of ministry, God again supernaturally showed him a truth that he had missed his whole life and ministry - that the Torah or "law" has not been done away with or replaced by grace as most Christian teaching implies or contends, but it, along with the rest of the Tanakh ("Old Testament"), is the foundation of the Apostolic writings of the B'rit Hadasha and a confirmation of our Messiah. After carefully and correctly reading the Bible and overcoming the Christian misinterpretation of many passages of scriptures, David now understands that within the volume of scripture referred to as "the Bible" there is one God, one book, one story, one kingdom, and one people - not two of each that are divided into two "testaments." Further and most importantly, in addition to wanting to serve and minister to Jews, he also wants to share an urgent message with "Gentiles" who become grafted-in Israelites through loving and following the Messiah ... that they, like the Jews, are expected to honor the Torah and observe the Sabbath and Feasts of the Lord. The foundation for this is found throughout the full body of scripture, not the least of which are the words of Messiah Yeshua who said in Matthew 5:17, "I did not come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets but to make them abound."
"The powerful and amazing thing about all of these transitions is that God gave me things I didn't even know to ask for. After years of life and ministry, this is my testimony about God and His love, grace, and goodness. Today, I walk in what I do because God showed me the way. I came into everything I know, believe, and practice in a very honest way. It wasn't because of a conference, book, website, or movement. It was totally and completely because of Him and by the leading of His hand - and my heart is to share with others what He has showed me and taught me even as He continues to grow and transform me, my life, and my ministry. There is not one transition or truth that is more important than another. They are all important and have built on each other, but I will say that the revelation I received from God in 2012, the one that awakened me to my Hebrew heritage, has been like being 'born again' again."
"As I look at my life and ministry, without a doubt my greatest passion is to bring people into the presence of God, my greatest joy is worshiping and praying in the Spirit of God, and my greatest thrill is when YHVH's Spirit opens up a deeper intimacy with God and His word."