Few evangelists have seen as much of the world as Lester Sumrall witnessed. As one of the most colorful preachers of the 20th century, Lester began as a fiery young preacher during the depression and by the time all was said and done left the world with a legacy of what simple and determined faith in God could accomplish. At the age of 74 he founded LeSEA Global Feed The Hungry, aimed at wiping out hunger among those struggling to survive amidst poverty, famine, disaster, and war. Lester Sumrall was a man who threw himself at the feet of Jesus Christ, possessing a zeal and commitment to God that still amazes those who knew him.
Lester Sumrall (1913-1996) was a world-renowned pastor and evangelist, entering full-time service for God after experiencing a dramatic and life-altering encounter with Jesus Christ. At the age of 17, as he lay on a deathbed suffering from tuberculosis, he received a vision. Suspended in midair to the right of his bed was a casket; on his left was a large open Bible. He heard these words: “Lester Sumrall, which of these will you choose tonight?” He made his decision – he would preach the Gospel as long as he lived. When Lester Sumrall awoke the next morning, he was completely healed and served the Lord for sixty-five years. Lester Sumrall traveled the world ministering in 110 countries, including Soviet Siberia, Russia, Tibet, and China. During his life he penned over 130 books.
In 1957 Lester Sumrall, with the help and support of his family and friends, founded LeSEA (Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association), a ministry which has subsequently given birth to well over one hundred books and study guides, eleven television stations, a satellite ministry, three FM radio stations, five shortwave stations reaching over ninety percent of the world’s population, and a quarterly magazine. In 2018, LeSEA Broadcasting changed its name to Family Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
Lester once said, “Men who do not make provision for successors in business or ministry often leave behind problems that someone else has to clear up. Either that, or they leave no business or ministry at all. I feel that God will give a smooth transition for my successors, as I have provided them with an organization that can expand and grow. Instead of a mess, I will leave behind a well-organized, expertly managed evangelistic ministry. My sons will not have to struggle to match my accomplishments in the ministry either. They have developed a working relationship together that will far exceed anything I could accomplish alone. I am assured that this ministry will continue in the second generation, and I pray in the third as well, if Jesus tarries. We will experience success in our efforts to reach those million souls for Christ, if we continue to carry the same vision and consecration.”
“God draws patterns for lives of men and woman to instruct and direct them. He creates a special design for each rational being that is destined to live on this planet. If the individual wisely follows this divine blueprint, he will build a strong, successful, and happy character. Take time to analyze the life of a good man, and see that it was not achieved by accident or good fortune, but was a life in submission to the will of God.” – Lester Sumrall