I connected with a High School (and elementary) friend through Facebook. She was curious about how I became a preacher/minister type guy and suggested I share my testimony. I thought that was a good idea, and now months later, I am finally getting around to it. I would be very interested in hearing your spiritual journey, as well.
Did I grow up in a Christian home? I wish that were easier to answer. Kinda yes, is the best I can do.
My grandfather on my mother’s side was a preacher. My grandfather on my father’s side was an elder. My father was a preacher until he couldn’t physically speak any longer because of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). His last sermon was from a wheelchair with slurred speech. I was 2 or 3 when he was diagnosed and 4 and a half when he died.
The next ten years can be split in half. The years that my preaching grandfather lived in town, we attended where he preached. The years after he moved hours away, we rarely attended anywhere.
In that ten year period, my mother struggle so much with personal baggage and worked nights, so I was kinda on my own. I don’t remember much about the Bible, prayer, or Jesus during that time.
We had just started attending worship again a couple of months before she died. I was 14 and a half. I had been immersed, mainly because of her prodding, a little over a month before she died in an automobile accident.
Saying that my life changed would be an understatement. Saying that my life changed for the better probably sounds disrespectful and cruel. But looking backwards through the eyes of faith, I can’t judge God or ask why.
From that point on, I was in a home where I saw adults reading the Bible and prayers were offered at every meal. I had been transferred from an unpredictable and often frightening home situation into one where peace and love ruled.
It was also a home where church attendance was assumed. The little country congregation had lots of problems. Good people, some bad theology, some bad attitudes (if you want to know why I am not real high on MSOP, it is from personal experience). When this congregation began to unravel, we began worshipping at a larger and healthier church in town.
This is where my faith really began blooming. A series on the Book of Romans by Mike Tanaro at the Lone Oak Church of Christ is how and where my faith got kick-started. This would have been around 1992-1993. I will always appreciate that congregation for many reasons and always thank God for them. Mike Tanaro is still one of my favorite preachers.
I suppose this is a good stopping point. Suffice to say that I was still young and immature. I do recall reading the entire NT for the first time out of blue KJV during these same years (early 90s). But I was learning and seeds were being planted. My life had gone from crazy to calm.
I will talk about my college years in the next installment.