Born Again: A Wednesday morning
during revival in 1983
Where: Bethel Baptist Church
First, a little background leading to my salvation that Wednesday
morning in 1983. At about the age of ten or eleven, I was attending a modern
Baptist church and felt pressured to join the church and be baptized. I did
join, was baptized, but still was lost. Several years later, I began to doubt
if I was truly saved. I went to the pastor of the church at that time and
was led down the same road as I was at the age of ten. It is called the Roman
road to salvation, when in truth it should be called the Roman
road to destruction, because it is a salvation of intellect instead
of heart-felt, know-so salvation that comes only from God. So I was baptized
again but still in a lost condition. I went on that way for a few more years,
then strayed away from church for seven or eight years.
I got back in church and became very active. I was a Sunday school teacher,
youth leader, choir member and deacon. I tell this experience to show no matter
how sincere or active you are as a church member, you still must have that
heart-felt, blood-bought, know-so salvation that the world and even many Baptists
do not know what you are talking about.
Then one summer, we were invited to a revival service at Bethel Church. Bro.
Fred Prince was preaching that night. I remember how friendly and loving people
were and there was a freedom of worship I had never seen before.
Shortly thereafter, I moved my membership to Bethel. I began to hear the gospel
preached in its purity time after time by every preacher who preached in that
pulpit. I heard words like being lost, conviction of God, drawing power of
God, blood bought, and know-so salvation, and time and place. After being
at Bethel for a while, I became troubled and doubted my salvation again. At
the time I was a deacon, Sunday school teacher and helped lead singing. I
believe years of religion and pride stood in my way when God was
dealing with me. I became so burdened and confused until that Wednesday morning
of our summer revival in 1983. At work by myself I bowed before God in the
back corner of the warehouse and asked God to save me if I was
lost. We had day and night services during the revival and I had not been
to any of the day services. That Wednesday morning, I had to go because I
could not get any relief from that burden in the corner of the warehouse.
That morning, we had testimony service and I believe everyone there who was
saved gave their testimony and every one of them drove my conviction and burden
deeper and deeper. We had an invitation and sung every verse of the song and
on the last verse, I could not take it any longer and ran to the altar. It
seemed like I stayed there forever crying unto God to save me if
I was lost. I got up once and sat down, exhausted, wondering if I had waited
too late. I almost got up and left. But I was too scared to leave the church
and had to get all that religion and pride out of the way. I cried
unto God, even if I have to die today, please save me before I die
because I knew then that I was lost and there was no if about
it. At that moment, there was a peace and joy that came over me that I have
never experienced before in my life. That burden, doubt, and confusion was
gone. Thank God for a know-so salvation! I joined the church that morning
and was baptized by Bro. Fred Prince in Carroll Lake the following Sunday.
I was thirty-two years old.