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Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International
FLORIDA

Doug Woolley serves as a National Director of FGBMFI.  He and his wife Marsha reside in Tampa, Florida, where he is a computer systems engineer for Verizon Data Services.   www.DougandMarsha.com

SHARING THE GOOD NEWS!

Doug Woolley, Tampa, Florida
April 2003 Voice Magazine

Growing up outside New York City, I enjoyed playing in the snow and sliding down the hills.  My parents faithfully took me to Sunday School each week, even though I didn’t always enjoy getting dressed and going.  In all my endeavors, both my parents were very supportive of me, whether it be Sunday School, math, or sports. 

           In the fourth grade, I played baseball in the city’s minor league.  One night I was given the opportunity to pitch in the game.  Since it was the first time for me pitching, I was very excited and wanted my parents to watch me.  After we won the game, I was upset to find out that my mother had been watching my little brother at the nearby playground.  She did not get a chance to see me pitch.  Also, my mother had to attend a teacher/parent meeting for my brother and thus my parents broke a promise to me by not taking the family out to celebrate at our favorite pizza restaurant, which had become a tradition whenever my team won a game.

           At the time, I was really mad and hurt.  I decided to run away.  To me “run away” meant sleeping in the nearby club house at the playground.  I went one-half mile to the two-story wooden house that I played on during some days.  When my mother came home from a meeting at 11 p.m., my father told her that I had gone out and had not yet returned.  She immediately began to worry.  She started smoking and pacing the kitchen floor while praying frantically to God.  By midnight, my parents notified the police.  As two police cars drove by my house, my mother impatiently decided to look for me herself.

           Would you believe that my mother’s prayers were answered directly?  By no coincidence, my mother was driving on the street in the direction of the playground.  I had been asleep for hours with no intentions of returning home.  However, the next thing I realized was that I was running barefoot down the middle of the street in my pajamas towards home.  By no will of my own, I ran into my mother who did not know whether to hug me or hit me.  She drove me back to the clubhouse to pick up my sleeping bag before we drove home.  I was in a daze from the moment that I was running home to the time that I gladly laid in my own bed.  I did not know what I was doing, and I did not remember consciously getting out of my sleeping bag, going down the steps and running out of the park.  Through my experience I am convinced that I had interacted with God’s mysterious powers through my mother’s devoted prayers.

           After moving to Florida, I set my mind to concentrate on sports and math.  By the eighth grade, I became the fastest long distance runner in my school.  The end of the year awards ceremony was approaching and I heard that I had been nominated for the distinguished honor that I had been working towards.  I had done everything that I could; now it was in God’s hands.  So I prayed and asked God for favor.  He graciously allowed me to be named as Coral Springs Middle School’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year, out of 2,000 students.   God had answered my prayer and I was forever grateful. 

           Up to this point, I had gone through the first of two years of confirmation class in the Lutheran church.  I learned a lot about God intellectually; and about Jesus and what Lutherans believe.  But I did not have a real relationship with Jesus.  I would offer up a prayer every now and then, but I did not know God in a personal way.  Then on June 3, 1980, out of gratitude for being named the Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year, I committed my life to Jesus Christ.  I realized that I was a sinner and that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  I received His forgiveness by faith.  At that moment I entered into a real relationship with Jesus by faith.  No longer was it just an intellectual understanding, but there was a substantial personal reality to it.  No longer did I just “have” to go to church, but I “wanted” to go to church.  I am forever thankful that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

           God has blessed me with wonderful scholastic opportunities and He has helped me to be a success.  I enjoyed math and computers, competing in several state and national competitions.  Here is a math formula that has helped me to succeed:  VISION – PLAN – ACTION = DREAM, but a VISION + PLAN + ACTION = REALITY!  Some people have a VISON to do great things but they don’t have a PLAN or they don’t take ACTION and thus their VISION becomes only a DREAM.  As a freshman I had a VISION to be number one in Florida in mathematics.  I had a PLAN of working out every algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus problem that had ever been given on statewide or nationwide test.  But then I had to take ACTION and spend countless hours solving these math problems and learning from them.  As a result, when I was a senior in high school in 1984, I placed first in Florida on the prestigious American High School Mathematics Exam and my VISION became a REALITY!  Additionally, I was ranked number one in the state in computer science and was team captain of the state championship computer programming team.  With God’s help, I excelled in my academic pursuits in high school.

           For my science fair project in 1981, I decided to write a computer program to graphically solve the Rubik’s Cube.  After many hours of thinking how to do it, I believe that it was God that woke me up early one morning with the key idea that enabled me to code the solution.  By my senior year, I had written programs to graphically solve six other mathematical puzzles also.  This cumulative project, along with pages of answers to questions, was entered into the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search, and I was then named as one of the top 300 high school scientists in the United States.  Additionally, I was ranked number one in the state in computer science and was team captain of the state championship computer programming team.  At the age of 20, I was a co-author of a college textbook that taught teachers how to utilize computers in the classroom.  I owe all my success to my devotion to God, even at an early age.

           My “spiritual journey” continued in March of 1985 when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.  I was empowered for effective witness and service, as in Acts 1:8.  I started to learn how to reach out.  For the next four years I spent at least one hour every day in prayer and another hour in Bible study.  I had 15 different college roommates, five of which became Christians.  I had the compelling urge and desire to share my faith with others, and still do, even today.

          After graduation from the University of South Florida with an Engineering Degree in Computer Science in 1989, I entertained five job offers.  I chose to work for the bank NCNB.  Two years after working with NCNB, God led me to join GTE (later to become Verizon). 

         After I spoke at a church seminar in New York, a young man prophesied to me, “You will be going through trials at your job … but choose the best from the good.”  Amazingly, within two weeks, upper management at NCNB announced that our entire computer department would be relocated to North Carolina and we had one month to decide if we would go.  “What should I do?”, I asked myself.  If I stayed, there was the uncertainty of not having a job in the weak economy.  I then remembered the prophecy and realized that God knew that I would go through this difficult time and He also indicated where I should go.  The best place to work was GTE, but they had a hiring freeze.  Suffice it to say, as I trusted God, He made a way and I was hired by GTE.  God knows the difficulties that we go through and He is there to help us through them.

God opened many new doors.  The Lord placed it on my heart and enabled me to start a weekly Bible Study for interested co-workers during the lunch hour.  Even the President of GTE Data Services attended on occasions.  Working for GTE (now Verizon) has given me opportunities to travel to other countries to install and implement a new computer software system that produces phone bills for these countries.  In my spare time abroad, I have had the opportunity to share my faith, teach and preach the Word of God, and start FGBMFI chapters.  When in the U.S., I have led a weekly study of the Bible that has been a great source of encouragement for all who attend!  The many adventures of my work-related travels have helped to knit our family together. 

           On June 3, 2000, I married my lovely wife Marsha.  I spent most of my life studying and excelling in academics while Marsha spent that time in the principal’s office for talking.  But she now speaks seven languages and is a popular speaker at women’s conventions throughout the United States and other countries.  My expertise is still computers, while Marsha’s is in music.

           My heart is to share the good news to others who need to hear it.

           I appreciate the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International because of the wonderful examples that I have of other mature business men loving and serving God and leading godly families.


Doug at his place of employment
 

Doug working with night staff in Portugal
 

Doug and his wife Marsha
 

A casual shot of Doug and Marsha

Doug working at a computer

Ron, Doug, and Richard in Belgium for a European leaders meeting

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Doug at a computer


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