JUMP FOR JESUS
(The Gene Sullivan Story)
Jesus Did It!
Contributed by: Ceci Sullivan
Gene Sullivan was born August 29,1947 in San Francisco, California, one of two
sons to Prescott and Patricia Sullivan. Prescott was San Francisco's leading
sports columnist for over fifty years with The Examiner. Patricia was a captain
in the Army Aircorps during WWII and flew B-25 Bombers as a ferry pilot. After
Gene was born, the two were divorced, and Pat went to Colorado, and got involved in the airport management and crop dusting business. Gene and
his brother Mark were taken to their grandparents, where they stayed for three
years. It was during this time that Gene's belief and relationship with God
began. The boys' grandmother saw to it that they attended Catholic mass and
instruction regularly. Gene says that from the time he began going to mass until
committing his life totally to Jesus, he was very much aware that God had a plan
for him and that God was very much aware of him and the things he did.
In 1956, the two boys were moved to Rifle, Colorado, with their mother. Growing up on the airport and being involved with the spray company was a very exciting and intense atmosphere. Even though Gene's relationship with God continued and God would answer prayer, Gene's life was not much of a testimony. Life was lived hard, dangerously, and with little concern about what God thought, or anybody else for that matter.
After graduation from High School, Gene entered the Navy for four years. As a flight deck director and fire fighter aboard the aircraft carrier Hancock, he made two trips to Viet Nam. During this time he also became the 7th Fleet heavyweight boxing champion and went on to win several titles, which ranked him among the top ten heavyweights in the nation. After Gene's discharge in 1969 he coached the Navy boxing team in San Francisco until a man called Evel Knievel came to town. Gene's dad was doing a story on Knievel and made the mistake of asking if he would like to meet the famous daredevil. Three days later Gene had quit his job and gone on the road with him.
Over the next two years, Gene was to be Evel's right-hand man, body guard, and setup man. Knievel' s commitment to his death defying cause was attractive, because there was nothing phony about the man's dedication to overcome life's biggest threat...death! "The stunt business appealed to me because of the thrilling entertainment it provided the crowds and because it is devoid of phonies. Stunt performance leaves no place for pretense."
Because of Gene's desire to be an entertainer and be in movies, he saw value
in having a real image, the type people could look at and see was not phony. It
brought forth a tremendous amount of loyalty in Gene toward Knievel, the type of
loyalty that saw Gene defend his friend from the Hells Angels in the Cow Palace
at San Francisco; that saw him wait hand and foot on his friend after crashes
that put him on his back; that saw him silent even when his friend failed to be
faithful financially to him. The time came for Gene to choose between going out
on his own in the stunt business or staying with Knievel.
About a month later Gene decided to leave Knievel, and go out on his own. He was back in Reno for a few days when a man invited him to a breakfast sponsored by the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship. "Although I wasn't especially religious I'd go anywhere for food, so I accepted the offer. Gene actually said to Ben Kinchlow on the 700 club, "You know the Lord tells us in the proverbs, to depart from evil, so I did. I obeyed His word and departed from Evel." It was a good laugh.
I stuck out like a sore thumb at the breakfast. Not only was my lifestyle 180 degrees opposite most of the men, but my size set me apart from everyone else. At that time I weighed 240 pounds, was lifting more than 400 pounds, and served as a nightclub bouncer in my spare time. The physical contrast between the speaker and I was hilarious.
The program committee had called in Albie Pearson, the smallest baseball
player in the major leagues, to give the message. Pearson stood about five feet
four and was known as "The Littlest Angel" when he played for
California. Albie talked about establishing a personal relationship with Jesus,
then introduced a friend who shared his personal testimony. What a story the man
told! He had been a hard core heroin addict for six years, but when the Lord
entered his life he just threw away all his drug related paraphernalia. He said,
"I want to tell you that I woke up the next morning a free man. I haven't
had a single withdrawal symptom. God totally delivered me."
Gene said, "Two things happened to me when I heard about God's power in the speaker's life. First, I began to weep; Second, I saw that everything I had done in life added up to zero. All my efforts to live up to high character standards were worthless in the sight of God, nor was He impressed with my ability to ride bikes through walls of fire, or any of my talents and abilities. He had brought me to the end of myself; I saw the vanity of life, my life without Jesus."
"Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
When Albie Pearson invited those who wanted to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord to come forward, Gene stood to his feet. My prayer went something like this: "Lord, whatever I am now, whatever I will be, wherever I go, whatever I do, I now totally commit my life into Your hands. You will be my Lord from this day forward. I want You to lead me in everything I do each day." In my mind I visualized myself signing the bottom line of a contract. I had signed my life away to the Navy before, and I knew what it was like to "be owned" by the government. I knew I was signing my life away to Jesus, and He would be the guiding force and provider of all my needs from that day forth. I knew my life was no longer my own, BUT HIS, to do with as He willed. When the prayer ended, I belonged to God.
"But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.." (Acts 1:8)
"Now, brother," Albie said, "we are going to lay hands on you and God will fill you with His Holy Spirit." Gene didn't have the slightest idea what that meant but he was sure it would happen. Sure enough, four men laid their hands on him and he began to speak in an unknown tongue. "I felt as though scales had fallen from my eyes and I could see the difference between right and wrong more clearly than before. I knew I should give up the wild partying I'd enjoyed for so long, and it wasn't a problem for me. I wanted to give those things up."
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life will lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the son of man be ashamed." (Luke 9:23,24,26)
For a time he returned to the stunt business, all the while asking the Lord to make him a faithful witness for Him. Opportunities came from every direction, TV and movie contracts, performances before huge crowds. He had a contract for a million and a half dollars that he had signed in the stunt business. Then the Lord pulled Gene out of the public eye to prepare him for something better. One morning He was reading the Bible and the Lord said, "Gene, I want you to give up everything." He saw that Jesus was really taking him up on his promise at the breakfast meeting in Reno. He knew it was Jesus speaking to Him in His heart.
"My sheep hear my voice, and the voice of a stranger they do not follow." (John 10:27)
He obeyed God's voice, that spoke to his heart even though it didn't make
financial sense to walk away from so much money. He also knew God's ways are not
man's ways, God's thoughts are not man's thoughts. He called his manager and
canceled the contracts. In a single phone call He walked away from the one thing
in life he knew how to do. God was now his only guarantee of security.
"There is a man that makes himself poor, but has great riches." He was
about to buy the gold Jesus talks about in Revelations 3, the gold of WALKING IN
FAITH, that is tried by fire. He knew he was not to lean on his own
understanding, but trust in The Lord with all of His heart.
"Whosoever be he of you that forsaketh not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple."
A few weeks later he went to work as a shipping clerk for a Christian magazine, and mowing lawns for a church lawn service. Nobody there seemed impressed with his press clippings; no one cared about his boxing records and skills with a bike. They were not moved by his physical abilities, that had gotten him everything in the world. For two and a half years his chief claim to fame was setting up overhead projectors for Bible teachers, and being the low man on the totem pole of the lawn service.
He had to stay in the meeting to shut off lights, etc., so night after night he was exposed to the truths of Scripture. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and His faith muscles began to grow, by being exposed to the anointed Word of God. The Lord knew that the rough edges of his life could be sanded smooth only by repeated encounters with the Word, and relationships with mature Christians. One lesson he needed to learn was that only the person who is faithful in little things can be trusted with larger responsibilities.
He saw being faithful in the small trivial things in life, and faithful to
the least, was BEING FAITHFUL TO THE GREATEST, JESUS! Jesus' standard of
judgment was not how we treat the greatest, but how we treat the little ones and
the least esteemed. That's how we do unto Him. He began to see you can tell what
people really believe and how much they really love Jesus, by how they treat the
Early in 1978 Gene began to pray seriously about his future work. God renewed the vision he'd had earlier about using a motorcycle to witness for Him. But Gene was filled with questions...Where was I going to get a bike? How could I put together a show when I was nearly broke? That's when the Lord gave him some basic training in faith. First he received an invitation to put on a program, then the Lord sent him a motorcycle. Gene began to get the picture. God was putting the whole ministry together so he couldn't take credit. He saw God's faithfulness to provide everything that pertained to life and godliness, and to go into the field Jesus was calling him into. Just like the Army always provided food, bullets, and care, Jesus was a better provider than the Army, and certainly as faithful. He believed God's Word, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging for bread." (Psalm 37:25)
The Lord called him to use his talent of motorcycle stunt jumping to reach out with the Gospel of His Kingdom to the lost. He had subjected his life to the disciplines of God, as taught by the men of God in His life. To be a disciple, is to be a disciplined one. When his obedience was fulfilled, He knew God wanted to use Him to help others be disciplined, be discipled, obey God's voice, and Word. If we don't make God's thoughts our thoughts, and His ways our ways, then we can't really help others with their thinking and ways.
To make disciples, we have to be disciplined ourselves, trained to know God's ways, and hear His Voice. "I was to go into the Church with my talent and my message and trust Jesus with the results. He greatly blessed it." In eight years, Gene was able to minister in over twenty-one denominations and has done 130 city wide crusades. Nineteen years later, Gene did five programs in the Kingdom of Tonga for the King's birthday. His son, Wade, has come along with his own testimony, and is the newest disciple in using the Jump as a platform to give the testimony of Jesus.
A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. (Proverbs 18:16 )
After twenty-two years of ministry, the fire the Lord had kindled at the breakfast in Reno, still burns brightly, and the reality of Jesus Christ is still as fresh and alive as that day. Gene's "food" is to share that reality with others and to see others set free and be saved and be kept by the power of God. He looks to hear from Jesus, everyday, and help those around him wake up to hear God's voice too!
A voice of one crying in the wilderness...PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, PREPARE YE THE WAY FOR THE KINGDOM." (Matthew 3:3)
The kingdom of God is within us, and we are lively stones, and God uses master builders, which He being the Chief builder, to fit the stones together, to make a building filled with the Praise of God. Jesus is coming back for a bride that has made herself ready. Being ready has everything to do with Eph. 4:11, receiving the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and teachers God has sent our way. To speak the TRUTH to one another IN LOVE, so we can GROW UP, be complete, and prepared to meet THE KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, JESUS CHRIST. We should all be ones who are getting our act together, because we love the fact that Jesus will be appearing to us one day, and we will see Him face to face.
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that's all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!
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For anyone living in the continental U.S. who would like 50 FREE copies of JESUS DID IT! to be made available to others, simply email us requesting them and provide us your mailing address. We'll be glad to send them to you, as long as ministry funds allow.
Our email: email@example.com
JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)
Let God Use Your Salvation Testimony!
STAFF NOTE: Thank you for reading Gene's story. If you would like to contact him for any questions you may have or any prayer needs or just need some encouragement, we're sure he would be more than happy to help you as much as he can. His personal email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to watch Gene's testimony on VIDEO, click on this link: http://www.jumpforjesus.net/video.htm
To read more
about Gene's life, please read his wife, Ceci's, testimony: "He
Sent A Man From God"
To keep abreast of what God is doing through the ministry God has called Gene and Ceci to, check out their ministry website: http://jumpforjesus.net/
Here is a touching interview brother Gene did on TBN. Click on the March 4, 2008 segment: http://tbn.org/index.php/2/37/85.html
If this testimony has blessed you, would you please take a few moments and share with us HOW it has blessed you? Your feedback is very important. Please mention the author of this testimony when you email your comments. Thank you so very, very much! Email: email@example.com
A Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
The staff and our ministry supporters so greatly appreciate hearing how God is touching lives for His glory through this outreach. If this ministry has blessed you in some special way, would you please consider taking a brief moment and share your blessing with us? Simply email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We truly thank each of you who allow us to publish your testimony, for those who faithfully pray (and fast) for this outreach, for those of you who help support the ministry financially, and for those of you who pass along these testimonies and other ministry writings to others. Especially to prisoners! The part the Holy Spirit has you play is vital in helping win lost souls and being engaged in discipleship, and we can never thank you enough for the labor of love and support you provide on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Thank You, and God bless you!