When I was a child my family attended church at another denomination. I attended Sunday school and church. When I was 14 yrs. old the Pastor gave the invitation at the close of service and I went forward and told him I believed in Jesus. He told the church I was saved and I was baptized by sprinkling and joined the church.
As I grew to adulthood I attended church but not on a regular basis. Having been taught the Bible I had a strong desire to live as a Christian but I could not stay on track. I wanted to be close to the Lord but found myself a miserable failure. In the 1980’s I found myself involved in a divorce and felt I was a complete failure in my attempt to serve the Lord. I vowed to never marry again.
Despite making that vow I met someone and soon found myself married again. I now know that God used that marriage for a purpose. My wife had grown up in Arkansas and had always attended and was a member of Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Grant County AR. I had about quit even attending church but she urged me to get back in church.
After we were married we lived in Memphis, TN, but soon I was able to retire from my job and we moved to Benton County. We attended a church of the type I had attended in earlier years. In 1988 we decided to move to Arkansas to be close to her family. As a result we began attending Corinth MBC.
The pastor at that time was Brother Robert Cossey. He was a young man. He was sound in the doctrine of Missionary Baptist teaching and preached the Gospel message with power. He was totally committed to doing all things according to scripture. It seemed he was always preaching to me and I was not fond of him at the time.
We only lived in Arkansas 2 years and then returned to Benton County. And went back to church where we went before moving to Arkansas. I could not get the preaching of Brother Robert out of my mind and became dissatisfied with the teaching of where we were attending. I loved all the members there but soon found myself deeply troubled about my salvation. I began to get serious about studying God’s word and began to test what Brother Robert had preached and what I thought I knew.
Soon I realized that even though I had said I believed in Jesus at 14 yrs. old I knew I had not been truly saved and came to realize the failures of my life were because I did not really know Jesus and had tried to live as a Christian by my own strength. I was deeply troubled and now knew that the Lord was convicting my heart with His drawing power. I really did not understand all that was happening at the time, but I knew I needed to be saved.
On Tuesday after Labor Day in September 1993 when I was 57 years old, an incident had occurred that was troubling because I knew I had failed again and had said some things that were not pleasing to God or the one I said them to. I went to an old barn behind our house and sat down on a concrete block on a floor covered in years of old manure. I was going to pray about the situation that occurred but instead I began to poor my heart out to the Lord. I told him over and over that I was done trying to be a Christian that I was a miserable failure and I could not go on like I was. I begged Him to please take me and do as he would with me. I told Him I was a failure in life and was a man full of sin. I asked him to forgive me and please save me. I told Him over and over that it was not about me any longer but all about Him. I was completely broken in heart.
After a while I felt that my burden had been taken from me. I know he forgave me and saved my soul. I had no doubt. My life has not been the same since.
I had attempted to be a child of God by my own strength. That is not possible. Jesus is the one who saves and through Him we become God’s children. I started to leave the barn. I sat back down on the block and my first prayer after He saved me was to ask that He give me understanding of the Bible and lead me in the truth of the word of God.
After being saved we made a trip to Arkansas to visit family. I went to Corinth Church and met with Brother Robert and told him of my salvation experience. I told him that I loved him and thanked him for being unwavering in preaching the Gospel to me and standing so strong in the truth of God’s word. I asked him if he would baptize me into the church there. The church voted to receive me into membership with the promise that we would find a like church in TN and join that church.
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving 1993 I was baptized at Corinth and received into membership. Before baptism I told the church membership of my salvation. We began to seek a church of like faith and practice and in 1994 my wife and I joined Cross Roads MBC by letter after giving our testimonies.
I thank the Lord for saving me and for His church where I can serve Him and have a close walk with Him. I love His church and all my brothers and sisters in Christ. He gives me a burden for those that need to be saved. Jesus is my Savior and He is my Lord. Without Him I would be nothing.