Being raised in a Christian home was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I had a grandfather that was a holiness non-pentecostal preacher, and another grandfather who has been a pillar in his church. My mother took on the task of raising my two sisters and I, after my dad left when I was 11 years of age, and she was faithful to keep us in church and listen to the King James Bible preaching while at church.
When I was approximately 16 years of age, I came under conviction during a fall revival meeting, but concerned with what my friends thought, and even more, that I could not keep my salvation (as I had been taught my whole life), I resisted the drawing of God.
At 18 years of age I joined the US Air Force and began to see things I had never seen. Sin soon had dominion over me, more then it ever had when I was under the protection of my mothers home. I was always in trouble with authority, whether Police, supervisors or business people. I hated anyone telling me what to do, and I wanted to do what I wanted to do. During my tenure in the military, I came in contact with a professional wrestling trainer and began a short career in one of the most vile and wicked industries in America. Here is the story of the man that trained me, and how he died. While recovering from a broken hip in 2006, my trainer died, as well as one of the other young men that I trained with. He put a shotgun to his chest and blew himself in pieces over a girl that broke his heart. (click on the link for his tribute). Here is the link to Shane Shamrocks story, one of the nicest guys in wrestling, and a man that treated me with kindness. There are other men that were not close to me, but were men that I have wrestled with and been in shows with, that are dead and gone today. Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido, etc.
During my recovery from injury, I began to restitute wrongs I had done to people. I was troubled about my life, and the hurt I had caused people. April 20, 1997 I attended Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. I don't know what was preached that day, but an act of kindness by a man at church that morning, would not leave my mind. On the way home to Maryland, somewhere between Harrisonburg, VA and New Market, VA, the Holy Ghost showed me what I really was, and where I was headed in my sin. With the Word of God bearing witness to my sin, and the Holy Ghost condemning me of my sin, I trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour with repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Soon after being born again, I began to dump the recesses of life down the drain. I burned trash and filth, and God began to change my life. Soon after I was saved I began to attend a Baptist Church, where I settled down for years and served, and learned about the Bible.
On Februrary 9, 2001 I attended the National Bus conference in Walkertown, NC, where Jack Hyles was scheduled to preach. It was announced that night that he had passed away, and the call went out for someone to replace Mr. Hyles. I didn't want to replace anyone, but God had been tugging on my heart, and that night I surrendered to preach the gospel regardless of whether or not anyone needed replaced. After enduring weeks of chastening and scourging due to disobedience, I was able to start preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God began the minstry he had called me too.
February 13, 2007 I followed the direction of the Lord to go full time in evangelism, where God has kept me ever since.
I had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home. My parents were faithful to the house of God, and instilled in me the importance of the church and hearing the preaching of the Word of God. I am thankful for all the preaching I heard as a child, for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
I am so very thankful that my parents never pressured me into making a profession, or gave me assurance when I did make a profession. Even so, at the age of 5, after we were in a minor car accident, I became fearful of dying and told my parents I wanted to be saved. I made a profession that evening and clung to that for several years, even though I did not have a clear understanding of salvation, and my only motivation was that I was scared of dying and going to Hell.
Around the age of 10, I began to be troubled for several months, about my salvation and whether I was truly saved. I tried to ignore this troubling and put it out of my mind. Pride was a big factor for me, as I felt that it would be a shame for me to say that I didn't know whether I was truly born again.
In December of 1996, our church held a week long revival service. I don't remember what the evangelist preached that night, but the Lord had already been dealing with me. As soon as the service was ended, I went to my Dad and told him that I knew I was lost and needed salvation. Unlike the night I made my profession at 5, this night the Lord revealed my lost, sinful condition to me. The awfulness of knowing I was separated from a holy God, and that nothing in me could bridge that gap. I came to Christ that night, believing that He and He alone was my only hope of reconciliation with God. I repented and turned to Christ, and peace flooded my soul like I had never known. I was baptized by immersion in January of 1997.
Many times I have thought back to that night and how strong my desire was to be reconciled to God. If only as a Christian I would have that same desire to always walk and be in perfect fellowship with my heavenly Father! I am so very thankful that He is faithful to me, even when I am not faithful to Him. My desire is to serve the Lord all the days of my life, and am so thankful for the life that he has blessed me with!