It was November 20, 2003, a Thursday night, I had a lot of things going on in my life both at work and in my marriage. I won’t explain them in this article, but they had me at a turning point. I went to Alto-Reste Park cemetery and sat down on my dad’s grave. Beside me was a .357 pistol, and I didn’t have it there for protection. I sat and talked to my dad and God that night, and I asked them to give me some sort of sign on what to do. I sat there for hours talking and crying trying to figure out what to do. I didn’t find out until later that my dad was saved when we found papers confirming that he and my mother had both trusted Christ earlier in their lives. All I know for sure is that I put the pistol back in the truck and went home that night.
The next day I got up and went to work as usual, not knowing what was about to take place. I went in at 5AM and a co-worker, Chip Jones, a meat manager, came in at 6AM. We were talking when he asked me what I was doing that night. Thinking he might want me to go hunting or something like that, I answered, “Nothing.” He then asked me to go to church. What was I supposed to say? I had already told him I wasn’t doing anything. So, I said I would try and come. God was in this whole conversation for I ended up going to church on a Friday night, November 21, 2003.
I walked in to the Heritage Baptist Church and found out I knew a few more people there. I sat with Chip and his family, and listened to Brother Domelle preach that night. He was an evangelist, and a hard, loud preacher who told it like it was! I was leaving that night when a friend, Darrell Snare, asked me some questions, and I told him my faith was jilted at the time and I didn’t know what or how I felt about God. He asked me to stay and talk to Pastor Mark Biter. That night I got saved! I didn’t know how to explain it, BUT something happened that night. I know now it was the Holy Spirit coming to dwell inside of me.
My salvation has ended up touching so many people. Where do I begin? My kids were the first to notice a difference in me. They asked their mother why dad was going to church on a Sunday night or a Wednesday night. I gave up cussing and telling bad jokes. I tried to read the Bible, but struggled in the translation of some of the Scriptures. My wife started to go to church with me and found out what she was missing in the Catholic faith she practiced. She also got saved on the day after Christmas one year later. My son, Rex, got saved and started to attend our church. His story is one by itself. Let me just say he ended up marrying the pastor’s daughter, and we now have at least one granddaughter.
I went to church faithfully, but when asked to go soul winning, my mind and Satan kept me from going. I was brought up by my dad to never accept failure or rejection. The thought of knocking on a door and having it slammed in my face was more than I could stand. But, every week when the pastor would bring it up during the service, it bothered me. I went to the altar every service for months asking God to help me become a soul winner. I also went to the alter for 6 months praying that my son would marry the preacher’s daughter. Finally the Holy Spirit said, Try it, I’ll take care of you.”
How did I get past the feeling of rejection? First of all, I realized it wasn’t me who people were rejecting, it was Jesus. The door was being slammed on Him, not me. The first four months I went with the pastor, and even though we were rejected by many, nobody slammed the door on our face. I was very nervous with the first person I helped to find salvation, but it was like no other feeling. I have won championships, been voted MVP, won sportsmanship awards, top bowler, best average, hit home runs and pitched no hitters, and the list goes on, BUT nothing compares to the feeling you get when you win someone to Christ. And if you think that’s great, try the feeling you get when you lead a family member to the LORD! Most of my family has seen that it’s not a religion that is important, but what is important is that you accept Christ as your Saviour.
In the summer of 2007, I was asked to teach at Bible school. That year at Bible school, my oldest grandson got saved. The next year I was asked to be an usher and help with security at church. Now I teach a Sunday School class of young boys and hope l can make a difference in their lives. I still go soul winning every Tuesday night, and so far have helped over 50 people find the Lord. I do not intend to stop until I can’t do it any more. I’m not patting myself on the back, I’ve just realized there are so many people in this world who need to know the truth about eternal life and how to receive it!
My only regret is that I didn’t do this earlier in my life. I thank God for allowing me to live long enough to get saved so that I can serve Him as much as I can in my declining years. God truly took the gun from my hand and put a Bible in it. Praise the LORD!
Faithful Church Member
Heritage Baptist Church