I came under conviction around the age of eleven. God made me to know at that time I was lost. I spent several years going to the altar watching all my friends get saved and taking part in the services, but I just couldn’t seem to get where I needed to be. I stayed lost until my early twenties. At the age of 24, I had been to a church in Memphis, Tn. I got under heavy conviction that night and left the church trying to get home. The tears were so heavy, I’m not sure how I made it home. I made it into my bedroom and began to pray harder. The burden got heavier so I called my brother. I told him that I was under heavy conviction and asked him to come over to pray with me. He told me he would pray for me, but he would not come over. I hung the phone up, being angry and burdened. I had nothing left in this world to turn to. I got back on my knees to pray and somehow landed on my back praying with everything I had in me. I told God, “I don’t know what you want from me, I don’t know what to do. Here I am, just take me.” At that point in time, when I had no earthly thing to hold on to, God saved me as quick as the snap of the finger. The lights in the room were so bright and that 10 year old green carpet was the color of new spring grass. The burden was gone!
I didn’t tell anyone what happened for a long time. As time went on the devil was working on me double time. God wanted me to join Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, in Memphis, Tn. I began running from God at this time with all I had. I would work all day and at night I turned to alcohol and drugs to keep my mind off of God. This continued six years.
My father was diagnosed with Cancer in 1979. God was trying to break down my old stony heart, but I had learned to block things out. I had been sitting up with my father at the VA Hospital in Memphis on Saturday (of the Labor Day weekend). After leaving the hospital, I arrived home and received a phone call telling me that my 8 year old daughter had been kidnapped. Late the next afternoon they found her body. When we got the news, I went to the location where they had found her and identified her body. Then we returned to the place where we were staying. I went off by myself at the edge of the woods and began praying to God in anger, saying “What kind of a God are you to take an eight year old girl? How could you let this man kidnap, rape and kill her?” I have always heard people in church talking about that ‘still, small voice’. That day God said to me in that ‘voice’ “If you had been doing what you should have been doing for the past six years, maybe I would not have allowed this to happen.”
Brethren, my prayer changed from anger to humility, asking God for forgiveness. After this I joined Landmark Church. I have tried to do what God has led me to do since that time. I still have my shortcomings, but I thank God for my brother telling me he would pray for me, but would not come. At that point, I had nothing of this world to cling to, it was just me and God.
Call to Preach
March 26, 1995
On March 26, 1995, my mother, my brother and I went to Pleasant Ridge Missionary Baptist Church in Camden, Tn. for morning services. This is the church I grew up in. My heart was filled with the Spirit of God before I even entered the building. This was the first time in over 30 years that my brother and I had been in this church together. We sat down close to the front of the church and as they selected the song, I realized that I didn’t have my reading glasses. I closed my song book and began to listen to the words, it was a new song to me. As I listened, that ‘still, small voice’ said to me, “You must preach my word.” I first felt it in my heart and then the words came to my mind.
At this point, I tried to make excuses as to why I might have felt this way. I told myself. “this is just because of my seeing everyone in the church that I haven’t seen in years.” The whole day, I was on what I would call a Spiritual high. I returned to Sunday night services and God was still telling me to preach His word. At this point, I began making excuses for why I couldn’t do this. For every reason that I gave God saying, “I can’t,” God gave me a reason why I could. I argued with God for 4 days, without sleep or rest.
We had gone to Louisville, Ky. to visit friends. We left Louisville that Wednesday, for Nashville to attend services at Gateway Missionary Baptist church. God told me to tell these people of my calling. In route to Nashville, I told my wife what God had laid on my heart hoping she would give me some reason to tell God why I couldn’t preach. She didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, she only confirmed what God was telling me. I fought God all the way, till the end of the services at Gateway, and I mean to the VERY end. But God made me tell my calling that night. I learned my lesson from my previous running, to dare not run from this calling and to FEAR GOD!