Thomas Bell

Gospel Pioneers
Gospel Pioneers
Gospel Pioneers

I want to thank God for sixteen years of victory. God led me here to the Apostolic Faith Church and changed my heart. I have had sixteen years without a headache or a heartache.

I want to thank God for the day He opened my ears. For about twenty-five years I spurned the love of God. I am glad God called me back a little over six-and-a-half years ago and led me down here to this church. I had no idea when I left home I would end up here, but God saw to it that I got here. I don’t believe I went to church more than six times in twenty years. Just after the meeting started, tears began rolling down my cheeks. That was unusual for me to be crying, but I knew God was dealing with me. All I did was drink liquor and smoke cigarettes. I didn’t blaspheme or go to shows. I thought that if I went to a show it would be too long without a glass of beer. That is how I spent my evenings and weekends. I wasn’t alone; my wife would go with me. When one tavern would close we would go to another. If that one closed we would hire a taxi and go to another one. All we wanted was more liquor and beer.

But God called me one day. My stepson and his wife were saved at a camp meeting, and they came to our apartment one night and told us about these meetings. God convicted me right there. They told me about the wonderful testimonies they had heard. They asked me to go to the meetings with them, but I said, “No, I cannot go.” It was because my icebox was full of beer and I had to get rid of that. They asked my wife and she went with them the next night. Finally I got rid of all the beer and came to church on Friday night.

I asked God to forgive me, and in a few moments at the altar God saved me.

On Saturday I went over town. I passed all the saloons and didn’t have the least desire to go in or have a drink of beer. I went back home and said to my wife. “There is something wrong. I went over town today and never had a glass of beer.” She said, “I felt the same way.” God was talking to us.

Sunday morning I came to the meeting again, and made my way to the altar. I cried all during the meeting—I couldn’t help it. I asked God to forgive me, and in a few moments at the altar God saved me. These people gathered around and prayed with me and for me. In just about fifteen minutes God came into my heart and took away every evil desire—that load I had carried—and set me free.

I had a package of cigarettes in my pocket. After God saved me I had no use for them. Now, instead of a “nightcap” of whiskey or cigarettes before going to bed, we can read God’s Word and get on our knees and thank God for a day above sin. In the morning when we get up, instead of looking for a cigarette we get on our knees and praise God for what He has done for us. Those fifteen minutes of prayer changed the whole course of my life.

Many times when I was under the influence of liquor I would go into a store, and if I thought I was shortchanged, the next time I went back to that store I would swipe some little thing to make it up. After God cleaned me up inside, He showed me I would have to clean up on the outside. God brought all those things to my memory as though I had done them that day. I told God I would go back and straighten up for these things I had stolen. I went back to four different stores and paid them for everything. I wrote letters of restitution. I told them I was right with God and I wanted to be right with my fellowman. The following Sunday God sanctified me and filled me with His glory. God has given me peace and joy and the hope of Heaven in my heart. I have a wonderful salvation, and I am surely glad God has brought me into His Gospel.