I was raised in a large denominational church; my brothers and dad drank often. I knew I did not want to follow in their footsteps early on in my life. I was always more God-conscious than they were, and wanting to be closer to God.
In my early teen years I knew my brothers were doing drugs or at least smoking pot, and I knew that path wasn’t for me. I remember a conversation with my brother about smoking pot. He told me if I ever wanted to try it, I should get a class-mate of mine who ironically lived across the alley from our church.
One Sunday night I was walking to the bowling alley where I bowled in a league; a friend of my parents owned it. We were getting together that night to discuss some things concerning the league. As I was getting close to our church, I remember a presence coming to me, but I really didn’t know what it was. Now I know, it was the Spirit of God drawing me. I remember walking around that church and telling God, “I don’t know if this is you or what, but I know there has to be more than what this church has to offer.”
Not sure exactly how much later, but probably a year or two, I met my wife and she was Pentecostal. I had never heard of it before. We started dating, and, I went to her church. I thought that the people were crazy, but at the same time I liked it. It wasn’t too long before I realized that I needed to be baptized like the Bible says in the name of Jesus Christ.
There was a time before we were married that my wife had to make a stand about going to every church service. I wasn’t on board with that yet, but she had to make a stand. That made me realize how important this really was to her; I had only been used to going to church once a week.
We were married before I received the Holy Ghost, but I was seeking it. It was on Father’s Day after our daughter was born that I received the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. What an awesome experience it was, and it still is 34 years later!
God has kept me from many things! Some people don’t believe it, but I have never been drunk, never smoked pot, or tried other drugs, but I was still lost and had to have my sins forgiven. God has truly been good to me over the years. He is always faithful, even when I am not.