Back in the State of Alabama, many years ago, I was just a churchgoing sinner. I was very religiously inclined, and I thought I was as good as anyone in the community where I was raised. My parents had taught me a good way to go, but that did not suffice, for I had sin in my life. The people I went to church with had sin in their lives, too. I could see them smoke, chew, drink wine; they would go to the shows; still, we all professed to be Christians.
I thank God that one day God permitted some Apostolic Faith people to come my way and tell me the story of Jesus right in my home. Back in that log cabin, God spoke to my heart.
My uncle told me, “You are a good boy. You are the best we have in the community. It doesn’t seem you would give your religion up for what these people tell you about.” But these ministers told me, “You have to live free from sin.” My preacher said, “I sin, you sin, and everybody else sins.” But when I heard that we could live free from sin, it registered in my heart. I knew if I sinned I was a sinner and it would never bring anything but Hell.
One thing was hard for me to do: that was to confess to God that I was a sinner. God still strove with my heart. He humbled me—He wouldn’t let me go. It seemed a hunger got hold of me and I couldn’t get away from it. Finally I decided, regardless of what anyone else says, I am going to make it myself. He let me get on these stiff knees of mine and confess and ask Him to be merciful to me, a sinner. When I did, He came in and saved my soul. Oh, the joy that flooded my heart that night! It seemed the whole heavens opened and the joy of God came into my heart.
Then these Christians told me there was something more for me. They said, “Brother, hold on.” I didn’t know what they were talking about; I didn’t see how there could be anything more. But I held on a little more, and God sanctified my heart. He took the root of sin—the desire for sin, the want-to—out of my heart. God fixed me so I could love everybody. He put perfect love into my heart. I knew when I loved Jesus, I could love my neighbor.
When I went on my knees and fully surrendered to God’s will, yielding my life to Him, He baptized me with the Holy Ghost.
Not only do I praise God for what He has done for me down through these many years, but I thank Him for what He is doing for me now. It seems the Spirit of God has encouraged my soul to do more for Him than I ever have before. I want Him to have the remainder of my days.