Testimonies

I was born in Huntington, West Virginia on May 1, 1969. My parents divorced when I was about 2 years old. I lived with my saved, Baptist mother and had visitation with my lost, Catholic father on weekends. My mother took me to church as a child and had devotions with me in our home. She sent me to AWANA and vacation Bible schools, as well. So I grew up around the gospel and the word of God. I made a profession of faith at the age of 9 and followed this by being baptized by immersion in a local, independent, Baptist church in Huntington.

However, i was not saved. I did not understand what I had done, I was simply do as others were doing when the invitation was offered. My teen years were spent in rebellion, as I hung out with the wrong crowd and did many wrong things. In 1988, I joined the Navy. After completing boot camp and my first service school, I was stationed in Beaufort, SC. I began to attend Calvary Baptist Church. Under the preaching of Pastor Karl Baker, I came under conviction about sin, righteousness, and judgment to come.

Pastor Baker preached repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. I repented of my sins and placed my faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone to save my wretched soul. I was at that point born again by the grace of God and my sins were washed away. This was in September of 1988 (I do not know the exact date). Afterwards, I was re-baptized as a symbol of my faith and began my new life as a child of God. That was nearly 23 years ago and it remains the single most important decision that I have ever made in my life.

Name: John D. Howe, Th.D.

Association: Independent Baptist

City: Emeralds Isle

State: North Carolina

Country: United States

I was born in a nominal Christian family on 11th Aug, 1959. My parents, Samson (father) and Suvarna Bai (mother) have worked in Canadian Baptist Missionary Primary School for 35 years under The Management of Southern Indian Baptist Churches. Till my age of 20th, I have not an idea about the repentance and the faith. The First, my mother has transformed in our family in 1978, then my father also.

In 1980, I have attended a youth retreat for College students in Noble Christian College, Machilipatnam, the city is at the beach of Bay of Bengal. In that retreat, God has knocked my heart with Rom 10:17 to give me the faith on The Word of God. At that movement, I have decided to hear The Word of God and to read The Word of God daily as my custom to be a perfect and a strong man of God.

On 14th January 1981, I took baptism. I have worked as Sunday School Teacher for 4 years in our church.

On 25th Oct, 1989, our God has given me a job as Primary School Teacher in C. B. M. Primary School.

On 2nd Nov 1990, God has given me my life partner (wife) who has been working as a teacher in Canadian Baptist Missionary Primary School, Kadavakollu village since 1990 who is a daughter of a Pastor of Baptist Churches.  On 9th May 1992, God has given us His first gift (Ps 127:3) as our daughter who is studying B.Tech 2nd year now.  And, on 9th Sep 1994, again our God has given us two more daughters (twins) as His second gifts. Now, they are first Inter course.

I have completed B.Th., in 1999 & have completed M.Th also in 2000 in The Bible Open University, Vishakapatnam, A. P., India.  We have started The Gideons International in India in 2005. We distribute Bibles among high school students, college students, patients in hospitals, jails, Naval and army areas by free of cost to win so many souls for Christ.

And, I am an Executive Member of Viva India for children. This ministry has been working among slum and poor children families by giving needful things for their better living.  Now, we have 10 more churches in our area. Mainly, these Churches are situated in Rural Parts of our surrounding districts.  As my secular education, I have completed B.Sc., (in 1981),B.Ed.,( in 1986) M.A.,( in 1991), M.Ed.,(in 1992).

Our weekly schedule:

Sunday : Sunday School Service at our School from 8AM to 9AM

Worship Service at Vuyyuru Church from 9.15AM to 10.30AM

Sunday School Service at Kolavennu Church from 10.45AM to

11.45AM

Worship Service at same Church from 11.45AM to 1.30PM

Worship Service at Mudirajupalem Church from 2PM to 3.30PM

Sunday School Service at New Tribal Colony, Thotlavalluru from

4PM to 5PM

The Prayer Meeting of our Gideon Ministry from 6PM to 8.30PM

Monday: Prayer Fellowship at everyone of our Church Members Houses from

6PM to 9PM

Tuesday: Gospel Program in surrounding villages from 5PM to 8.30PM

Wednesday: Bible Study at Kankipadu Church from 7PM to 9PM

Thursday: Bible Study at Poranki Church from 7PM to 8.30PM

Friday: Preaching The Gospel among Hindu people from 6PM to 8PM

Saturday: Pasting Prayers from 7PM to 10PM at Kadavakollu Church

Please remember our School Children in your daily prayers. Because, they belong to Hindu backround.  Please pray for our children and our ministries in our India.

Name: Navajeevana Kumar

Association: Independent Baptist

City: Kadavakollu Village

State: N/A

Country: India

I would be happy to share with you how I got saved! I will never forget what happened on that Sunday night, February 16, 1964. My pastor, Robert L. Humphreys, had scheduled an evangelistic meeting with a 29-year-old preacher from Evansville, Indiana, named Billy Kellough. After he preached on that Sunday night, a little eight-year-old boy named Danny Parton walked an aisle and was led to Christ by a deacon named Ben Conrad. I remember it like it was yesterday. Praise the Lord!

Name: Dan Parton

Association: Independent Baptist

City: Manitou Springs

State: Colorado

Country: United States

In Awe of Him

by Disciple House on January 27, 2011 · 0 comments

God has never ceased to amaze me. Even as a child I was fascinated by Him. At six years old I was bright but just as impatient as any other six year old. I had to go to church everyday after school because my mom worked there. It was long and boring and I had to be there all day everyday. So I grew to hate church. But one thing I did like about going to church was Sunday school. The lesson were always interesting and understandable. It was amazing to here about this God who loved me and could do all these wonderful things. But was really great to me was when I would hear stories about Jesus. I just wanted to know more and more about this man that could do all these miracles and special things that nobody else could do, and still be nice to people that said he was a liar and a fake. But what shocked me the most was when the people he loved and walked with were the some of the same people that wanted him to die. Finding out they killed him even though he did nothing wrong disturbed me. Knowing that he gave up his life for them and me was unfathomable, but that wasn’t even the most amazing thing. When I found out he rose from the dead, I was sold. I knew that was impossible, but this man named Jesus had did it. Even though I was so young I understood I had done wrong before, and knowing he did that for me, I had to find out what I could do for him. That was when I had given my life to Christ.

Name: Andre’ McHenry

Association: American Baptist

City: Carrolton

State: Georgia

Country: United States

Born to my Mother and Earthly Dad in Jan. 1967, as a 17yr. old boy I was Born again to my Heavenly Father Dec. 1984 at First Baptist Church of Mineral Springs NC Pastor Terry Preslar preaching! I pulled up into the Church yard listening to Ozzy O. singing his trash, I didn’t go there that morning to get saved, but God had other plans. Pastor Preslar preached Hell Hot, the sinner dead in his sins, and the Blood of Jesus the way out. My heart was pricked and conviction hit hard, the preacher asked and the Holy Spirit drew me, after I stepped out into the center aisle my body went into autopilot until I hit the alter. I remember the Preacher sharing scripture and praying with me but I don’t remember anything else after I knelt at the altar. When I left that night Ozzy was still in my Cassette player, I removed it and tossed it and my 20 or so other Cassettes out the window of my Truck as I drove home. I love Jesus with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my Strength. Thank you King Jesus for saving my soul! Been saved now for 26 joy filled years!!

Name: Mike Pate aka MichaeltheBaptist

Association: Independent Baptist

City: Mount Croghan

State: South Carolina

Country: United States

A Soldier of Christ

by James Irvin on January 23, 2011 · 0 comments

I grew up in Detroit, Mi and attended various churches and even spent my last three High School years in a Catholic school. I was not following the Lord. I joined the Army and wandered from the Lord. I even teased a young Christian man for trying to live a righteous life and not going to clubs to pick up women. About a year later after a sergeant from my unit asked me to attend church with him. I was still going to the enlisted clubs. I went to church a few times with him. One day I went before the altar and asked Christ to me my Lord.

The church I went to was charismatic and I was both curious and skeptical about all of the gifts of the Spirit. I spoke with other Christians in my army unit and began to find out who the Christians were. I found out who the Baptists were and who the charismatic believers were. I went to the Christian bookstores, picked up Moody’s Book of Theology and studied the scriptures and denominations to determine that I’m an evangelical Christian. I began to follow Christ in this way since 1987 and had some opportunities to lead bible studies and even occasionally preach. I got married and later joined the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard doesn’t have chaplains at sea so I filled in as the unit’s Protestant Lay Reader. I put together the weekly programs at sea and had a message for the crew. I am due to retire this year and I would like to go full time into the ministry.

Name: James

Association: Other

City: Lynn

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

In the late 80′s through the late 90′s, my two partners and I owned a chain of Comic Book Stores in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Our second shop was in a walk down below street level space, with a used book shop on the street above it.

There was a mini-series on TV at the time called The Stand, which was based on a book by Stephen King. I saw the first installment, and it intrigued me. It was a sort of pseudo end of the world story with thinly veiled religious overtones. I was something of a snob in those days who would never stoop to reading an author as popular as King, how could someone so popular be any good? Yet, the TV show fascinated me enough to inspire what I considered at the time, a rare bit of literary slumming.

I went upstairs to procure a copy of The Stand from the used book shop above, only to find that I was not the only one with an idea to get acquainted with Mr. King’s novel. It seems that the TV show sparked a run on the book and they were out of it. I remember thinking, “Probably for the best.”

I thanked the bookseller for her time and turned to leave, I happened to glance down. And there, on an otherwise empty shelf, lay a little book sitting at an odd angle. The book was titled, The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. I had seen the book before; my father had it when I was a boy. I picked it up and read the description on the back; it too was a book about the end of the world. It also had the virtue of being priced at 25 cents, so even if it sucked-Who cared? I bought it.

I took it back to my shop. The book was a scant 120 pages or so long, as it was an exceedingly slow day in the shop, I read it that afternoon. This book, to that point in my life, had made in those short 120 pages, the most logical argument for Christianity and the reality of just who Jesus Christ was that I had ever come across.

Know this Wael*, I was as anti-Jesus as you could get back then. No one railed against Christ, Christianity and the Holy Bible more vehemently than I. (I was also incidentally, a staunch liberal Democrat that thought Reagan was the embodiment of evil, who had finally won a presidential election in voting for Bill Clinton). With the exception of the Christian Black community in America, hating Jesus and voting democrat goes hand in hand for most liberals. And I was most liberals in those days.

The Late Great Planet Earth illustrated very well the fact that literally thousands of Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled and are a part of a historical record that no seriously received historian disputes. Indeed, the Holy Bible has been the trusted companion of the most successful archeologists in the world, whether they were believers or not, because it has proven time and time again to be reliable when locating historical sites.

None of these prophecies are more stunning than the portraits they paint of the coming Messiah. There are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that deal specifically with the Messiahs first advent, that were 100 percent fulfilled in the most minute detail in the person of Jesus Christ. Amongst these prophecies were things that could not possibly be faked by someone trying to look like the Messiah. You can’t control, the circumstances of your birth for example, nor can you control the actions of those you have no contact with after death. Yet, all that was foretold by several prophets of God down throughout history was fulfilled in Christ.

If you believe in the concept of sin, which only a blind fool would deny exists, as illustrated in an earlier post. Who but God can eliminate sin? Let us examine this idea as God Himself points out, let us look at Abraham:

And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Genesis 22:1,2

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.v 6-13

Abraham had faith; he knew that God had promised him that through Isaac he would be the father of a great nation. So, since God is not a man that He should lie, Abraham had faith that even if he slew his son, God would restore him. I hate to think what the fate of man would have been if Abraham had refused and failed the test.

Abraham tells his son that God would provide a lamb for a burnt offering, and He did. It was not the goat in the thicket; a goat is not a lamb. It was Abraham’s faith in that coming future Lamb that saved him. This was a fore shadowing of the perfect sacrifice offered by God on our behalf. As Abraham was willing, God did. Jesus Christ is the perfect Lamb!

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:14-19

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bares the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53

Who but those that are blinded by their own iniquity refuse to see that this can be no other than the Lord Jesus Christ? The Holy Ghost gave these Scriptures to me, for you. As I said there are hundreds of others, seek them out.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Logically, if all the hundreds of prophecies that foretold the coming of Christ the first time were fulfilled, would not the prophecies foretelling His return likewise be true?

I didn’t know, but I was going to find out. My eternal soul depended on knowing. I knew what the Qur’an said about the “Book”, but, as I began to research Jesus Christ in the Qur’an, in the Holy Bible and in secular histories as well. It became all too apparent that the extra Biblical criticisms the more I dug, became less and less cogent. The critical material was not evidentially based but rather driven by the conviction of simply not wanting to believe, (This is the case I believe with Islamic scholars) or just plain ignorance of demonstrable historical fact.

I was married and a new father responsible for a family. A father whether Muslim or Christian is responsible for leading his family in truth. I had been to Mosques throughout my life, Now I went to church.

“faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

The sermons I heard in church told of a different God than the one I heard of and knew from the Qur’an and the Mosques. These sermons spoke of a God who not only said that He was merciful, he demonstrated it. A God of a truly forgiving nature, a just God who was unchanging, a God that did not give confusing abrogating revelations. A Holy God, that did not allow in heaven, what he does not allow on earth for his believers. A God who asked me to give myself to Him so that He could love me forever and see to my needs. A God who is so perfect in his love that he admonished me to pray for my enemies so that they too could know him and cease to be my enemy. The pastor preached of a God who does not just tell me I am filthy, but provided the means to make me clean. A god who loved me long before I loved Him. A God worthy of my worship and devotion. A God that wants you to know Him as well Wael!

After hearing of this God, it was an easy decision. After I believed and prayed the prayer of salvation it was as if scales fell from my eyes and I was seeing the world for the very first time. When you become a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit takes residence inside of you, you really begin to feel true Godly love. You can see it in those who share your belief when they look at you and pray with you.

The prayer experience is different too. It is not a ritual with the same prayers repeated over and over, how do you cultivate a relationship like that? The God of the Holy Bible says:

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:7, 8

The God of the Holy Bible knows us through our hearts and it is through prayer that the relationship grows stronger and stronger. We are told in scripture to pray without ceasing. How well could you get to know a friend if all he did was say the same thing to you every time you saw him.

The God of the Holy Bible tells us:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God; let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:12-16

We need no ritual ablutions, or carpets, or postures, or compass directions, or words. He wants us to pray from our hearts and to worship Him from our hearts.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23, 24

It is a testament to the workings of God in our lives, that he used a pseudo depiction of the end of the world to lead me to the real story of the end of the world. Which then lead me to the One who could save me from that end. I have still never read The Stand or any other of Kings books.

Why did I leave Islam? I left Islam, because Allah does not offer through Islam an answer, for the covering of my sins, outside of my own power, of which I have none, apart from God. Sin which cast Adam out of the garden and put man at odds with God. Muhammad said Allah may save me, The Lord Jesus Christ says that He has saved me!

Digital Publius / eCato

Name: Hassan Nurullah

Association: Other

City: Detroit, Michigan

State: Michigan

Country: United States

*This is a conversation with a Muslim named Wael on a website called the Black Church Page, in his last post; Wael asked me to tell him how I came to be a Christian after having been born and raised a Muslim?  Many of the people who read my blog Digital Publius, have asked me the same question. I have always threatened to write it out. I realized that in my witness to Wael, I had done just that in a sort of Cliffs Notes like fashion. I figured why not post it on DP as well.

Lets begin with Wael’s last question:

“Why? aren’t we still getting information from those who died? from their knwoeldge that they left behind?

Can you share with me how did you come to Christianity? Thanks

Salam

Wael.

Yes, just as one could say that Shakespeare yet lives through his writing, metaphorically the writers of the Holy Bible and the words of Muhammad live through their works. But, the difference is, that in fact Jesus Christ is literally alive. Not only is he alive, He is the Living Word of God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4

Yet, the thing that the Muslim and the Jew have in common is that they reject the light of Christ.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. v 5-14

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all that was promised by God in the Old Testament and the law.

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:11-15

As to how I became a believer in the perfect will of God for mankind-Eternal life for those who accept the free gift of grace given to us through the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story you may find interesting.  Testimony begins at top…..

I was born into a Catholic home. I was baptized into the Catholic faith as a baby. I attended Catholic grade school. My mom and dad were poor and therefore I had to go to public high school because they did not have the money to send me to Catholic high school. I went to my first confession, my first communion and received confirmation all at St. Bernard’s Parish. I was a faithful Catholic and I believed everything that I was taught by the nuns and the priests. I had no reason not to.  I attended Catholic Catechism classes while in high school

However, even back in the 60’s, teenagers were bad just as many are even today. As a teenager, I often disappointed my mom and dad with the wickedness in my life. I would go to confession on a regular basis. I really believed that the priests had the power to absolve me of my sins in Jesus’ name. I would faithfully say and do all the prescribed penances.  However, deep down in my heart, I always felt that I had never done enough. I had a deep felt feeling of guilt. I would often go my parish priests and try to explain this feeling of guilt. I was always told that I had not done enough. I was told that I needed more faith. I was told to say more rosaries and perform more works of charity.

The older I got and the more deeply I got involved in sin, the more profound this feeling of guilt became. When I entered the Army in 1967, I was a wretched sinner. I would still go to confession to various Army chaplain priests and still firmly believed that they were able to absolve me of my sins in Jesus’ name. The last time that I ever went to confession was to a chaplain priest in Heidelberg, Germany. After I said my penance, I asked if I could speak to him for a moment. Once again I tried to explain to him the deep feelings of guilt and received the same basic answer that I need to do more. That day, I decided that I would just live a life of pleasure and sin. When I was discharged from the Army in November 1970, I was an alcoholic at the age of twenty-four.

Some friends of mine that I worked with kept inviting me to visit their Baptist church. Finally, I thought that if I visited the church one time with them, they would leave me alone. I finally agreed to go with them.  For the first time in my life on September 5, 1971, I heard the true Apostolic Gospel proclaimed that salvation was not in a church. Salvation was in Christ and in Him alone. I heard for the first time in my life that salvation was by grace through faith alone. I realized that there was nothing that I could do to inherit eternal life. Christ had done it all for me and I had to only believe. Needless to say, that next week was the most terrible week in my entire life. I realized that if I were to die, I would spend eternity in hell. On the next Sunday, September 12, 1971, I once again went to that same Baptist church and once again heard the true Apostolic Gospel that salvation was in Christ and in Him alone.  Marian, on that day, I responded to the Gospel. By grace through faith alone I believed that Jesus Christ would forgive me my sins. At the very moment that I asked Him to forgive me, He did. At that very moment, all the feeling of guilt was instantly gone.

Name: Rev. Robert J. Thomas

Association: Independent Baptist

City: Duncan

State: South Carolina

Country: United States

H.L. Champion 

In 1957 I ran out of my back door from having a fight with my dad. While in a rage, as a 13 year old son of parents who were Deaf, I experienced hatred for being born to them. I looked up and saw the stars in the sky. I knew the God of the universe was the one who made all things and was responsible for the shame I experienced from many of the other kids whose parents could hear and talk. So, I thought, “I hate God”. I didn’t raise my fists to heaven with that declaration, but I did so with a conscious will and soon forgot about it.

Soon after that it was amazing how profane words became a high interest to me. Being in a home where ASL, American Sign Language, was my means of communication, my vocabulary was two to three years behind my peers. I began to use God’s name in vain, as well as four letter cuss words.

Clearly, I broke purposely two of the Ten Commandments; “Honor thy father and thy mother & “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain”. I

“Hell” was a new word that I began using among dozens of others. It seemed empowering. One could banish another with disdain to an eternal Hell just like God would do; just by telling them to go there. A friend of mine used it differently. “Eldon”, where are you going?” I asked him one day as he was skipping school. He said with a laugh, “Hell, if I don’t change my ways!” I responded by mimicking the others I had heard say, “I’ll go with you and we can have a party”.

Later that week I was at Eldon’s funeral, after dying from pneumonia. The preacher said that Eldon was in heaven with Jesus. I thought, “Eldon is not in heaven told me where he was going.” A still quiet voice in my heart echoed, “Don’t worry about Eldon; worry about your self!” I trembled at the thought!

A few more instances surfaced in my soul as to my relationship to God being absent. I was selected to be he song leader of a Youth for Christ organization at the James Madison Jr. High School . I was not a church kid but I was leading over 800 of my peers in Christian chorus and songs. This sure made up for my sinful ways of which I have not begun to reveal here. I was aware that I broke others of the Ten Commandments ( Exodus 20:3-17 ). My mom forgot to wake me early on one Friday and I was late for YFC and came in and sat in the back while someone else too my place leading the song service. Boy, was I mad at my stupid Deaf mother. Then the preacher got up and said, “Do you know why God made you? Do you know what God wants from you? And, do you know why Jesus died for you”. I had heard these thoughts though out my childhood but not all them together!

The preacher (he was more of a talker) basically said that God wanted me to love him the same way he loved me! He wants me to be with him for all eternity in Heaven”. “Jesus died because His Father took all of my sins and every transgression I ever committed and poured them on His Son. Jesus died because of my sins and suffered death and hell for me. But, He rose up from the grave and defeated my death and my Hell; because he defeated my Sin! When I saw all of the hands of the student body raised for prayer to accept Christ as Saviour, I raised my hand, too. During the rest of the day, the entire student body was much more subdued and less rowdy. But, no one said anything about the YFC meeting. Nothing changed in me and I was left wondering.

A major one was my Grandmother’s death, when I was 14. My dad and I were standing in front of her in a casket. My dad being Deaf had no knowledge to control his very loud and grievious crying. I reached up and patted him and signed, “Not Worry! See Grandma in Heaven.” He looked down at me with a look of sheer disgust and shook his head, “NO!” violently and increased his expression of pain. I was in shock, about the thought of not seeing Grandma, again or that Dad would not see her again. The preacher said about Eldon, “In my Father’s house were many mansion, and that Jesus prepared him a place there and for all that believe in him.” I didn’t know who was really going there. I didn’t think I was going there.

Carl was the first Christian teenager I ever knew who was for real. He was 17 and I was 15 when some events caused me to ask him if I could go to church with him (Carl threatened a friend who kept using God’s Name in vain). Driving home, he started talking and apologizing about what he had done wrong. I thought he was talking to me. But, he was praying to God; scared me to death! Carl was talking to Jesus just like Jesus was right there in the car with us.

Sunday morning, I asked my mom if I could borrow her Bible, She signed, “Careful – You – Not Lose! I Whip!” Carl picked me up in his 1940 green Chevy, four doors, with a vacuum shift transmission. His three red headed, freckled faced sisters sit in the back seat.

We arrived at the Glenwood Baptist Church on the Sand Springs Line, which is on the west side of Tulsa. Carl went one way to his Sunday School Class and I went a different way to a younger class. The teacher was in his thirties, Wally was his name. I saw some of my school mates there in the 15 year old boys’ class. I was surprised that some of them were religious. They weren’t like Carl. One of them even led in prayer, short, cold, and embarrassed.

Wally asked us all to turn to Acts 16:22-31 and go around the table each reading a verse in sequence. I quickly counted the class members and figured that my verse was Acts 16:30. The story was about Paul and Silas who were thrown into prison for preaching about Jesus. They just sang praises to God and prayed while being shackled; the other prisoners and the jailer listening. At midnight God sent an earthquake and all of the prisoner’s chains were loosed and were free. The Philippian Jailer knew he would be executed for losing even one prisoner. So, he drew a sword to himself to end it quickly. Paul restrained all the prisoners from fleeing and said, “Do thyself no harm”. The Jailer couldn’t take it any more and just dropped to his knees. It was my verse to read now. Verse 30 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Just as I was reading this verse, my heart raced and I knew this was my question. The Sunday School teacher read the answer; in verse 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. . . I knew that while I believed that Jesus was God’s Son I had yet to reach this level of belief. I knew I was not Saved! I fell under conviction that He was the Saviour and I was like the jailer, I was a sinner! Hell to me became very real!

Leaving the class, I walked to the church auditorium knowing I was going to meet God. I just did not know how it worked. Carl was seated in the third pew from the front on the right bank of pews. He was seated with the church basketball team. Carl’s head was bowed with his eyes closed. He was praying to Jesus, again! I reached over to him and nudged him. Not knowing the first thing about Salvation, I said, “Before I leave today, I am going to be a Christian.”

My eyes just burst with tears, “I just don’t want to be a hypocrite” Carl said, “Don’t worry, Jesus will make it real!” I preempted the finishing of the pastor’s sermon and came forward the first time he said that if anyone wanted to become a Christian to respond publically. I quickly left my pew and was standing at the front facing him. He stepped down and said, “Son, what’s on your heart?” I didn’t know what to say!

How does one explain about breaking God’s laws repeatedly, that you don’t want to be banished to Hell, and that you are worthless? How do you explain that you are filthy and God is Holy, and that you want to join up with him? And it had something to do with Jesus? I stood there dumbfounded, not knowing what to say!

Almost simultaneously, Carl arrived and put his arm around me and said to Brother Post, “Champ wants to be Saved!” There it was; the words that said it! ‘I want to be Saved!’ Carl and I knelt beside a altar worker and looked at an open Bible.

For the first time in my short life I saw John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There it was! I understood!

Other verses were shown to me about my sins, my lostness, my need to repent, and especially how to believe. They showed me Romans 10:9 – 13 that I talk to God from my heart through my mouth about Jesus dying for me and coming alive to save me. I did and He did!

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”

Jesus Christ saved my soul that moment. He became my Saviour on the second Sunday of September in 1959. So many things happened to me that I have been discovering for over these 52 years. None of which I am worthy. I praise God that my salvation is irrevocable.

Add Ephesians 2:8-10 to Galatians 2:20 and that sums up of who I am and what I am in Jesus Christ, my Saviour, High Priest, Lord, King and my God!

Association: Independent Baptist

City: Nashville

Submitted: December 29,2010 | Written by Jessica Mahon |

When I was seven years old I lived with my mom and stepdad in a small, rural town in west Texas. Although they were not technically Christians at the time, my parents regularly took me to services at Immanuel Baptist Church, and it was there in Sunday school that I learned John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” As I was leaving class that day my teacher, Paul Webb, said to me, “All you have to do is ask Jesus to come into your heart.”

I don’t remember responding to him at that point, but I did ponder on his words and that verse for the rest of the day, and it was still on my heart as I climbed into bed that night. I decided to take my teacher’s advice and do just that: ask Jesus to come into my heart. But just as I was about to, this question popped into my head: “Now, you’re not just doing this because Paul told you to, right? You have to really mean this.” I only had to think for a split second before I knew for sure: Yes, I really do want Jesus in my heart, and I really do want eternal life. Although no one had told me specifically what ‘eternal life’ meant, I remember being under the impression that it meant I was going to Heaven. So I prayed: “Jesus, please come into my heart. Please be with me and live in me, and be Lord of my life.”

All of a sudden I felt lighter. Happier. I went to sleep that night snuggled in a blanket so warm and peaceful that it can only be described as God’s love.

I continued to go to church regularly and, despite my mother’s disapproval, cheerfully gave all my birthday money to the offering plate and Sunday school change jar. I read many Bible stories and tried on more than one occasion to read the Bible all the way through, but I usually got hung up in the book of Numbers trying to keep up with all those “begotteds.” I carried my Bible to school with me and wanted to share its stories with all the people I knew whom I thought could benefit from knowing the living God, but my enthusiasm was greatly diminished by the many discouragements from my teachers and then-unsaved parents.

No one ever explained to me the ramifications of being saved, the responsibilities, the rules…. No one ever told me that I couldn’t lose my salvation. So, like anyone else who’s uneducated in God’s set definitions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ I was easily led astray and spent practically all of my teenage years in an anguishing conscience battle as I simultaneously searched for God and worldly acceptance: two completely incompatible things. (…Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4)

I stopped going to church when I got my first job, which was right after high school graduation. Soon thereafter I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and married my high school sweetheart, Justin. After about nine months we found ourselves both unemployed and, desperate for income, took up a job delivering phone books, which was both exhausting and miserable. But it was then when we’d hit rock bottom that God reached down His hand and offered us a lift: we delivered a phone book to a preacher who called himself Brother Champion. Upon finding out that Justin was a computer geek he quickly offered him a job, followed by an invitation to church service at his house. I’ll admit I was reluctant to go at first; Bro. C seemed quite eccentric and had more energy than I’d seen in any white-haired man before, but, knowing deep down that I needed to be in church, eventually gave in. And wouldn’t you know it, all my doubts and suspicions about Bro. C were completely dissipated upon meeting his wife, Pat, who is the sweetest, kindest, and gentlest woman I’ve ever met (and Bro. Champion’s not half bad, either!).

Week after week we kept coming back and Bro. C showed us more and more about what the Bible says about being a Christian. I realized that I hadn’t been doing a lot of the things a Christian should do, and began to doubt my salvation (after all, nobody had ever told me that I couldn’t lose it in the first place), so when Justin prayed to receive the Lord Jesus as his Savior, I did too. I asked God to forgive me for all the wrong things I had done in my life, and to please guide me and rule my heart. I meant what I said, but this time I just didn’t feel any different. My prayer was not in vain, though. Since I hadn’t received any real Biblical instruction during my life as a Christian up until then, that became my new starting point; a rededication, if you will, of offering myself to learn and do the will of the Lord, and I have done my best to stick to that decision. A few months later I was finally baptized as a symbol of how Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again all to save me from my sins, and to show that I have died to myself and have been born again, a new creature in Christ. And I have learned more in the short time that I’ve been under the instruction of Bro. Champion than all those other years combined.

If there was one thing that I’d want the person reading this to know, it’s that you can be absolutely certain that you’re going to Heaven. As the saying goes, “If you’re 99% sure you’re going to Heaven, you’re 100% wrong.” Jesus Christ died on the cross 2000 years ago to pay the price for all our sins (All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6) because He was the only one who could. We, by ourselves, are unworthy and unable to get to Heaven (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23), and no matter how good of a person you are, or how often you go to church, or how much you donate to charity, it would never be enough to make up for all your transgressions. (For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9) Remember the lie you told as a child when you did something wrong and didn’t want to get caught? That piece of candy you stole? The mean or inappropriate thoughts you had about a classmate or coworker? Even “little” sins are still sins, and God considers them such serious offenses that just one is all it takes to set you on the road to hell.

But there’s hope! You may be hell bound right now, but making a complete turnaround is as easy as saying a prayer. It starts with repentance: a change of mind that agrees with God that we are sinners, and that we don’t want to be sinners any longer (God…now commandeth all men every where to repent… Acts 17:30 ). We have to agree with God and believe that what Jesus did on the cross was for us. In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “…’Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved….’” We simply believe on Him as the One who bore our sin, died in our place, was buried, and whom God resurrected (That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10). (For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13). Just ask the Lord to come into your heart and save your soul, it’s that easy! And when you do, rest assured that from then on, you have a place in heaven, and nothing you ever do can change that. Once saved, always saved! (These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life… 1 John 5:13). Ever since I learned the truth about my salvation, there has been a peace in my soul, and I can’t wait until the day when I get to meet my Lord and Savior face-to-face in Heaven! I hope I see you there!

Association: Southern Baptist

City: Nashville

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