I was born October 1, 1954, in Union, Mississippi. I am the youngest of five children, and until the fifth grade, was raised around the small town of Sebastopol. I lost my dad when I was seven years old. A short time later we moved to a different school district, and I began attending Scott Central High School. When I was a junior, my mother moved to the city of Forest. Being near the end of high school, I wanted to finish without changing schools. So God opened the door for me to live with the Curtis and Lucille Bailey family. This is where the work of God in my life became evident.
The Bailey family attended Clifton Baptist Church, and whoever lived under their roof, went to church. In time, the Holy Spirit began to work on my heart. One Sunday night in the Fall of 1971, I fell under deep Holy Spirit conviction and realized my condition as a lost sinner. I walked down to the front of the church that night, knelt down, repented of my sin, and asked the Lord Jesus to save me. I was seventeen years old, and for the first time in my life, I had a peace and joy like I had never known. I began to grow as a babe in Christ, happy in the Lord.
After high school graduation, I entered the U.S. Air Force to serve a four-year term, from 1972-1976. I was honorably discharged. Those were years that I did not live for the Lord. I strayed away from the Lord and did not live like a Christian should. I have always regretted those wasted years that can never be reclaimed or relived. Even though I did not lose my salvation, I lost the joy and fellowship of it. But God was gracious and brought me home to Forest, MS., where I began attending East Forest Baptist Church. It was there that God forgave me of my sins, repaired the broken fellowship and restored the joy of my salvation. Soon after this God issued me an unmistakable call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I surrendered to that call and I have never stopped serving Him since that day.
It was during this period of time that my wife, Brenda (Duncan) and I met. Brenda was born and raised in a loving, Christian home in Forest, Mississippi. We were married on January 28, 1978, and made our first home in Forest. From a child, all Brenda wanted to be, was a nurse. She received L.P.N. and R.N. degrees and has nursed for 43 years. I was licensed and ordained to preach by the East Forest Baptist Church in 1979. For over two decades I served four churches as pastor. God has been so good through the years. The ministry, like anything else, has been a bitter/sweet experience, with ups and downs; both burdens and blessings. We have been through troubles and triumphs, but through it all, God has been faithful. Only by His grace have we come this far. Even though I failed God and made many mistakes, He has never failed me. I have never regretted obeying God and serving him across these years. God allowed me to graduate from Clarke College, Mississippi College and Louisiana Baptist University.
We have one son, Dr. Bradley Creel, now 37. Bradley graduated from Lake High School, Lake, MS, East Central Community College, Decatur, MS., and the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. In May 2005, he graduated from the University’s School of Medicine in Jackson, Mississippi, earning the Doctor of Medicine degree. He completed a three-year residency in internal medicine at UMC. Following this, he completed a 3-year specialty fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor University Medical Center, in Dallas, Texas. He is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Bradley’s academic journey totaled 14 grueling years beyond high school. Dr. Creel presently makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is a partner at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates. Needless to say, Brenda and I are very proud of Bradley’s career achievements.
I am a Christian by God’s amazing grace, and a Baptist by choice. I was privileged to serve as a pastor of four churches across twenty-one years. But during 1999, God gave us the ‘green light’ to do the work of an evangelist/church revivalist, as a vocation. On January 2, 2000, Brenda and I resigned and left our church in Meridian, Mississippi to begin our revival schedule in March. God has blessed this step of obedience, and He has been so faithful to us. For most of these sixteen years in evangelistic ministry, God has provided me somewhere to preach almost fifty-two Sundays a year. We give Jesus all the honor and praise. To God be the glory, great things He hath done!