Paris Reidhead (1919-1992)
Paris Reidhead devoted his life to communicating the message of the Gospel in America and throughout the world. He was chosen by God to be a spokesman for Him before his birth. Paris related the circumstances of his birth to his daughter Virginia Teitt in early 1992 just before he died. “After a long and difficult labor his mother gave birth to her first-born son on May 30, 1919, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The baby was breech; his neck had been broken and was at a right angle. The doctor announced that he had saved the mother, but lost the baby. Our grandmother, Ruby Perkins Reidhead, responded that this could not be so, for she had prayed and God revealed that her son, this child, would be a spokesman unto Him. When the doctor checked again, the baby’s head had straightened, his color was normal, and his breathing regular. This was Paris Reidhead’s birth.”
A student pastor in rural Minnesota at age eighteen, Pastor Reidhead felt led of the Lord to overseas mission work. In 1945, Paris Reidhead and Marjorie, his wife of two years, traveled under the auspices of the Sudan Interior Mission to the Sudan-Ethiopia Border where they surveyed and analyzed tribal languages in preparation for evangelism and education in this area, which led to the translation of the New Testament into Dinka.
Upon his return to the United States, Pastor Reidhead was appointed Deputation Secretary of the Sudan Interior Mission in the Southeastern United States. He was soon a nationally recognized spokesman for missions.
In 1953 Pastor Reidhead began his national Bible Conference ministry for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C & M A) which appointed him, in 1956, to pastor the Gospel Tabernacle, the New York City church where the C & M A was first established by Dr. A. B. Simpson in 1887. While in New York, Mr. Reidhead drew on informational resources at the United Nations to pioneer a program through which government and private funds were used for economic development in the Third World; his efforts to implement local programs on this model took him to mission fields in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Third World development became his full-time commitment in 1966. Pastor Reidhead's vision of public-private funding for economic development led, in 1971, to the formation of the Institute for International Development, Inc., which has served as the model for about ninety evangelical organizations, which have, in turn, channeled more than $100 million into Third World development. In 1984, Mr. Reidhead founded Enterprise Development International, a service agency devoted to aiding Third World church and evangelical agencies in creating job opportunities for destitute families.
Since Pastor Reidhead's death in 1992, Paris Reidhead Bible Teaching Ministries, Inc. has continued under the leadership of his wife, Marjorie, his daughter, Virginia Teitt, a dedicated Board, and the many people who have donated time and talents after being changed by God’s Word through these messages. The message of the Gospel is reaching an ever-widening audience all over the world.
About Bible Teaching Ministries
After Pastor Reidhead returned from work as a missionary in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, he began his traveling to speak about missions and to preach at Bible conferences through the C & M A. His powerful messages grew in prominence in the C & M A, which in 1956 led to an appointment at the Gospel Tabernacle in New York City. During summers, Pastor Reidhead would speak at conferences in North America and overseas, among them Bethany Fellowship in Minnesota where in 1965, Pastor Reidhead preached his widely-known sermon, "Ten Shekels and A Shirt". The Reidheads moved to Northern Virginia in 1969, where Pastor Reidhead planted Trinity Alliance Church, a C & M A church. Someone once gave him a copy of "Ten Shekels and A Shirt" and after he listen to it, he said, "I would like to meet that preacher. He is very good." He later realized that he was that preacher; with that realization was born the idea of a tape ministry. While he continued to respond to requests to speak, he knew that neither time nor finances would permit him to accept the invitations he received from across the globe. In August 1986, he founded Paris Reidhead Bible Teaching Ministries, Inc.
The purpose of Paris Reidhead Bible Teaching Ministries, Inc. is to prepare and distribute audio and video tapes (now CDs and MP3 downloads) of Bible-teaching messages; to conduct Bible-teaching seminars and conferences; to conduct conferences on evangelism and evangelistic crusades; to sponsor and conduct pastor-training seminars both in the U.S. and overseas; and to sponsor research and publication in the field of church history and doctrine.
Most mission-field pastors have seldom had opportunity to share in a Bible conference. Many do not have Bible School or Seminary training. Christian Fellowship groups in universities, chaplains in prisons, in the military and in police forces; leaders in churches and home groups who have set up reading rooms, lending libraries and listening centers, monitored by mature Christians--these are just a sampling of the groups nurtured and challenged by the books and sermons which Paris Reidhead Bible Teaching Ministries provides. We have recently started conducting Bible-teaching seminars and conferences and have added self-study material to our Website. Also, we are making available for the asking much of Pastor Reidhead's library of sermons and sermon notes. In the preface of Finding the Reality of God, his daughter Rev. Virginia Teitt relates her younger sister's story about their father's sermon notes.
“ 'In the weeks before he died Dad gave his children gifts that bespoke his love and ministered to each of us where we stood. Sitting in his room talking about my work as an editor of books, Dad showed me for the first time the rows of three-ring binders of outlines of sermons, written in long hand on onion skin paper with barely a crossed-out word or a cramped afterthought in the margins. I marveled at these: ‘How could you write this way— so freely and with such assurance?’ ‘Oh, honey,’ he answered, ‘it was God’s anointing. I couldn’t have done it otherwise.’”
These anointed sermons continue to touch hearts throughout the world through Paris Reidhead Bible Teaching Ministries, Inc. The ministry continues to grow internationally under the leadership of a dedicated Board. The message of the Gospel is reaching an ever-widening audience all over the world.