Harold Warner was driving back from a failed pastoral assignment when he hit a new patch of asphalt sprinkled with fresh rain, and his orange Dodge Colt spun out of control, went off the side of road and rolled down an embankment.
The car roof caved in, paralyzing him. Within nine months, the 23-year-old ex-hippie shifted into a new, dynamic pastoral assignment, this time in a wheelchair.
“Everything in my life was disrupted permanently. My world was turned upside down,” says Warner. “But my relationship with God didn’t change one bit. His grace, His presence never wavered. I had confidence that God was in control in my life.”
Today, Pastor Warner’s church, which he charged into as an idealistic young man, has grown to over 1,000. The Door Church in Tucson moved from a humble stucco and adobe building to a massive facility.
Affiliated with Christian Fellowship Ministries as a church planter, Warner and his leadership team have planted 750 churches worldwide.
How did he avoid the trap of blaming God for the inexplicable tragedy?
“A lot of things happen in life that you don’t have control over,” Warner says, as he considers the destiny he might have missed. “I kept going forward with a combination of faith, naiveté and confidence.”
When he was a young man, Warner liked hockey so much he went to the University of Connecticut specifically to play for the team. But, like so many other young people of the 1960s, alcohol and drugs beckoned, and he dropped out of school, grew his hair long, wore torn jeans and hitchhiked to Woodstock.
Being a hippie didn’t live up to “the propaganda of love,” he says. “The one thing that prevailed was the aimlessness.” Read the rest of Harold Warner The Door Church Tucson.