Don Lyon was born July 9, 1931 in Egland, North Dakota and moved to the state of Oregon where he was raised.
While attending the Open Bible College in Des Moines, Iowa, Don married Donna Swaggart of Eugene, Oregon in 1951. In 1953, he graduated and they moved to Waterloo, Iowa where he served as an assistant pastor. Later in years he was honored with the Doctor of Divinity degree from Florida Beacon College and Seminary.
Don is a past president and charter member of his Rotary Club. He serves as State Director for the National Association of Evangelicals and serves on the board for the National Association of Evangelicals.
He founded and has pastored Faith Center in Rockford, Illinois for 33 years (established April 9, 1978). The church owns and operates two FM radio stations and has a pastoral staff of 7 full time pastors besides himself, and 6 volunteer pastors. His congregation is vibrant and is building a new sanctuary. He serves on the board of several organizations and Ministries and has been the speaker at pastor’s conventions in several nations, as well as across America. He is an Apostle with an international network of over 100 Pastors, Missionaries, Ministries and Churches.
His 57 years of ministry have caused him to be accepted as an apostle and father of many pastors, evangelists and ministry leaders, He is often introduced as a pastor to pastors.
Question and Answer Format:
What are your favorite parts of ministry?
Having been in the city long enough in Rockford, to see the fruit of what we have done through those years. For instance, I have married the grandchildren of people I married.
In addition, watching young men and women that trained in our ministry go out and start churches in other states, nations, and around the world.
I also am gratified by leading the Apostolic network with over 100 ministries in many nations, which are many voices proclaiming the Gospel.
I love the ministry. It has always been my heart. That is why I am still here. I am past 80 years of age- that’s not too common.
What are your least favorite parts of ministry?
Probably watching somebody who sat under my ministry for years and knows what is right, and be drawn into a lifestyle that leads into a total loss and failure- and knowing there is not a thing you can do about it because they have a free will. And also having to do a funeral of that person with no hope to give the family.
In addition, to see a marriage that I performed go through a divorce with deep wounds of rejection and loss of self-esteem taking its toll on one or both parties.
To quote Nathan Hale for this purpose “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
What are some of your biggest concerns in today’s ministries?
I watch too much genuine Christianity turning into a form of religion. In the early years of American History, people had to depend on God for almost everything. In today’s society, men and women are so self-sufficient that they think they are doing well without God until they come to the end of their life and face eternity.
Another concern is, although radio and television are a great help to those who are shut in, they have encouraged laziness on the part of the healthy to not go to church. A communication system can never take the place of fellowship with other believers who stand in the gap for one another and provide help in critical times.
We don’t think we need God until a day like 9/11 comes along, and then our churches fill up for a few weeks, but we still go back to our self-sufficiency. It’s like a teenager who gets tired of the restrictions and rules of the home and decides to go on their own and leave home. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that home wasn’t so bad after all. And they want to return. The church is a home for the spiritual life of a community of people.
What is your favorite Scripture?
“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” –Acts 1:11 (KJV).
Writer’s Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of Faith Center and sit under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon. I am truly blessed to sit under such an anointed man of God, and to receive his weekly sermons. Pastor Lyon, to me, personifies the love of God. He carries with him, on a daily basis, the Fruit of the Spirit to such amazing measure. I consider it a profound privilege and an honor to sit under this mighty man of God and learn from him. Thank you, Apostle, for granting me this interview.
If you live within the greater Rockford area, I encourage you to come out to Faith Center located at 4721 South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois 61102. Weekly services are held on Wednesdays at 6.30pm, and three services on Sundays (9am, 11am, and 6pm). Dr. Lyon is also broadcasted weekdays on 88.3 FM Radio (WFEN) at 8.45am and 8.45 pm for “Minutes that Matter.”
For more information on Faith Center, visit www.rockfordfaithcenter.com, or via phone at 815-964-8000.
So come check out Faith Center! I promise- you will be blessed!
Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries and Youth Becoming Leaders, Inc., and resides in Freeport Illinois.