Jeremy Stopford’s Fleece

cropped-path25Jeremy Stopford’s Pastorate, Earlville, New York


You brought me back to what I believe is the only fleece I ever put before the Lord, and I do believe He honored it. It was the fall of 1971.

I had been saved in July 1971, just a month after graduating from high school, and just 2 months before going off to a secular college in upstate New York. It wasn’t long after I got to school that, as a new Christian, I felt a tug on my heart for God’s service. I didn’t know what all that meant, but I felt the tug to go to Bible school. BUT I knew that my mother – unsaved at the time – always felt that I was a “quitter”. If I left school after only one semester, she would see this as adding to my list of quits. And as a new Christian, this probably would not be a good testimony to her.

Again, the Bible was all new to me (still is at times!). I believe I had either just read about Gideon, or had heard about him from my pastor who loved to preach through the OT. So that night I put a fleece before the Lord.

I wanted to be sure that He wanted me either to stay at the college where I was, or to leave and go to Bible school. But I also wanted to make the fleece as IMPOSSIBLE as I could. So I prayed a prayer something like this: “Lord, if You want me to stay here in college, please put a letter in tomorrow’s mail box for me.”

The Spoffords

Pastor & Mrs Stopford

And then I paused and thought, “who have I NOT heard from since graduating from high school, someone who would have absolutely NO reason to write me?” The name that popped up was an old friend, Bill. He and I were in a group of six who apparently were the only ones who didn’t drink in my high school class. So the six of us got together every Friday night and “hung out,” alcohol free. So I added to the prayer, “Lord, if You want me to stay here, may there be a letter from Bill in tomorrow’s mail box.” After noon the next day, I went down to the mail box. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I also realized it would be a turning point in my life. I opened the mail box, and then? There was a letter in the box. AND it was from my high school friend, Bill.

I stayed at the college for the rest of the freshman year before transferring in August 1972 to Bible school in Canada. A year later, I was married to a Bible school class mate. A whirlwind, all begun because of a fleece.

Spotford  FBC Sign

And all God’s people said? …

Do I recommend fleeces today? Perhaps they can be construed as a lack of faith. And God DOES want us to walk by faith (not by sight!). But at that season in my life,God honored it.

Thanks for sharing your heart once again.

After you've read "Saving Jesus," please give me your feedback. Thanks!