Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
|Humbling yourself to the call of God
Kingdom’s beginnings are very unique.
Kingdom started after Johnny Berguson had created his horse training
course on cassette tape. Johnny was purchasing large quantities of tapes
and albums, plus he had purchased his cassette duplicator to produce the
horse training course.
Local cassette ministries started to flourish, as Johnny started sharing
extra blank cassette tapes at discount prices. This was the beginning of
Kingdom when an industry leader was born!
On the road with Johnny & the Sheik …
But there’s more to the story … What were those years like before
producing the horse training course in the basement of the Berguson
home? What was life like for the Bergusons before Kingdom?
For years, Johnny traveled as an evangelist. He traveled with his trick
trained Arabian horse, Al-Marah Majestic Sheik – just Sheik for short.
The duo was known as “Johnny and the Sheik.” Johnny could get that horse
to do just about anything. Anyone who got to experience Johnny and the
Sheik will tell you what an amazing show they could perform! During the
Johnny and the Sheik performances, Johnny would also share a short
Johnny is a man of faith and trusts God completely. It was no different
back in those early years, when Johnny traveled with Sheik … and his
wife and 2 very small children!
Answering the call to spread the Gospel of Christ …
Life was pretty normal for Johnny and Juanita. They were pretty typical.
Johnny had jobs he worked during the week. On weekends, Johnny and
Juanita would head off to a horse show or a rodeo where Johnny and the
Sheik would perform and Johnny would share his faith. Seems simple and
pretty typical other than the witnessing. Lots of people mold their
lives around making a living and enjoying a hobby.
Johnny and Juanita were living in a townhouse in Williamsport, PA, when
Johnny felt the call of God on his life to spread the Gospel of Christ
full time. This was a huge decision to make and one that required some
sacrifice for Johnny and Juanita. One of the things they had to do was
leave their own place and move in with Johnny’s parents.
“We planned to move in with my parents for what we thought was 3
months,” Johnny explains. “It ended up being 3 years. This was hard on
Juanita continues, “Even though we were gone and not home a lot, it is
difficult not having your own house. But I do believe it was what God
called us to do. Following God is not always easy. It can be quite
difficult. Anything worth anything is not easy. It has a cost. What God
gives us in return is so much more valuable than any cost. It’s really
hard to imagine.”
Take a leap of faith, and God will provide …
“When God calls you to do something, He will provide everything you need
to do it,” Johnny shares. “He may not provide it early or exactly how
you expect it, but He will provide all you need. You may be struggling,
but God can provide food, clothing, shelter — anything and everything.”
Juanita interjects, “We lived very simple lives. We were content to live
on the edge, if that’s what you want to call it. But we knew God called
us to do what we were doing. When Johnny prayed needing a horse, God
provided a horse. We got a lot of real confirmation from God along the
“When you know you’re in the will of God, it’s easier to step out. I
also believe God expects us to use common sense. God wants to teach us
how to hear His voice and how to follow Him, so we don’t get stuck.
He is there to help, if you just ask.”
“I think living simply was one of the key things,” the Berguson’s
daughter Rachael shares. “I was very young, but looking back I can see
that was important. You watch people do different things through the
years. Many people feel called by God, and they very well may be. But
then you see debts or financial obligations that cause people to run
into problems. This is where God expects common sense. Fulfill those
obligations, and God will place you where you need to be.”
Even when the needs are great, God provides …
Although Rachael was young at the time, she vividly remembers the “big,
clunky horse truck” they traveled in from place to place.
Johnny recalls that truck, too … “It was an old truck, about 22 years
old. We were on our way to an event where there was going to be about
30,000 people. That was quite an event. Well, on our way, our horse
truck broke down.” You might think this would have discouraged Johnny
and Juanita. This may have just been one of those times when they would
be ready to pack it all in and give up. But they didn’t …
“The truck broke down right across the street from an Arabian horse
farm,” Johnny shares. “I went to the farm, and told them what happened.
They rented me a trailer for only $35 that they knew we would be taking
on a 600 mile trip! We were able to use that trailer and borrow a car
from someone else to get to where we needed to go and back.
“The next weekend, we were going to be relatively close to home (only
about 60 miles away). Someone we knew was going to the same show and
taking their horse, so Sheik was able to ride along.” The next horse
show was a different story …
Sharing the Gospel with a Jewish man gets Johnny & the Sheik a new
The day before the Bergusons were to go away when they didn’t have a way
to take Sheik, Johnny had the opportunity to witness to a Jewish man.
Johnny says, “I was witnessing to this Jewish man. Three different times
we were interrupted. And three times I brought the conversation back to
what we were talking about. I didn’t know initially that he was Jewish.
“When he did share with me he was Jewish, I was excited to share,
‘That’s great! My Messiah is Jewish, too. The men who wrote my Bible are
Jewish. Someday soon, my Messiah is going to return and you’re going to
find out He’s your Messiah, too!’ He said, “I don’t think so.” With a
smile Johnny said, “Well why not?” The man replied, “I’m old and I don’t
think I’m going to live until the Messiah comes.”
“The gentleman was kind enough to invite me and my whole family out to
lunch. He talked to me about one Christian denomination after another.
He would just keep asking question after question about different
“I think he wanted to see what I would say about them. All I did was
keep lifting up Jesus, and telling him that Jesus and his sacrificial
death for our sins; was the one thing we all agreed on. It was Jesus
that was important, the rest of the things are just minor issues. He
listened intently. After lunch, he invited us back to his offices. He
owned both a meat packing plant and a horse trailer manufacturing
The Jewish man escorted Johnny and his family to his office. He had one
of his workers pull out a 28-foot long horse trailer. He looked Johnny
square in the eye and said, “I can spot a phony within five minutes. I
am going to give you this horse trailer.”
This was no ordinary trailer. This was a really nice Hartman Horse
trailer. This is the same type of trailer used for Roy Roger’s Trigger,
the Lone Ranger’s Silver, and Arthur Godfrey’s Goldie. It was quite an
honor for Johnny’s Sheik to get such a ride.
Johnny shared his faith. He persistently shared his faith, even after
being interrupted several times. God responded through this Jewish man
with a much needed trailer, so that Johnny & the Sheik could continue on
their quest to reach out with the Gospel of Christ!
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