I was born in Jackson, Tennessee and grew up in the small community of Bemis,
a cotton mill town. There wasn't a lot of emphasis on spiritual life in our
family at that time, except that my Mother insisted that my sister and I attend Sunday School on Sunday else we would not be allowed to take part in
the fun activities available in Bemis. Sometimes we went to the Baptist church and for a while the Methodist church as they were within walking
distance of our home.. There was a Pentecostal church a little farther away
and once I recall my Dad walking a friend and me to a children's revival there. At the close of that service, I remember feeling a desire to go pray
but since I was unfamiliar with the church and most of the people, I was intimidated. I told my friend, Peggy, that I would go pray if she would. She
declined. I've often wondered how the course of my life might have been
changed if my Dad had encouraged me to pray at that time.
My sister, who was older than I, knew the daughter of the Pentecostal pastor
and as a teen-ager she began attending the Sunday School. I decided to join
her, but only if I was allowed to be in the same class, and permission was
granted. Over the years I was privileged to have several godly women who taught me. But I almost always left the church after the Sunday School class
was dismissed. One Sunday we were told that a group from a Bible college
would be featured in the morning service and I decided to stay for church. I
went home from that service more aware that I needed to make my life right
with God. During the afternoon I tried to wash off all the makeup I had on,
in fact I wanted to be so clean I actually rubbed the skin off my lips trying
to remove the lipstick. The people were surprised but pleased when I returned
for service that night. I hardly remember what took place during the service,
I was only aware of wanting to pray. I wept during the service and could hardly wait until the opportunity to pray was given at the end of the
service. I repented and my pastor baptized me in Jesus name. Later I received
the baptism of the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues.
My life really changed. Although I didn't think I was doing anything unusual
until my pastor called attention to it, I took my Bible with me to work and
always left it on my desk for I wanted to read it when I had free time.
Apparently no one in the office, including my boss, was offended by the sight
of the Bible.
I'm very thankful that I had a second opportunity to make the life-changing
decision to live for God.