Introduction to Doug Riggs, Pastor,
Morning Star Testimony Church
Doug came to the Lord at age 11, but didn't begin following the Lord until age 24, at
which time he was "led" to purchase a Bible. He began by reading the Gospel of John.
The Lord Jesus Christ made Himself remarkably real to him at that time. He was
intensely "apprehended" by the Lord out of a life of drugs and rebellion. He quit using
drugs and started pursuing the things of the Lord from that time forward. His prayer was: "I want to know Your Word as You have it written." The Lord honored that by leading him to a church in Houston, Texas, where the Word of God was taught every night of the week, with the exception of Saturday, twice on Sunday and twice on Monday. The pastor taught from the Hebrew and Greek and was a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate. He systematically taught the doctrines of the Word, but something (Someone) was obviously missing and Doug was feeling totally bankrupt after a few years. By this time Doug and Lori were married (1974). The Lord had put a book into Doug's hands written by Major Ian Thomas called The Saving Life of Christ. We weren't hearing this about the Lord at the church we attended. It was wonderful! We were having our eyes opened to the fact that Jesus Christ was to be our LIFE, not just our Savior; that He is a personal and living God with whom we are to walk intimately; that He lives within us! Then the Lord led a woman at a Christian bookstore to encourage him to buy a copy of The Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford, which speaks of the identification truths; about the power of the cross over sin and self. This was revolutionary to us! We weren't hearing this taught either! We wondered why??? We attempted to share with others the glorious news that Jesus Christ not only died FOR us, but AS us; that we died with Him on the cross. People didn't have ears to hear. This was the beginning of a lonely journey for us in our
pursuit to gain Christ.
In the book The Green Letters (and his other four books), Miles Stanford quotes many other authors like T. Austin-Sparks, DeVern Frmke, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, J.B. Stoney, L.E. Maxwell, F.J. Huegel, George Mueller, J. Hudson Taylor, Gregory Mantle, Amy Carmichael, Madame Guyon, etc. We began purchasing books by these authors and we were having a glorious feast on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ!! The Lord had to move us on from that particular church because we were getting the Word as a "system of doctrine" instead of the Word pointing TO the Person of Christ. We were grateful for what the Lord gave us there: a deep respect for authority and for the Word of God, but we needed more (John 5:39-40).
At this time, Doug changed his prayer from, "Lord, I want to know your Word" to, "Lord, I want to know YOU as you really are." By this time we had moved to Tulsa so Doug could go to a local-church seminary to learn Hebrew and Greek. It was here in Tulsa that we first heard Maj. Ian Thomas in person, and after the week of noontime and evening meetings we were ruined for anything less than knowing Christ as our very Life. For months we listened to tapes and read books from authors who emphasized what we were hearing from Maj. Ian Thomas. However, the Lord did not let us stop here, with an INDIVIDUAL Christ for US, as important as this "phase" of growth was. He led us to the ministry of T. Austin-Sparks who was a little-known conference speaker from England, now with the Lord. He was used by the Lord to open up the vast riches of the book of Ephesians and the depths of God (1Cor. 2:6-10). Since much of brother Sparks' writings were out of print we began a search to obtain the Witness and Testimony magazines of which he was the primary contributing author and editor from 1926 to 1971. Now we have everything he has written, and have been greatly blessed and encouraged by this father in the Lord.
In 2005, Doug met Peter Xu Yongze, from China. Peter is one of the three men mentioned in Back to Jerusalem, written by Paul Hattaway. Peter has a school (Sinim Institute) in the Philippines that equips young Chinese men and women to complete the great commission through the countries that lie between China and Jerusalem know as the 10/40 window. Doug was invited by Peter to come to Sinim Institute in Manila to instruct the young people in April of 2005. Once again, Doug's love for the brethren of China was deepened. During his time at Sinim Institute Peter arranged for Doug to travel with his nephew into China, to visit four different house churches and share God's Word with them. That experience was a life-changing event for Doug. He continues to minister by e-mail to a young Chinese brother that he met while visiting one of the churches.
Through the years, Doug has had personal contact with Bob Fu who is President of China Aid Association and VOM representative for China. Bob has inspired us through his advocacy and ministry to the persecuted believers in China. Herald Hsu, a co-worker with Watchman Nee and now in his 80's, has also been an inspirational contact for Doug with the Church in China.
As Doug's wife, I have seen him operate as a Pastor's pastor over the years. He has a great sense of responsibility for the whole Body of Christ. He is a networker and he uses the Internet to do this, sending many e-mails and articles around the world to inform others of what is happening in the Body of Christ.