My testimony is not “earth shattering”. While some other people get saved from lives of abuse, drugs, alcohol addiction, etc. my story is not one of these. God let me be raised in a loving home by parents that taught me good moral values. My parents were Catholic, and took me to church on a regular basis. My father and I especially enjoyed spending quality time together. He taught me how to fish and enjoy the great outdoors. He also taught me to play chess, and would catch football and baseball with me on a regular basis. We lived in a wholesome neighborhood, and I had many friends with whom I would play with from sun-up to sun-down. We enjoyed playing sports of all sorts. In the summer it was baseball and basketball and in the fall and winter it was football, hockey and sled riding.
I was kind of an anxious young person that often would “daydream” and think beyond this life. I would wonder about God and eternity, and think about what the “afterlife” was all about, but I had no idea of where I was going when I died, and where I would spend eternity. I believed in God and hoped that I would go to heaven some day.
I can still remember vividly how through some unfortunate illnesses in my family things began to change the way my father viewed life. I was diagnosed with a rare bone disease that caused me to have to be in a body cast for almost a year, and a close relative came down with leukemia. These events really affected my father and caused him to begin questioning life in general. At this time also my father had met a couple of men at work that were “witnessing” to him about Jesus, and had challenged him about being “born-again.” One day in the month of January 1974, my father came home from work and declared to the family that he had been born-again, and had received Jesus as his saviour. We all though he had “fallen a little off of his rocker” and did not understand what had happened to him. He began to listen to preaching tapes and soon had decided to leave the Catholic Church and become a Baptist. He also told my mother that he wanted to begin taking us to church with him. My sisters and I were reluctant to go with him because we wanted to go to church where all of our friends went, and to be with them.
We had no choice, but to go with him, after all he was our father, and it was his house so we went with him to the Baptist Church. I attended the church, and went to Sunday school where I learned my first bible verse, and heard the plan of salvation. After going a few times I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart to be my Saviour. I followed the Sunday school teacher’s prayer, but truthfully I did not understand what I was doing or what I was praying. It was not until 3 years later, at the age of 11, that through some hard-fiery preaching on hell that I realized that I was as they say, “as lost as a goose in a horse race.” That evening the Holy Spirit got ahold of me, and I began to sweat and hold onto the pew with all my might. God was convicting me, and I knew that night I was definitely on my way to hell, and in need of the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. The devil fought hard to keep me from going forward, and put all kinds of thoughts about the world in my head, but I did not want to go to hell so I went forward, and there at that old-fashioned altar I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Saviour. Finally, I had answers in my life! I knew where I was going when I died, and had peace in my heart for the first time in my life. My life had forever changed that evening.
My father eventually went on to become a Pastor and we opened “The Road to Emmaus Baptist Church” in our living room (that’s right – living room!). I served in the church as a Sunday school teacher throughout my teen life, and went on personal visits with my father and the other men of the church. I eventually went on to bible school, and answered the call to preach. Praise God!
God used the following verse to call me to the ministry, II Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” I have tried to be faithful to this call, and by the grace of God I can continue on this path.