Linda and I met in the neighborhood of October 1975 and married in May 1979. During that time I attended college in Jacksonville, Texas – 80 miles away.
I would come home every weekend to see her and attend my home church.
Many things happened between those years.
First I joined a church.
I remember sitting on the front row next to Albert Murray. Albert was probably in his 60’s or 70’s at that time.
When the pastor gave the invitation I asked Albert if this was when one would go forward to join the church.
Albert told me that I needed to know Jesus as my Savior. Then he asked point blank, “Do you know Jesus and the forgiveness of your sins?”
I told him that I did; that I had accepted Jesus earlier in the year.
I went forward that morning and was baptized in water on December 6, 1975.
Now that I was in a church I began learning. I had some great mentors around me, well versed in Baptist doctrine.
It wasn’t too long before the Sunday school superintendent began asking several of us “boys” to do devotion before class.
When it became my turn I was mesmerized by how I felt in front of a crowd while reading and speaking about God’s word.
I was hooked; and I was asked to do it again.
One day the pastor approached me and said, “I believe God is calling you to preach!”
I honestly thought he’d lost it. At the time it was one of the most ridiculous things I had ever heard. Reading and speaking about God’s word was far different than all the other duties of a pastor.
But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus… Gal 1:15-16
I told the church that I felt God calling me into the preaching/teaching/pastorate on Sunday, April 18, 1976. In case you don’t know what day that was; it was Easter Sunday that year.
I was a few weeks away from being 19 years old.
Like Saul (Paul) immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” Acts 9:20
I wanted to preach and share the message of Jesus.
I still do!