In Davey Blackburn’s first recorded appearance in front of a congregation since his wife’s death , the pastor said he believes his wife’s death was allowed by God to help spread the word of Jesus Christ.
Blackburn spoke on Nov. 29 to the First Baptist Church of Elkhart where Amanda's father, Phil Byers, is the pastor.
"I didn’t want to say anything -- partially because I don’t know how well I could hold it together when I speak to people,” he said.
"I believe that in some way, some shape, some form that we can't wrap our minds around it theologically, God didn't cause this to happen, but he allowed it to happen in such a way -- he allowed the breath of Amanda to come out of her so the breath could be breathed into you and into me so that we could advance the gospel in a way that history books have never even told," he said."
Amanda Blackburn was killed when police say Jalen Watson and Larry Taylor broke into her home and shot her. They were arrested on charges of murder and burglary on Nov. 22.
Blackburn said he felt God had spoken to him -- if he had been asked to give up his bride, so that God's bride could live, what would he have said.
"Like anybody else, I would've said 'Absolutely not. There's no way. I'm good. I'm good with being married and having two little kids and pastoring a church of 120 for the rest of my life. I'm good with comfort.' And the Lord said, 'That's why I didn't ask you the question beforehand,'" Blackburn said.
Davey referenced Ezekiel 37 from the Bible, where Ezekiel spoke, and an "army" of dry bones that became alive again.
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He said he saw similarities between the people from the book of Ezekiel, and the congregation in front of him.
"Last year, close to this time, I spoke a message here and whether you get offended by this or not, I don't know, and honestly it doesn't really bother me if you do, but when I looked out across this congregation I saw a valley of dry bones," he said.
He said that God will use Amanda's death to breath life into the people in a similar way Ezekiel did in the Bible.
"I believe that it's going to come out of this house, that it's going to come out of our house in Indianapolis. I believe in this region, God's going to do something from the Crossroads of America that's going to scatter across America and we're going to see a revival like we've never seen before," Davey said.
"So do me a favor. Don't let this be wasted."