When I first moved to Decatur, it wasn’t long before I became aware of the Prayer Closet Ministry, founded by Rev. Kevin Meador in 1996. Kevin Brent Meador was born October 7, 1967, to Larry and Carolyn Rushing Meador, of Stratton near Decatur. Kevin’s father worked for the Illinois Central & Gulf Railroad as a clerk for thirty or more years before his death in 2008. His mother worked 39 years for Laird’s Family Medical Group in Union, Mississippi, before her own retirement. Kevin’s brother Darryl is married to Yong from South Korea. He works for the Federal Department of Education as an auditor, and they live in Overland Park, Kansas.
In 1985, Kevin graduated from Union High School, where he enjoyed playing football. He went on to earn his A.A. from East Central Community College in 1987, then his B.S. degree from Mississippi College with a double major in Church History and Philosophy. In 1992, he was awarded his Master’s of Divinity in Hebrew from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, going on to earn his Doctorate in Preaching in 1998 from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson.
Dr. Meador was raised in church, specifically Pinckney Baptist Church, outside of Union, where he and his mother are still members. He shared an experience when he was eight years old, during a revival. People were getting saved, walking the aisle, and he said, “I thought it was what I was supposed to do, so I walked the aisle, too. I was baptized.” For two years after that he wondered if he was really saved, then for two more years he shared that he was in “deep conviction,” when at ten years old, he felt he was “lost and going to hell.” He explained what happened to give him peace. “On a Sunday night, at twelve years old, a simple salvation message, I saw my need and knew Christ was my only hope. I had tried to be as good as I could be, but got no peace, so I had struggled four years, terrified of dying. I gave up and asked Jesus to save me and was rebaptized.”
He struggled with a call to preach from the time he was thirteen. One Sunday, during a service where the youth were in charge, he preached. He shared, “People came up and said, ‘God’s got His hand on you,’” to which he replied, “No.” As a senior, he felt the call but ran from it. He wanted to be a surgeon or do sports medicine. But he reported, “God turned on the conviction.” Entering the University of West Alabama to play football after high school graduation, the conviction got worse. He went to a Baptist Student Union meeting, where they sang “I Surrender All.” He left, fell over a bad place in a sidewalk, on the knee that he had surgery, still under such conviction.
Making it to his dorm room, his roommate, a cussing heathen, came in inebriated, and Kevin began witnessing to him. He felt God say to him, “This is what I want you to do the rest of your life.” He went to Gerald Broussard, the offensive line coach, to say, “I’ve just got to go home,” but still didn’t surrender to preach. That’s when he entered ECCC, late in his freshman year. In January he struggled, telling the Lord he knew what God was calling him to do, but still saying, “I can’t.” Finally, he shared, “At 3:09 A.M., I gave up and said, ‘You’ll have to change my heart. This is not what I want.’” Then in June, he said, “I surrendered, saying, ‘I want to do Your will, but You’ll have to help me do it.’”
Bro. Meador became a full-time evangelist in 1996, and has done that work all over the United States. In 1996, he felt strongly that he needed people to pray for his ministry and, with the help of Mrs. Evelyn Williams, put out a newsletter about prayer in February 1998 to 26 people. Now it’s to all the United States and 50 foreign countries. The latest thing that is really popular is what he calls prayer rings, laminated cards with scripture prayers on key rings.
The foundation for the ministry is Prayer, Fasting, Prayer Walking, Spiritual Warfare, and Scripture Memorization. His mother told me, “There are miracles every day. The Lord just opened the door for this, to pray and to give people a way to pray.” For more information, go to www.prayerclosetministries.org. The newsletter is no longer sent by mail, but is online, with the purpose to teach people how to pray the scripture. Someone donated a couple acres to the ministry in Hickory, where they now have a metal building. Ms. Evelyn Williams and Ms. Peggy Parks from Good Hope Baptist help with the facility. They hope to be able to have prayer conferences there. Kevin lamented, “The overwhelming number of people who use our prayer ministry are the women. We need the men to step up.”
Before Kevin went into full time evangelism, he served in a number of churches as pastor. He pastored his home church, Pinckney Baptist Church, from 1987-1989, fulfilling a prophecy of an unnamed woman from when he was three years old. The woman told his mother at the church, “Carolyn, your son will be a preacher and preach in this church, but I won’t be around to see it.” Bro. Meador said of his mother, “She’s just been a faithful support and prayer warrior. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.”
Next, he was interim pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church 1989-1990. He pastored Good Hope 1990-1991, Mt. Vernon 1991-1992, then New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi from 1994-1996. He commented, “That’s where I really got a burden about prayer. We’ve got to pray and seek the Lord.” He led the church on Wednesday nights in a fifteen-minute study on prayer and devoted the rest of the time to prayer in groups. He said, “We concentrated on people touching people by prayer and by witness, and the church really began to seek the Lord.”
He told the Lord during that time, “I’m desperate for You. I want to see what You will do.” Because of distances, instead of prayer walking, we would prayer drive around the community. Kevin reports, “God does answer and honor prayer. When I went there, there were 35 in Sunday School, then when I left there were 105.”
Kevin shared, “I pray God has mercy on us. Every awakening that’s taken place has happened in desperate times. We just need a move of God…that’ll shake the core of our country. It’ll either be revival, or ruin if we don’t have an awakening…Shallow evangelism has deadened our churches.”
He said of his ministry, “God’s been good. He’s blessed me beyond anything I could ever dream of. I’ve preached in Vermont, in California, and everywhere in between. I’ve been in it so long. Even now, I crave God’s Word even more.” I pray we all begin to “crave God’s Word even more.”
Live for Jesus! He’s coming soon!
You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-635-3282.