For years, Phillip Trent (’84) drove his tractor up and down the lush fields on his beautiful Kentucky farm. He loved farming, but he had an insatiable hunger for something more. Long hours working the land provided many opportunities for solitude and reflection. The Lord ministered to him daily, intimately revealing His Word.
One afternoon, leaning back against a tree in the woods, Phillip wondered if he was a fool. Having never heard the revelation he was receiving from God, he wasn’t sure if he was really hearing from the Lord. “What do I do, Lord?” he asked. He heard, “Go to Rhema.”
Clueless as to what “rhema” was, Phillip called a friend who was well studied in the things of God. “Rhema means a spoken word,” said his friend. “There’s also a Bible school called Rhema.” Phillip’s heart leapt with excitement—God wanted him to go to school!
Hearing and Obeying
Phillip and his wife, Linda, sold their farm and headed to Oklahoma with two teenagers and a newborn in tow. They knew God would provide if they listened to Him. “The Lord told me to break the rearview mirrors out of my life and go forward,” says Phillip. As a sign of his obedience, he took a ball-peen hammer and knocked the rearview mirror out of his truck.
At Rhema, the Lord confirmed everything He taught Phillip on the farm. “When Dad Hagin would speak, it was like God was speaking to me,” recalls Phillip. At the end of his first year, the Lord gave him clear instructions: move back to Kentucky immediately and start a church. The first Sunday the Trent family returned, they started Immanuel Ministry Church in an old, rundown building without bathrooms or running water.
Even when it seemed as though they had nothing to give, they obeyed God and were determined to be generous givers. “We started over 30 years ago giving $25 a month as Rhema Word Partner Club members, which was more than we made preaching,” says Phillip. “We wanted to give into a place with fertile soil that would bring back a harvest because we needed it. You can’t believe God for finances if you’re not involved in His way of giving.”
When God told Phillip to go into full-time ministry, he was unsure how his family would get by financially. He knew, however, that blessing was tied to obedience. “My responsibility was to obey God,” says Phillip. “The best way to take care of my family was to do what God told me.”
The Lord told me if I would build His house, He would build mine. So we did, and He’s built our house and paid for it!
Soon after, someone gave Phillip a check for $25,000. He used it to start the church’s building fund. That year, the church’s income increased by 138 percent! Instead of experiencing lack, it was a season of tremendous blessing and prosperity!
The Trents continued giving and taking care of the church. It began to grow. In 1996, they broke ground on a new building on six acres of land they bought next to the old building. It was a 12-year, $1.6 million building project. Today, the church is debt free!
“The Lord told me if I would build His house, He would build mine. So we did, and He’s built our house and paid for it!” shares Phillip.
Take This Region
Over the years, the Trents have faced backlash and skepticism over what they believed and taught. “The word of faith is still taboo in our community,” says Linda. But through an unwavering commitment to intercessory prayer and preaching the truth, they are seeing the tide turn. “We’ve seen how prayer changes things and to stand and not be moved by anything other than God,” says Phillip.
One reason for the community’s change of thinking is due to the Trent’s IMC radio program, which has aired for 22 years. God instructed Phillip to use radio to dispel the myths people had about what they taught. The radio program was a way for individuals who would never visit their church to hear the Word. The cost of the program is paid for in advance every year by a single donor.
Television ministry was never on Phillip’s radar, but God had other plans. One day a woman saw Phillip being interviewed on the local TV station. She called to tell him he should consider preaching on TV. Uninterested, Phillip didn’t give it a second thought. Months later, she called again and said, “If you do the preaching, I’ll do the paying.” The I Am Alive TV program has been going strong for 11 years. The woman, a non-church member, sends a check every year that covers the entire cost of the broadcast.
Immanuel Ministry Church has become a beacon of light to the region. Through intercessory prayer, there has been an influx of much-needed jobs and commerce into the county. And the ungodly curriculum that tried to infiltrate their school system has been removed. People depend on the ministry for both spiritual and physical sustenance. Since 2000, IMC has operated a food bank that feeds 500 families a month and has distributed over 3 million pounds of food. Like the radio and television ministries, the food for the program is paid for in advance every year by generous donors.
It’s all a part of what the Lord spoke to Phillip at Campmeeting years ago: “Get ready, get ready! Get ready for the outpouring that shall come to your area. Build, build, build. People, people, buildings. Take this region for me.” That’s exactly what the Trents have done. Immanuel Ministry Church is now well known and received in the community of Hart County, Kentucky. Through their ministry, God is building up the small, rural area for His purpose.
Miracles and Success
One time Phillip had a recurring vision of a woman. While visiting his mother at the hospital, he saw the woman from the vision. Phillip approached, made small talk, and asked if everything was okay. The woman said she was visiting a loved one. She began crying when Phillip told her he had a word from the Lord for her. Phillip assured her that God heard her prayer and had forgiven her. And He wanted her to forgive herself and move on. Phillip ended by saying she would remarry and have a family.
Years later, the woman spotted Phillip at an event. She reintroduced herself and told him she had remarried and introduced her two children. She shared with Phillip that he saved her from committing suicide. The woman confessed she had lied to him the night they met. She was not visiting a loved one in the hospital. She planned to shoot herself there because if she fired and didn’t die, she would receive medical attention.
Phillip attributes his success to hearing and obeying God. He says, “When you hear God’s voice, do what He says. It’s simple. Just follow the leader.”
As the Trents have faithfully followed God, they have seen His favor in every area of their lives. Phillip shares, “Every time I’ve needed to know something, God spoke to me. If you don’t hear His voice, stop what you’re doing, get in His presence, and learn to hear His voice. That’s the secret to success. God is extremely intelligent. If you can hear His voice, He’ll make you look pretty smart.”
To learn more about Phillip and Linda Trent, visit iamky.org.
If you don’t hear God’s voice, stop what you’re doing, get in His presence, and learn to hear His voice. That’s the secret to success.
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