Harold Warner is the head pastor and leader of The Door Christian Fellowship Church in Tucson which is affiliated with the Potter's House Christian Fellowship. He is a pentecostal preacher who often speaks at international conferences. He has been a minister since 1973 and has also been in a wheelchair since 1973.
As a young hippie he was invited to a church service in 1970, where he gave his life to Jesus Christ and experienced the miraculous transforming power of the gospel. It was the beginning of his lifelong journey and adventure in following the Lord Jesus Christ and sharing Him with others.
He has been privileged to serve the same congregation for the last 36+ years, and has been married to his wonderful wife, Mona for 37 years. His passion is to connect with others through the authentic and anointed preaching of God’s Word. His greatest joy is seeing Christ’s life reproduced in others, both in Tucson and in over 25 nations of the world where The Door has pursued an ongoing church planting ministry. As his schedule allows, Pastor Warner enjoys racing competitively in various wheelchair and handcycling races throughout the U.S.
A hippie with long hair and bright red bell-bottoms was raised in Massachusetts in a well-to-do family, but before his conversion to Christianity despite this found himself on heroin. Spaced out and having withdrawals he went to Prescott. After he realized his eyes were yellow, he found out that he had contracted hepatitis and was placed in an isolation ward in hospital for ten days.
On November 15, 1970, a Potter's House Christian Fellowship band called Eden was playing at the Armory in Prescott. Harold had discovered that some of the town's worst drug addicts had become Christians at the Potter's House Christian Fellowship and he went to hear Eden play. Touched by the Christian message, and attracted to one of the Christian girls there, He thought, "If this is what Christians are like I might check it out some more."
On the Sunday he came to the church in Prescott and answered an alter call. At first he was not sure of what had actually occurred but was met with church members crying and hugging him for joy as he returned to his seat. Although he didn’t have a powerful conversion experience Harold would eventually become one of the main leaders of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship.
Later that night Harold was asked if he wanted to participate in a water baptism. Being a naive hippy and having no change of clothes he offered to go in naked. Refusing the offer, they found him something to wear he was baptized that night. Warner claims to not remember much of the first year of his Christianity because his mind was so blown from his previous drug habits.
A member of the Prescott church, 80 year old Sister Burgess, and took him in and treated him like a son. After a while he became employed as a logger. Not having worked before he was fired within three days. After this humbling experience he cut his hair. Being stirred by Pastor Wayman Mitchell’s sermons on world evangelism he was stirred to tell people about the gospel message.
After airing a job in a grocery store as a meat cutter owned by disapproving Mormons, as he was often found speaking in tongues and witnessing to other people about his faith. He soon became a regular in Pastor Mitchell’s house on Audrey Lane. Under Mitchell’s guidance and discipleship, Warner began to become a powerful minister of the Gospel. In the Church concert scene called “The Door” he would preach like a parrot of Mitchell. Many comment that their voices and deliveries are to this day almost indistinguishable. He started a column in the local newspaper and called it “Metamorphosis.” Mitchell encouraged his inventiveness. He went on to start a church that numbers hundreds and had planted over twenty churches in only ten years.
In the spring of 1973 Mitchell was keen to send Warner out to start his own church. After departing from a meeting in Kearney, Warner with fellow preacher Ron Jones lost control on a sweeping curve and the car drove off a thirty foot embankment causing the car to roll, windows to explode, the roof caved in. The two men were hurled out of the car.
During the commotion Warners spine made a loud snapping sound. At first both seemed fine until Warner requested Jones to “Just come around and get this thing off my head." There was nothing on his head. Shortly after arriving in St. Joseph's hospital in Phoenix, it was reported that Warner's back was broken and his spinal cord irreparably damaged.
After the accident many within the Prescott Church saw that what Mitchell was doing, i.e. sending out workers and planting churches, to them was obviously not of God. Warner was the most zealous on fire Christian in the Prescott church at the time. In the following Wednesday night service, Mitchell preached that
"If you can't take the heat then get out of the kitchen." "God spoke to me and told me to send Harold to Kearny. Now, he is lying paralysed in a hospital bed and doctors tell me that he may never walk again," Mitchell said, choking back tears. "Why is he in the hospital, you ask? Because the Devil would love nothing better than to stop us now. This church has a vision and we will carry it out. And if the Devil takes one man, we'll send out ten in his place." "The Word of God is clear. 'Go ye into all the world.' That we will do! If you think I'm wrong, if you think the Word of God is wrong, so be it. There's the door!"
After his stirring sermon Mitchell called for couples who would take Harold and Mona's place. He challenged people not to let the Devil stop them but to turn the defeat into victory. Up to the front came 25 couples who said they would go. This was a defining moment for the church. It became a pattern for years to come that when the Devil attacked they would fight back twice as hard.
Although most thought it was over for Harold after four months in the hospital he came home and Mitchell got him preach the next service. Mitchell promised him a position in Prescott, but Harold wanted nothing to do with that. "No, pastor," Warner said, "God called me to preach, and that's what I'll do." Only three months after being released from the hospital, Harold opened in a church Tucson Arizona. His wheelchair has become a common sight to the locals.
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