My mother had a Primitive Baptist upbringing. My grandpas on both sides of my family were Primitive Baptist Preachers.
One of my earliest memories of church was my family visiting one when I was about 7 or so. All I remember is it was my brother’s and my birthdays and we had to go up front and put pennies in a bank for each year of our age. We didn’t go again. When I was about 9, Mom stated making sure we were in Sunday School somewhere. So, we kids usually went to the closest Baptist church to us. She told us Bible stories and I remember one of our favorite things to do was to look at all the photos in the family Bible and read the stories that went with them.
When I was about 10, a man from the Mailbox Club came to our public school, presented a flannel graph Bible story, then left us with brochures about his club. It was Bible lessons, I enrolled, and finished them to get a certificate.
We then moved to Florida where I started going to church with a friend at the age of 12. One Sunday, she wanted me to go up front with her. I did. While she prayed a man talked to me and asked if I wanted to join the church. I said no. I didn’t really understand all about the plan of salvation, but I knew it was odd that he asked me to join the church and didn’t know if I was saved.
We moved from that house to another, and I started going with another friend to her church. It was a new church that met in her house. Then, it moved to a storefront building. All of us kids went there. It was 4 blocks from our house, so we walked. We prayed for our parents to come and be saved. Both my parents got saved (another whole testimony). We were really involved and I went to camp, taught in Sunday School, helped, etc.
I also met my husband there. We got married and had two babies.
During those years I made a couple professions, but kept doubting I was saved. I would get so scared. I would talk to people about it, but being I was such a ‘good church member’ everyone assured me I must be saved. So, I’d be ok for a while, then I’d get scared again.
Steve went overseas, and I moved back to our hometown. One night I asked the preacher if I could talk to him. He said yes and we met in his office after church. His family was leaving for vacation and was waiting around for him, so I kept the meeting quick and when he told me I should just pray again and use that date as the time I got saved, I did. But I knew I was just doing it so he could get out of there.
While he was gone, and Steve was overseas, and my mom was taking care of my sick dad, and, though, I was in my hometown, I had no close friends. I felt all alone with no one to talk to. There was no one to reassure me. It was me and God. I was supposed to teach a Sunday School lesson for someone on vacation the next Sunday. I didn’t want to study for it. I didn’t want anything to do with the Bible or God. So, all week I pushed it aside. Then on Friday, August 8, I thought I might as well get the lesson ready for those kids. The story was where Jacob was all alone, just him and God.
Preparing the lesson, I realized I was not saved and asked God to save me. When I finished praying, I was at peace for the first time in a long time. When the girls woke from their naps, I took them for a walk. I know the whole world was a shade prettier. It was beautiful! I was at peace and happy. That Sunday I presented myself to the church fo baptism t follow Jesus’ example.