At the age of 19, I was confronted by a college classmate with the question “Where will you spend an eternity when you die?” He also showed me some salvation verses from the Bible. Though I was not saved at that time, I was open to spiritual things. Some months passed when a young lady I was dating invited me to her brother-in-law’s church. He was the pastor of an independent Baptist church in a small town in Oklahoma. After the third time attending and upon hearing the pastor preach from Romans 3:23, I went forward during the altar call and settled the eternal question. I knew I was saved and I was scripturally baptized the same day.
Since a state university is not much of a spiritual environment to grow spiritually, and I lived nowhere near the church where I had been saved, I received no discipleship training. I soon strayed away into the world’s allurements and companions for four long years. Even after graduating and choosing a career path, I had no peace and spiritual direction, but yearned for it. After being invited to a bible believing Baptist church, I was taken under the spiritual “wings” of a faithful and loving pastor, and it was there that I received my spiritual roots and foundation for growth. I knew the Lord was working on me concerning a greater plan for my life, and my pastor sensed it too. One day he asked if I would be willing to help accompany him and the youth group to a Bible college for a “college days” program. I willingly volunteered. It was while I sat in those Bible college classes and chapels that the Lord used the verses from Romans 12:1-2 to call me into full-time service. The next semester I was enrolled in that same Bible college, knowing that the Lord had called me to preach!
I was 23 years of age and time was precious. I needed to know two things from the Lord: (1) Where did He want me to preach? (2) Who did He want me to marry? The Lord provided the answers to both questions by the second semester of my first year: (1) He wanted me planting churches in and around Boston, Massachusetts; (2) He wanted me to marry Wilda! We were married that summer. Two years later and just before graduation, God blessed us with a son, then three months later we were planting our first church in Massachusetts. The Lord works quickly when you leave the choices up to Him!
I was not raised in a Christian home, but at the age of 14 I was saved and baptized. This all happened because of a faithful man in my neighborhood who owned a corner store and who always took the opportunity to witness for Christ. God then began to use a very faithful youth director to guide my life. Being a part of my church became my life. Through the preaching and teaching of our founding pastor, I learned the importance of living a dedicated, separated life, and a life filled with service for the Saviour.
Then, one summer, at the age of 21 while serving in a SMITE Campaign in Canada, the Lord made it very clear to me that though my career in nursing was noble, the Lord was asking me to surrender my life for full-time service. Within a few short weeks I was attending Bible college and shortly thereafter met Mike and we were married. It was a very short courtship!
Our lives have been blessed with two children. Today, they are both married and are raising our five grandchildren to love and serve the Lord. What a blessing!
I have counted it a great privilege to serve the Lord alongside of Mike these past 40 years and pray that the Lord will continue to bless us with many more wonderful years to serve.