In Grace Mini-Series: Emphasis in Grace

In this episode we welcome back Pastor John Lowder, the lead pastor of Frontline Bible Church in Byron Center, MI, and the Director of Pastoral Care at the Grace Gospel Fellowship, to help us interview today’s guest, Pastor Dave Cannon.

Pastor Dave Cannon has spent many years serving as a pastor in Florida. He first served as a pastor of a church in Inverness for 18 years before moving to Palm Bay, where he has been pastoring for the past 20 years. We are so grateful for his many years of service and look forward to learning more about his life and walk with God.

“How did you come to know Christ?”

Dave: While I was raised in the faith, it was not as a dispensationalist. I had never rejected Christ, but I had not understood the significance of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. In the early 70’s I had wandered away from the church, it had sort of just lost its appeal to me. There were other things I’d rather be doing. The things I had been getting to eventually, thankfully, led me to a sort of emptiness that could only be filled through Christ.

I was pleading for forgiveness from Christ and it was then that I understood that forgiveness was mine in Christ. I remember the joy I had felt in that moment being in the Scriptures and how they began to change my life.

“How did you go from being saved in Florida to attending college in Colorado?”

Dave: Well I was attending a Christian college down here in Florida at night while working, and I saw an ad in the newspaper for a land sale in Colorado. As God would have it, I ended up buying 5 acres of land in Colorado. When I went to visit Colorado to see the land I bought, it happened to be orientation week at the local Bible college and I ended up staying there. I called my boss and parents to tell them I’d be staying up there to attend college and that was that. It’s amazing how rapidly God can change the course of our lives.

It was an “Acts 2” school and Baptist, but it gave me such a great foundation that when I was introduced to the Grace message in Inverness I could pursue that message and understand it.

“How is it that the church you started taught you the Grace message?”

Dave: Well this might surprise you, but many people come to Florida after retiring. I’ve heard some people call it “the last stop before heaven”. My wife and I established the church in Inverness and began visiting door to door to find a place to meet. I put a sign out front and that’s how we got started. It was August 10, 1986.

The emphasis of our teaching, which was gospel-focused, was Ephesians 2:8-10. Those were our marching orders to help people see the wonder of God’s grace and salvation. There were no Grace churches in the area, so when retirees came looking for a church in the area, Grace believers gravitated towards our church. It was these retirees who joined our church that began working on me to see the fellowship of the mystery. It took me a little while to move from my foundation to Mid-Acts Dispensationalism. But because they had the Biblical foundation for it and I saw the wisdom for it in God’s plan, I embraced it.

“When did you fully embrace Mid-Acts Dispensationalism?

Dave: I think within five years of hearing about Mid-Acts Dispensationalism I was up to speed. I was helped along by many members of the church and there was such a sense of unity in the Grace message in the south-east region that I was able to learn a lot from those in the surrounding area.

“What has kept you a Mid-Acts Dispensationalist?”

Dave: It’s not because of its popularity, or because it’s easy to understand. I believe it still because it’s what the Bible teaches. The wonder of it is that God gave us this wonderful book, His Word, and I’ve been in it for almost 50 years. We want to rightly divide His Word so that we are not ashamed in the handling of His Word. I want to admit that I don’t know things so that I can grow in my understanding of God’s Word. Sometimes we need to be corrected by the Holy Spirit.

“How have you maintained a spirit of graciousness?”

Dave: I think the thing is, that God has great patience with me. When we think about how we deal with other people, it should be modeled after how God has dealt with us. God has been so patient and long suffering with me. And maybe it’s a character thing, but I don’t like conflict. There’s a lot of Biblical truth that comes on like a light switch but there’s also a lot of truth that comes on like the dimmer switch. God reveals the truth to them slowly over time. We need to give the Holy Spirit a chance to work in other people’s lives. The emphasis of our teaching should be the gospel of grace. We should emphasize Paul’s message over the finer doctrinal issues that we tend to get lost in.

“Have you ever had any doubts about Mid-Acts Dispensationalism?”

Dave: I don’t think I’ve had doubts about the truthfulness of the Mid-Acts position. I know that, like all of Scripture, I’ve wrestled with if I’ve understood it correctly but I haven’t tried to run away from this. I’ve had conversations with friends who aren’t Mid-Acts dispensationalists who have given me things to think about but I always come back to the same answers.

Final Thoughts

A big thanks to Pastor Dave Cannon for joining us today and for living out Grace and the Gospel, and for continuing to be a faithful minister of the word. I know we have been encouraged by your story and I’m sure the rest of our listeners will be too. Thank you again for joining us.

Need help?

Grace Gospel Fellowship would love to partner with your church leadership as you grow together. We offer many different resources to help you thrive in your calling to shepherd the church. Reach out to us at to get started!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
00:40 – Special guests: Pastor John Lowder and Pastor Dave Cannon
06:00 – How did you come to know Christ?
07:45 – How did you end up in Colorado?
09:45 – How did you hear the Grace message?
14:50 – When did you fully embrace Mid-Acts Dispensationalism?
17:35 – What is it that’s kept you a Mid-Acts Dispensationalist?
20:35 – How have you maintained your spirit of graciousness?
25:50 – Have you ever had doubts about Mid-Acts Dispensationalism?
28:00 – Final thoughts and encouragement
31:00 – Big thanks to Pastor Dave Cannon!

Resources Mentioned:

We offer many different resources to help you thrive in your calling to shepherd the church. Reach out to us at to get started!

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