I grew up in a home with a Christian Mother and Dad was a sympathizer. I don’t remember not going to church (Sunday School). I only attended Sunday School until I was nine. Then my SS teacher asked me if I wanted to stay for “Story Hour”. I did and found it was “Preaching Service”, what we call “Church”. I attended church after that and began to “feel/know” that I was one of the people that needed Jesus. I needed saving. I was only nine, but I knew I wasn’t right with God. I knew I was one of the lost the preacher was talking about. I struggled with this for several weeks. I can remember gripping the pew and not going forward. Then one Sunday I went up and talked to the Preacher and told him I needed Jesus. He explained that I needed to agree with God that I was a sinner and ask Jesus to come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior. I did just that and felt an immediate peace and security. I knew everything was right. God has been a faithful guide for my life ever since that day. He is the only constant in a changing world.
When I was in my early twenties I was invited to the newly- formed Beacon Hill Baptist Church, by my big sister June. I had not ever been exposed to the Gospel nor owned a Bible until a few years earlier. I had bought a Bible from a door to door salesman because I had heard “Every house ought to have a Bible.” I hadn’t used it. I continued to go to the church. It seemed Southern Baptist Churches healed study courses periodically as the very young new pastor; Bill Robinson followed all the rules. I attended the study course “What Baptist’s Believe” taught by another new young preacher, Austin Hunt even more to follow Baptist traditions. On the last night of the week- long study and the first time anyone knew of, he gave an invitation for anyone wanting to accept Jesus as their Savior. It was meant just for me and my husband Harold. We were the only ones accepting the Lord. I have been going regularly to that church for well over sixty years and have been blessed by every year of it.
I was raised in a very dysfunctional home. My parents were volatile and violent alcoholics. We were marched into church every Sunday and then got the stuffing beat out of us the rest of the time. I spent my 20’s and 30’s hating God and wanting nothing to do with Him. I was a professional model. I partied a lot and did many things God would not have approved of. Those were very dark days for me. I was on five different kinds of anti-depressive medications. Sometimes I was not even able to get out of bed. I may have hated God, but he was not finished with me yet. Not long ago, when I was 50 years old I had run next door to my neighbor’s apartment. She had company. There was a woman, Tina that I had never seen before. She was an obvious Meth addict and lived on the street. The woman was not what stopped me in my tracks, but beside her was a skinny 3year old little girl. Cassey was filthy dirty and starving and hungry. All I could think of was getting a hold of her and feeding and bathing her. Cassey was a mirror image of me at 3years of age. Two nights later I was woken up at 11:30pm. It was Tina asking if I could baby sit for a couple of hours. I said sure. Tina did not come back for 3 months!! I just took care of Cassey. I did not know that anything about CPS or desertion or that what Tina did was illegal. I met Cassey’s great grandparents Shirley and John and would visit them. They were Christians and very nice people and keep inviting me to church. Shirley gave me a Bible, but I wouldn’t go to church. They kept inviting me but I refused until I finally got desperate enough. I was having such troubles with Cassey. I wanted her to be raised in a Christian church. I thought no matter how I feel about God there are good life lessons in a Christian upbringing. On one of the visits with Shirley and John I accepted the invitation to attend church. So I met with Pastor Greg Rolfe. I told him I did not believe, but would sit quietly so Cassey could be raised in a church. Cassey went to children’s Sunday school and Shirley took me by the hand to the adult Sunday school class. We also went to the church service. Susan was my Sunday school teacher and I ask her a thousand questions. Susan kept telling me God loved me, but I could not hear this because I was never in my life told I was loveable, until one day she got through to me. I was amazed God loved me. I wanted to know more of this church. It was so different then the church I was raised in. I began to feel God’s love through the wonderful people at the church. I also began to understand that I need to be forgiven and that Jesus forgave me. It was so gradual, but I finally believed God loves me and that baptism is a sign that you are accepting Jesus as your personal savior. I went forward on a Sunday morning and publically professed my faith in Jesus Christ. I was baptized soon after. I remember bringing a paper bag to carry my wet clothes home in, mistake. The first thing that changed in my life is that my life long battle with depression was lifted from me. It was a miracle. I still have problems and make mistakes, but I have HOPE. Life is not dark and depressing any more. My life changed after salvation. Troubles are not insurmountable. I have God to figure out my path. Praise God!
I am a person who was raised going to church, hearing God's word from the time I can remember and before. Intellectually I always knew there was God and but one God. I knew all the Bible stories having been taught them over and over again by the faithful servants of God in my childhood church. It was all right there in my head. When I was 12 years old lying in bed one night thinking over all the things of God I had been taught, God opened my heart to the realization that it was all facts in my head not Jesus in my heart. I, at that moment, became aware that good deeds would not be enough. All the teachings I had ever had about making Jesus Savior and Lord of my life became clear and real to me personally. I asked Him to be Savior and Lord of my life that night. The next Sunday I followed up with a public profession of faith in Jesus and followed Him in baptism. I have, however imperfectly, lived in that faith the rest of my life. Jesus has seen me through the good and bad of life.