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If you don't want to use the 3D lights in your scene, you can always go into your Materials Options then turn Accepts Lights = OFF. This will make your layer's luminance value determine the lightness of its appearance.
Check out Harry Frank's 3D text trick / toolfarm
Also check out Brian Maffitt's 3D text trick / totaltraining
Thanks but I need the light for this cool flickering effect is ther a way to colour 3D text with the light?
Odds are that, if the text goes black when you make it 3D, the light is not positioned to hit the face of the text. Either create a new light or use the existing one, but reposition the light so that it is illuminating your text.
K gave it one last try and figured it out. Right click on the text layer>Layer Styles>Colour Overlay and then it stays 3D with the colour of choice thanks for all the help.