Salvation is an experiential event that is neither merited nor earned. It’s a gift from God and God alone. We can do nothing but go before an Almighty God: repent and ask for forgiveness in humble faith. Just simply accepting Christ does not save one’s soul from the tormenting fires of Hell, as we are saved by grace not by works. Christ paid the price on the cross that allows us to go to God as a poor beggar asking for forgiveness that only God can give. Below are testimonies reflecting the event that affects eternity.
Versie M. Forshee
My Christian Experience -July, 1930
I was saved at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Simpson County, at the age of fourteen. That night I will never forget. The Lord has been so good to me. Not one hour since I was saved have I doubted my salvation. I can never be thankful enough.
All my children were saved from ages nine to fourteen years old. All were saved at Old Union, so that makes this a wonderful place to me. When my son went to Vietnam, it was so hard. But the Lord gave me an answer that he would come home, and he did.
Some people don’t believe God tells you things, but I sure do. We need the Lord every day, not just in times of trouble. I wish the whole world could feel in their hearts what I can. That is my prayer.
I am thankful that I had this church to raise my children in, and this community.
Carolyn Glasscock
When I was approximately eight years old, I was saved at Big Renox Methodist Church in Cumberland County, Kentucky. My mother and her family were members and attended that church. A revival was in progress. It was a Sunday night and the weather was very hot. I was sitting on a seat full of young people. We were talking and writing notes during the service, and I paid very little attention to the sermon.
When the altar call was given, my mother went to the altar along with others. She had been saved earlier; however, this church believed you could lose your salvation. She caused me to realize I was lost. My head went down and I was no longer interested in the people around me. Someone noticed I was in trouble and came to me asking if I was lost. I admitted I was, and they encouraged me to go to the altar, which I did. After some time of praying, the service came to an end and I got up. I was still crying but the burden was gone. The preacher asked me if I was saved and I told him I was. In the days that followed there was a newness about my life. It was as though I was in continuous communication with the Lord. I was very prayerful and felt my prayers were answered and that the Lord was watching over me.
Dewey Glasscock
I felt lost for several months, afraid to go to sleep, because I was afraid the Lord would come back or I would die and go to Hell.
During Vacation Bible School, there were several of us lost and our teacher was very good. She told us how the Lord loved us and wanted to save us, but we must repent of our sins and give up everything in the world and want to be saved more than anything else. I remember there must have been ten or twelve of us that felt lost. We were meeting our class outside the church, and we made an altar of our chairs and were crying and asking the Lord to save us.
The teacher had a gladiola flower and started tearing off the bloom of the flower that was so pretty and it became so ugly on the stem, and she told us that was the way we looked to the Lord.
Later I realized how lost and undone I was and I started asking the Lord to save my soul and the most blessed feeling came over me. I joined the church the same day. I felt when we left the church that that day that I could almost fly because the burden of sin was gone. I loved everyone and was so thankful for what the Lord did for me that day.
Lisa Gray
There are many events in our lives that are unforgettable. These happenings stand out in our minds as if they occurred only moments ago. Trying to express our personal experience of salvation in words is the only way to convey to others what wonderful spiritual peace we have found.
My life definitely holds a special experience. I believed I was saved when I was eight years old. I went about my young life as I wished, never giving a second thought to my spiritual condition. I joined Old Union Missionary Baptist Church and was baptized when I was nine years old. For many years, I was convinced God had saved my soul and that eternity with Him was only a breath away. It was some time before I realized the assurance of eternal life I had been trying to pretend was there was definitely not inside my heart. I ignored the constant voice of the Holy Spirit trying to tell me to get my life together and figure out where I wanted to spend eternity. I did not want to accept the fact that I had been living a lie for so many years. Everyone thought they knew I was saved and baptized many years prior. It made it so easy to ignore the voice in my mind warning me that I did not have forever to repent and be saved. As everyone knows, you cannot get away from God. He will be everywhere you go. No matter where I went or what I tried to tell myself, I realized I was not saved, and that if I did not do something about it soon, the Lord was not going to allow me to go on ignoring Him.
In March of 2001, during the Old Union Missionary Baptist Ministers School, I attended the regular Thursday evening service held that year. I had somewhat put into the back of my mind that with so many saved people around me, I could convince myself I was fine. WRONG! It only made things worse. The sermon was delivered by one of the young ministers from Jamaica. I do not remember the exact topic, but I do know that I could not contain my concern for my soul any longer. God was giving me one more chance, and if I did not repent and give myself up to Him completely, He was going to pass me by forever. I left the service that night shaken, but still unwilling to make my condition known to anyone.
During this time I was attending the Old Time Baptist Student Fellowship group at WKU. We had our meetings at Brother Brad Wheeler’s house on Tuesday nights. I had somehow made it five days since the church service, but I could not wait any longer. On the way home from the meeting I fell under heavy conviction. My heart was heavy, and my soul felt dead. I knew then and there I had to make myself right with Lord. I was riding in the car with Brother Travis Tims, whom I was dating at the time. He asked me if something was wrong and I instantly burst into tears. I told him I was not truly saved and I had to get it right before we drove one mile further. We pulled into the parking lot of a church somewhere on the way home and we bowed our heads and began to pray. I did not know what to pray for or even how to pray. I felt that I had lied to so many people for so long about my spiritual condition that the Lord might not give me true peace.
We prayed for what seemed like hours, but it was actually only a few minutes. Looking out the windshield, I could see a single star in the dark night sky. I looked up into the sky and just gave myself up to God. I told him that I did not want to live a lie and I wanted his grace and love to take over my life completely, and that I was willing to give up anything and everything to make that possible. At that moment, that single star seemed to burn as brightly as the sun in a dark cold night sky. I could feel the Holy Spirit mending the gaping holes in my heart and soul. I finally felt complete and like I did not have to live a lie anymore. Travis was still praying and I looked at him and told him not to worry about me anymore because I was saved. We rejoiced and cried in the car and I could not wait to tell everyone the truth about my salvation.
Our church was having revival that week. I joined Old Union Missionary Baptist Church, for real, the next night and was baptized the following Sunday. There have been many things I have doubted since that time, but never once has it been my salvation or the fact that God forever changed my life that Tuesday night in April. I was saved in a Ford Explorer in a church parking lot when I was eighteen years old. That knowledge will always remain true and deep in my heart. The Lord saves only once, but He gave me a second chance to get things right with Him.
Peggy Marlene Gray
During the summer revival of 1960, I knew for the first time that I was lost. The sermon had been very pointedly delivered and as a result, numerous others in my Sunday school class were praying at the altar. There were so many lost souls that night that the entire front of the church was used for prayer, from the choir to the amen comer. I did not go for prayer that night, but I did the following night. Many of my friends and classmates were saved in that revival.
I continued to go to the altar at Old Union, as well as other churches in the community, for six or seven years. For some reason unknown to me, I could not find my way to the mercy and grace of God. Even though I was absolutely certain of my fate should I die without God, I simply could not reach the point of faith and trust required for salvation.
When I was eighteen years old, and still unsaved, my mom died. Surely, I thought, no loving God would do this to me. Lonely, hurting and terribly confused, I never again went to the altar. Indeed, I never went back to church or to another revival until after Ronald and I were married in 1970. We infrequently attended services, but if an altar call was made during a regular Sunday morning service, we always left early. From 1972 until 1974 while Ronald was in service, we did not live in Bowling Green. Upon our return to this community in 1975, we began to attend Old Union with increasing regularity. Now we had a precious little child and I knew that she must know about God and His plan of salvation. When she was a tiny little child, her favorite song was “I’ll Fly Away,” and she used to ask me to sing it. Her wings were ready, but I knew mine were not.
Within a short while, the church elected a new pastor and he made his home about two-tenths of a mile from our house. Every time I went by that house it bothered me terribly. When the revival started that year, I looked outside very early one morning and that new pas- tor, Brother Paul Bryson, was standing out in front of our barn talking to Ronald. About five o’clock that day when he came back to talk to me, I put him off by making excuses that had absolutely nothing to do with my lost condition. I had developed quite an ability to avoid the subject and some people were afraid to say anything to me. God used that man boldly and I am sure that the result was apparent to anyone in my presence. The following day I was miserably convicted. Years of trouble and fear, sorrow and agony swelled inside me until I could not function. There was no way to get away from the conviction this time.
About six o’clock on the evening of July 22, I was standing at the window watching Ronald and Laura drive down the road. I was still trying to bargain with God, asking for assurance that He would never take them from me. Only then, for the first time, I realized that He was the giver of life and was capable of all things. I knew I had to trust Him with all circumstances, even those that might bring pain and sorrow. The last thing I remember praying was “…and I can’t go on this way.” The tears stopped, the heaviness left and I felt like I was floating. Peace was at last mine.
With great assurance I knew that God’s mercy and grace had found me. However, I did not tell anyone that night. It was later the next morning when I went all over the community telling the glorious news. That night, July 23, Ronald and I both joined Old Union Missionary Baptist Church. It would be many years before I could fully understand the love God’s people showed toward me that night.
The fact that God saved me is a testimony to prayerful burdened people. Even though I was not praying for myself, God was dealing mightily with me. Dedicated church members had petitioned God on my behalf for more than eighteen years. The number of people who spoke to or prayed for me during those years is known only to God. When I think of how He safely guided me through my teen years, marriage and a very difficult childbirth, I am overwhelmed with praise for His providential care. I will never do enough to merit such mercy or fully thank Him for sending His only Son to die for my sins.
I Thessalonians 4: 16-18
Ronald Howard Gray
When the convicting power of God pricks the heart of a child and convinces him that if he should die, Hell would be his home, it is a most terrifying thought. It is a thought that struck me much like a slap across the face during a spring revival at Highland Missionary Baptist Church in 1959. Church and all of its related activities had always been a joy for me to attend. My parents took my sister and me to every service. We would run and play around the beautiful grounds of the old stone church and then go in and fellowship at the service.
During this particular revival I was sitting toward the back of the church directly in line with the preacher. There were two support columns spaced directly and evenly down the center of the church. It gave you the feeling of being hidden and you could peep around them to see the pulpit area. Early in the revival, the “preacher spoke of Heaven versus Hell, the splendor of one compared to the awfulness of the other. It was during this comparison that he described the people who would go to each place and the reasons why. Suddenly I realized that I wasn’t guaranteed presence in Heaven as I always thought. My parents couldn’t help me, the preachers couldn’t help me, my friends couldn’t help me. No one could help! I was doomed!
I had never known such horrible fear in my short lifetime, and as I think back over the years, I have never experienced any such fear since that time. After the service dismissed, we returned home and went to bed. I lay awake a long time trying to figure out what I could do. The thing that killed me was that my parents were going to Heaven and I could not go with them!
The next morning I randomly brought up the subject to my mother, trying to appear nonchalant about it all. The answers that she gave me only made the situation worse. As we prepared for services that night, there was a feeling of great dread surrounding me. As I sat behind the same column that night, I dared not look toward the front of the church. The preacher’s words, though, came right around that column and struck me right to my innermost being, or should I say God’s convicting power struck me. As the invitation was given, I knew what I had to do. Going to the altar would be a major move for timid, shy little boy like me. After going up front I realized that is just made it all worse.
As I sat on the front seat with my head in my hands, I cried for what seemed like a very long time. My dad sat beside me with one arm round me and the other on my leg. He was doing all that he could 0 for me. I dared not look up. I was totally oblivious to what was going on around me then. No one else mattered at that time. I didn’t know how to pray then, and sometimes I still think, who really does? Whatever I said surely pleased God, because that defeat dread left and I realized that if I should die, NOW I could go with my parents. That night, I fell exhausted into bed and had the most peaceful sleep. Later that spring I was baptized into the church.
Peggy and I were married in June 1970 and started attending Old Union. After she was saved, we joined Old Union together and have tried to be faithful members since that time. It is my hope and prayer that this testimony will be a blessing to those who read it.
Danny Hayes
In an afternoon revival service when I was ten years old, they had just had the benediction, but people were still up front, praying. I was standing in the back of the house, leaning against the, end of one of the benches, watching everything. I wondered what it felt like to be separated from God. I had wondered this many times. I had even become very worried that I might be lost and not know it. When I wondered about it this time, however, God spoke to me for the first time. He let me know that I was lost and responsible for my sin. It felt like the world had been dropped on my chest. I was suddenly terrified. In one instant, I had become aware that I was away from God, that I was destined for hell, and that it was up to me and me alone to get this worked out with God. I did what a lot of people do in that situation. I got out of there.
That night, I went up for prayer with no results. I continued going up for prayer every time an invitation was given for ten years. I had a hard time praying at the altar. Many times I went up for prayer even when I didn’t feel like going, but I was easily distracted when I wanted to pray with all the activity around me. It wasn’t as if my soul’s condition wasn’t always on my mind, because it was. My one overriding thought was Jesus’ Second Coming and the end of time. Every time I was having a good time of one sort or another, the thought would come to me that if Jesus came back at that moment, the good times would really all be over. I can remember thinking, especially when I was having trouble of one kind or another, “If I was just saved, I wouldn’t have any worries at all.” I also had frequent nightmares in which I was going about my ordinary business when I would hear a loud trumpet and the earth would start quaking, at which I would wake up trembling and sweating, thanking God that it was just a dream.
One night in the spring when I was twenty, I was at home in Jed. I’m not sure if I had another of those dreams or not, but something woke me up. I really don’t remember much about it at all except for the relief. I can’t say how troubled I was, but I know I had been troubled for the past ten years almost all the time. I do remember when the trouble went away. It was like a great sigh of relief I after a great stress is over. I remember thinking, “I don’t have to worry anymore.” I then went back to sleep and dreamed that I was in a place with all of the saved people that I had known. Everyone was ‘ hugging me and rejoicing and I felt a true love and connection with them all.
During that summer revival, I continued to go up for prayer when invited, but the trouble was not there. Various things have, troubled me since that spring night, but not the same way I was be- fore I was saved. I have not had the same nightmares that I used to have. Most importantly, I have had many more experiences with God since that time. When I can get myself out of the way, He opens’ my eyes and blesses my soul greatly. He is a powerful, great and loving God.
Clifford Hayes
During the years of World War II, I lived with my mom and dad in Louisville, Kentucky. My dad worked in the defense industry at Jeffersonville Boat Works making LSTs for the Navy. He worked the third shift, from eleven 0′ clock at night until seven in the morning. This left him with little time for anything except sleeping, especially during the hours of church services. My mother and I attended 22nd and Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville’s west end.
One Sunday during the year that I was twelve, my mother wasn’t feeling well and I went to church with a friend of mine. This friend’s father was a student at the Baptist Seminary in Louisville. On the way to church, my friend told me he was going to join the church that day. While services were going on, he began to pressure me to join with him. This was the first time I had even thought about church membership and I had never had any thoughts concerning the condition of my soul. The pressure he put on me was intense for a twelve-year-old to withstand. He told me that if I joined the church, it would make my mother happy. However, I did withstand his persuading words, even though I was beginning to have a troubled feeling somewhere inside me.
After service was over I asked the pastor if I could talk to him about joining the church. Looking back over the years, I have realized that even in 1944 this was a church that had departed from the truth, if it had ever had it. In a Sunday school room, the pastor read me passages from the Bible and asked me if I believed the passages he had just read to me. I was like the young man in Matthew 19; I had been taught these things since I was a young child. Also like this young man, I didn’t know what to do to be saved, and that disciple of Satan who was reading scripture to me did not intend to give me the proper instructions. Instead, he told me if I knew those passages were true, I had been saved and could join the church. I went home and told my mother that I had been saved. She questioned me about the circumstances, then woke my dad “and told him. I remember their worried expressions and probing questions, but I was firm in my belief that I had been saved. Time has given me the insight to be cautious about what certain people say, but when I was twelve I had been taught to be respectful of adults and especially of those adults who were in authority. To me, as far as religious matters were concerned, that pastor was the authority and if he said I was saved, I was saved.
I was baptized and continued to attend church, content in the belief that I was a child of God. After the war, we moved back to Warren County and I moved my “membership” to Woodburn Baptist Church and later to Cave Springs Baptist Church in Logan County. While there I overheard people saying that I was an example of what a young Christian should be. When I heard that I became puffed up with pride. If I had known anything about God, I could have realized then there was something wrong with me.
One Sunday morning during the summer I was fifteen, the pastor, Brother Elmer Morris, was preaching to the church members. He took his text from the book of Jonah, and his subject was “Bro- ken Promises to God.” It was during that sermon that I came to the knowledge of sin. Even though the message was not directed to the lost, the word of truth will have its effect, and God made me realize I was lost.
I was so scared. The full knowledge of my sin, and knowing I had lived a lie for those years, placed a crushing burden of conviction upon me. As I sat there and felt all these emotions and the enormity of my sin, I became convinced that if I left that church building lost, I would never have another chance to be saved. There, on the seat next to the aisle, three benches from the front, on the right side of the building, I made my altar and God saved my soul. .
Remembering this now, I don’t know why I didn’t jump up and blurt out that I was saved. I had never before experienced such a feeling of elation and I haven’t since. But I kept this feeling inside me, because the old tempter was there beside me. He told me that if I told this, everyone would think I was a fool, because I had been telling them I had been saved for three years. So I remained quiet and kept this unspeakable joy to myself.
Years passed. I went through high school, spent four years in the Air Force, married, attended Western Kentucky University, and graduated from dental school. My “membership” was at Old Union and I had been teaching the senior high Sunday school class for a few years. I had been telling those young people that when the Lord saves a soul, that person is obligated by God’s command to join His church and be baptized. The fact that I had never done that weighed heavier and heavier on my heart. Finally, I could stand it no longer. During the summer revival I told of being saved when I was fifteen years old. Following that revival Brother Vanderpool baptized me in Drakes Creek and I was finally a member of the Lord’s church.
Martha Hayes
I grew up in Old Union Baptist Church and had been taught my life to seek my salvation from God the first moment I felt Him calling with me. However, when I first started feeling conviction I could go to the car and lay down. My mother would allow me to leave the building and go to the car. I was about twelve years old the first time I went to the altar. For a long time after I started going, I ‘as concerned about the way I looked, if my hair was done or how my dress was arranged while I sat there. When people passed by I could try to identify them by looking at their shoes.
The night the Lord saved me, I was not concerned with clothes >r shoes. I was praying as earnestly as I knew how. During those lays, the seekers would sit on the seat and lean with their arms on the top of the back of the pew with their heads cradled between their upper arms and forearms. Before that night was over, I was on my knees in the floor confessing my sinful state to God. Miss Georgia Meador bent over me and told me that I had tried every way in the world to save myself, and that I should now let God do it. At that instant God saved my soul, the burden lifted and I looked up at her and laughed.
Immediately, the Devil told me that I had laughed when I was supposed to be in mourning. I stayed on the altar until the next year’s revival, feeling no conviction at all. After my best friend, Seroba Board, told of her salvation, I publicly confessed what God had done for me. I was baptized into the fellowship of Old Union in 1950 by Brother W.R. Overton.
Pauline Hayes
When I was thirteen years old, I attended a revival meeting at our schoolhouse. I felt that I was lost. I went to the altar. I prayed and prayed, but still felt that I was lost. On the second night, my school- teacher came and prayed with me. Then she told me that I had prayed and done everything that I could, and when I stood and told that He I had saved me, I would get my blessing then. I loved and trusted her so I did as she told me. I then knew I had made a very bad mistake, but I never told anyone. Three years later, I was truly saved at a revival, at Middleton Baptist Church, in Simpson County.
It seemed I was still having a hard time and the Lord didn’t hear my prayer. I thought I had done everything I could.
But when I got to the place that I felt that I couldn’t live with the guilt and misery and fears. I would rather die, if I could just get saved first. Then a great peace came into my heart. There’s no way to explain it fully. I’m so glad it’s just between the Lord and me.
Virginia Hendricks
Our pastor was Brother Overton and the visiting pastor for the revival was Brother Vanderpool on the year I was saved. When Brother Vanderpool called for altar prayer, it was like someone pushed me up front. I wanted my husband, Clarence, to go with me to the altar. I wasn’t even thinking of my three small children. I went to the altar alone. I was praying and crying to the Lord to save my soul until about 10:30 that night – the Lord saved my soul. It was like a burden was lifted off of me and I felt like I wanted to float out of the church. If it wasn’t for Sister Margaret Board holding me down, I think I would have. I joined the church and was baptized at Massey Mill Bridge.
Mary Louise Herrington
This is a copy of my Christian experience written in 1993 at my sister’s request. It is rather lengthy and covers several years. It was so long ago. I asked the Lord to help me put this into words in a way the reader can “feel” what I was going through during those troubled years.
A revival was going on at the church we were attending. After Sunday school and preaching, altar was called. I was very innocent and had no idea what being lost meant. When I made no move to go to the altar, a friend came and told me the Devil was going to “get me.” I ran up as if he was really after me. A few tears, probably, but no remorse because I was not under conviction. I joined the church and was sprinkled. In my childish faith, for several years I truly believed the Devil wouldn’t “get me.”
I knew there must be a God and Jesus because there was always Bible reading and prayer in our home. In my mid-teens, we moved to Woodburn and started going to the Baptist church. By this time, I was beginning to wonder and doubt. In Sunday school and preaching I heard about baptism and being lost. I decided baptism was what was missing, so I joined the church and was baptized.
Thank the Lord we moved to the Old Union community. (I know God had a hand in this move.) We started going to Old Union. It is hard to describe the next few months. I know God was dealing with me, because I was getting more confused than ever. I was hearing testimony that I had never heard before. I would go up for Christian handshakes and feel very guilty, but I still wouldn’t talk about my doubts and confusion.
I remember going after church and trying to save myself, by telling the Lord that I accepted Him. Of course, nothing happened, just more confusion because I didn’t experience the joy and peace I heard Old Union people talk about.
The revival started in July for two weeks, afternoon and night. Several people went to the altar the first night, but I held back. I didn’t want to get caught in that “trap” again, and besides, I had already been sprinkled and baptized. I know now this was the Devil. I still hadn’t told anyone about my doubts, but people were praying for me. Monday or Tuesday I went to the altar. As the week went by, I was more and more miserable. By Saturday night I was so burdened that I was almost sick.
I went to Brother Stewart and told him how awful I felt. As I turned away, Mrs. Anna Nealy was waiting for me (I know God put her there).
Soon, glory, glory, that terrible burden lifted, my heavy stone heart melted and glorious, sweet peace swept over me! I joined this precious church in 1933. The peace and faith in our Lord has helped me through the “ups and downs” in this troubled world.
Cheryl Potter Hughes
As an eleven-year-old girl, I knew I was lost. It was obvious that God was dealing with me. For days I had been praying at home and church, asking for God’s help with my condition. I knew that I didn’t want to die and go to hell.
Then in September of 1969, I recall sitting on a church pew one Sunday morning, silently praying. I was still at a place that I knew I didn’t want to be – with such an uncomfortable burden. I continued to pray. Before very long, God lifted that burden and replaced it with a peace I’d never known before. I can only describe it as a relief and at the same time, a feeling of such JOY that God took me, this unworthy person, and saved my soul.
Jacob Hughes
When I was nine, I went with my grandparents to their revival service, on June 26, 2001, at Oak Forest Missionary Baptist Church. As we were singing “I’m Bound for that City,” I thought, “I’m not bound for that city,” and I felt a conviction in my heart. As we sang on, I felt the burden press down on me. I knew that I was lost and had to repent of my sins. As the conviction great stronger, I felt compelled to pray.
With tears in my eyes, I sat on the pew and began to seek the Lord for forgiveness. As I prayed, I could hear and feel the prayers and encouragement from all those around me. I prayed and prayed, for what seemed like eternity. Finally, I realized that I couldn’t do this on my own, and that only by putting my full trust in Him could I be saved. Once I came to terms with that, I felt like the burden had been lifted, and I knew I was saved. I sat up and everything was brighter. I looked around at all the people and my heart was filled with joy, to see all their smiling, rejoicing faces. I felt more alive at that moment than I had ever before. I felt at peace knowing that if I died, that I was bound for that city.
Keith M. Hughes
I was saved at Oak Forest Missionary Baptist Church in Allen County. It was during the summer revival services. At that time, we still had morning and evening services. The pastor was, Brother Johnny Meador and the helper that year was Brother Rodney Carter. After the song service, neither of the preachers had a sermon on his heart. Brother Curtis Davis was a member of Oak Forest at that time. He had been called to preach just a short time before. He felt a burden to preach that day. The sermon he delivered was about putting off salvation. I had been under conviction for a few years, but did not want to go to the altar. I had heard testimonies of people who had been saved at home, or in the car, or behind the barn. That was the way I wanted to be saved. Somewhere away from a crowd suited my disposition just fine. I would pray for salvation in bed at night, after revival services. The sermon that day made it plain to me that I should not put off’ seeking salvation. Some day would be my last chance, and no one knows for sure when the last opportunity to seek the Lord will be.
An altar call was given after the sermon. I did not go to the mourners’ bench. I’m sure everyone in church could see how miserable I was. When a congregational prayer was called for, one of the preaching brethren suggested any sinner could make an altar anywhere in the church building, or at home at any time. I had been trying to seek the Lord at my convenience in the place of my choice for years. As the congregation began to pray, I bowed my head on the bench in front of me and began to pray for salvation. Before the prayer ended God had granted me grace to believe.
I had expected salvation to be more of a physical or an emotional experience. The Devil had me doubting my salvation within seconds. I had peace in my soul. No more did I feel that Hell would be my home if I died. But Satan made me doubt that the peace in my heart was enough salvation. I remained bowed in my pew for the rest of the service. Satan did not have to make me doubt very much. I was shy and did not want to stand in front of everyone and tell my experience. I kept going to the altar at revival time for two or three years more. I kept searching and doubting if what I had was salvation.
One day-service when I was on the altar, an older cousin of mine came to the altar. I peeked over on the mourners’ bench to see who had come to the altar. When I saw it who it was, I began praying for him. I knew then that I was wasting my time looking for more than God had already given me. I did not go back to the altar any more. That night I told what God did for me that daytime service a few years before.