From the beginning of his Christian life Frederick William Dunn has been a man that stood out in a crowd. He would weep in the spirit when moved by a message, or shout out loud without any of the embarrassment that we who sat with him would feel. In the early days we were Methodist and as far as we were concerned people did not show emotion in public like he did. Later I came to realise that there was nothing false or exaggerated in his overwhelming love for the Lord and his reaction to the blessing was not a desire to be noticed, but a natural response to Someone who was doing wonderful things in his life.
Because of the utter disregard to what people thought of him – even his own family – he was like putty in the hands of God, first getting to know the voice of the Spirit and then following the leadings of that voice and no other. He never used his own reasoning or let anybody come between himself and what that voice told him. In spite of all adversity from family and friends he would never turn aside from anything the Spirit showed him. Although I believe he did nothing deliberately to displease people he was not deterred from pleasing God by the knowledge that he was offending some.
The years previous to becoming a Christian are like a nightmare to the memory; years when nothing mattered so much to him as drink and cigarettes. He was going downhill like a snowball gathering speed and unable to control the direction; getting mixed up in things that could only lead, inevitably, to the destruction of mind and body. Even when the family was broken up and he was alone he continued along this tortuous path that was causing so much heartache to himself and misery to others.
But if he had lost control of the situation, God was not far away. It seemed as though He let things go so far and then said, “That’s enough.” God stepped in, first through our daughter who brought the good news of Salvation, myself being next to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, and then our son, leaving Fred until the last. I’ll always remember being in Church at midnight on 31st December 1962. By this time we were joined together again after being separated for almost 12 months. I had experienced the forgiveness of sins and had given my heart and life to Jesus three months previously. Our son was a Christian too; there was just Fred left outside this wonderful peace we had found and all we could do was pray. Before we set off for Church this New Years Eve, we bullied him into saying he would come for the service, and just as the minister was making an appeal one minute before midnight, I had a conviction in my heart that Fred had come in; it was so strong that I was filled with praise and adoration for such a good God. When the service was over and I didn’t see him in Church I was puzzled but not dismayed. It was not until the following day he told us what had happened.
He had gone to the pub for a drink and left too late to get to the Church for the service so he had gone straight home. His own testimony is, “I opened the door and entered the empty flat. But it wasn’t just the flat that was empty; I suddenly realised the emptiness was in me. It was my life that was empty, with no hope for the future, and I fell across the Corner Stone and wept my way into the kingdom.”
From that day he has been on fire with the word of God and has been taught by the Spirit, teachings that he has passed on faithfully to all who are searching for a deeper walk with God.
It soon became evident that God intended to use this life that had been saved from certain destruction and in spite of all opposition Fred was going to let God have His way. One of his biggest battles must have been leaving a secular job and moving into full time ministry. We had no money at all and the thought of no weekly wage was horrifying. After all, there was rent to pay and food to buy for the four of us; whatever would we do if he did not work? But I did not know God very well at this time and I did not realise that He is able to supply not only the need, but an abundance that is so amazing and unbelievable. I do not know to this day where most of the money came from, all I can say is, that never once did the rent not get paid, and never do I remember feeling hungry and not being able to provide something in the way of food for us and for any visitor who came.
We read in the Bible that John the Baptist was in the wilderness until the time came for him to begin his ministry. We are also told that the disciples were taught of the Lord for three years before His death so that they would be ready for the ministry, but during this time of preparation they were being used to minister so that they could be taught the way the power of God was working at that time.
The way God chose to teach Fred was to send people to him who needed ministry and also He allowed the devil to send people so he would learn the true from the false. Fred had quite a few experiences with the powers of Satan and has said that without these experiences he would not have learned the difference so quickly. I’ve heard him say that when you’re in God’s army He gives the real weapons to fight with, there is no practising with dummies first.
So they came for ministry, the poor in spirit who needed a blessing from God, the sick who wanted a touch from Him for healing, the possessed who needed deliverance from Satan’s power, but among these were those who caused confusion and striving and sometimes the whole meeting was disrupted and spoilt. As Fred sought God for a reason for this the knowledge came that Satan does not step down easily when he has had control in a life and he puts up a fight when one of his channels turns to the Lord. We also became aware, more and more, that he knew that there was God’s power and blessing in this ministry that God was raising up and he was going to fight against all that was happening to Fred’s life. Evidence of this was apparent by the way he attacked the ministry from the beginning.
I have already told of the way Fred soon learned to obey the voice of the Spirit and would listen to no other so Satan turned his attention to other members of the family and began to attack in this way. By getting us all to doubt that Fred was as spiritual as he claimed, he was able to obstruct the ministry to a certain extent. But such was the determination to let God have His way that it seemed only to increase the incentive to serve God the more.
By this time we had opened the flat where we lived for any of God’s people who felt the need of ministry but among these were some who came for a different side of the ministry; a ministry of spiritual teaching of the word of God. These stayed with us to become the fellowship that is now Bethesda.
Although he has never attended a Bible School Fred’s insight into the word of God is astounding. There are some Christians who cannot believe that man can be taught by the Spirit of God without attending a bible School, or being taught by another man, but this is just what happened in his case.
In my own experience this was one of the battles I had to overcome. It is not always easy to accept a truth expounded in a different way to the one taught in the Church and sometimes there are high walls of beliefs and doctrines to be broken down before we can see things in a new light. After years of rebellion and indecision I have come into a new revelation where I can see a doctrine that not only makes sense when listened to, but one that works when put into practice. I am now fully persuaded that Fred has a ministry of prophetical teaching for the Christian in this day, and I rely on his revelation and discernment.