From Fisherman to Fisher of Men
From Fisherman to Fisher of Men
It was a particularly violent week in Dennis and Rhonda Landrum’s hometown of Munford, Tennessee. A store owner was shot in the back of his head, leaving two young children and a wife behind. Another store owner had been bound to a chair and left to asphyxiate with a bag over his head. On this particular day, Dennis had good reason to believe he’d be next.
He owned a glass company. As usual, his employees were already in the field that morning, leaving him alone in the store. The front door swung open as Dennis, with his head down counting the day’s deposit, said, “I’ll be right with you.” He looked up to find a gun pointed at his face and a man yelling at him, “Give me all your money!”
“TAKE EVERYTHING,” DENNIS PLEADED. “Just don’t shoot.” As the gunman commanded Dennis to lie on the ground, thoughts of the earlier robberies and his wife and kids pulsed through his mind. Dennis started to pray, “If you get me out of this, I will give you everything.” Dennis soon heard the footsteps of the man leaving, the door closing behind him. Twelve years earlier, Dennis was with his wife Rhonda at a local revival meeting. They were not Christians. When the meeting ended, Rhonda spoke first, “I didn’t get anything out of that sermon. But I see you did.” “I WAS BROKEN BY THE MESSAGE,” Dennis said. The next day he called his pastor. By the end of the week, both Dennis and Rhonda would profess Jesus as their Lord and get baptized. They soon began serving in church by working with the youth.
Unfortunately, Dennis would soon be lured away from attending church after winning a large fishing tournament. It was like a shot of adrenaline to him because he had always loved fishing. For the next 12 years, Dennis sacrificed most every Sunday to fish in tournaments. He had the boats, tackle, rods, and reels. You name it, he had it or didn’t need it.
During this time Rhonda was faithfully taking the kids to church and ensuring they knew about Christ. She used the nine-mile commute to school to pray and talk to them about God. One day Rhonda was praying and decided to tell Dennis what she believed God was saying.
“I’VE BEEN PRAYING,” SHE BEGAN. “God said if you’ll take your family to church on Sunday and fish on Saturday, He’ll bless your fishing.” Dennis was not interested but relented after a few weeks. He won the first Saturday tournament. “I told you,” Rhonda said.
Two weeks later, the robbery occurred with Dennis face down on the floor, praying for God to spare his life. He finally surrendered, and after two years of fishing on Saturdays, God asked, “When are you going to stop fishing for fish, and start fishing for men?” Dennis immediately told Rhonda, “I think God’s calling me to ministry. What should I do?” Rhonda told him to go to seminary in order to be prepared.
While Dennis did not start his seminary career at Mid-America, God made it abundantly clear through prayer, circumstances, and the counsel of others that Dennis and Rhonda were to move to Memphis. Dennis graduated in 2008, and he and Rhonda have been fishing for men ever since and now serve with the X-tended Missions Network in North Mississippi.