My name is Jeff Tackett. I’m a Pastor of 20 years who grew up in the IFBC. I am a former professional bull rider and now Pastor the Wise County Cowboy Church in Decatur,Texas. I am a Recovering Fundamentalist who listens to your podcast each week. My story is very unique because of the vast influence of the IFBC throughout my life and in the early years of my ministry. I have often thought of sharing my story with you, and have finally decided to do so.
I was born in 1973 to parents who were members of an IFB Church . My parents were told for five years they couldn’t have children. Despite the negative reports from Doctors, my parents would pray and believe God for a child. Thus on August 2,1973 I was born. My parents dedicated me to the Lord at church on my eighth day of life. Throughout my life my parents honored a promise to God they had made by raising me in church. Though I was not a preachers kid, I attended church throughout my childhood as regularly and faithfully as any Preachers kid.
I grew up on a small ranch only a couple miles from the church we attended. I rode my horse to church often by the time I was 9 or 10 years old. It was around that same time (1983) that I first heard Phil Kidd preach revival at our church. Year after year I remember settin and hearing Phil Kidd preach at our church in Boyd,Tx. It was there that my friendship began with now Pastor Jacob Potter. His Dad was our Pastor. It was also at the same church that I heard in person Dr Harold Sightler and Lester Roloff preach. However, no other preacher ever influenced my life as did Dr Phil Kidd. I loved hearing him preach.
In 1989,I was critically injured by a bull in a bull riding accident and almost died. I spent 8 days on life support and 3 weeks in ICU. Dr’s told my parents on the third day that I would die, but God was faithful to hear my parents prayer and spared my life. Phil Kidd was in town preaching revival and came to visit me in the hospital. I was only 16 at the time.
By the time I was 17, I was a teenage father. But at the age of 20, God called me to preach. By that time my family and I attend a new church across town that was also an IFB church. However, it was very different as it didn’t embrace the legalism of the church I grew up in. The Pastor, Jimmy Withers, is the Pastor I surrendered to preach under.
I attended the Arlington Baptist College beginning in 1994 until 2002. This is the Bible College of the World Baptist Fellowship and the original college that J Frank Norris began.
I began Pastoring my first church in 2000. The Corinth Baptist Church of Decatur,Tx. A small SBC church. One year into my Pastorate, I pulled the church out of the SBC…. out of foolishness on my part!!! By 2004 , the church had grown from 13 to an average attendance of 300. I began to get invitations to preach at many IFB meetings. One such meeting in McAllen, Tx I received 4 invitations to preach revivals. To my surprise and joy at the time, one church included the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. The church founded and Pastored by the late Dr Harold Sightler …. the preacher I heard in person many times as a boy.
To make a long story short, after preaching a week long revival there, God began revealing to me how much racism and legalism was in the IFB movement. I wanted out!!!
In 2007, upon the churches 100 year anniversary, I wanted to change the name of the church I pastored and I had officially walked away from the IFB. The decision was brutal. I was crucified in several IFB circles. More painfully, my decision and direction led to a very lonely path in ministry. ( I completely understand when I hear you guys talk of your decision to leave the IFB) .
in 2012 , I began pastoring a Cowboy Church. A long way from an IFB church.
If I had the chance to speak to you in person, I could tell you so much more. My journey has been long, but I’m so glad God has brought me to the place I am now,! There is SO MUCH more to my story that I’d like to share with you! I can promise it would bless you! I would even consider sharing my story on your podcast. My number is 940-389-2944.