I was born and grew up in the state of Michigan (Detroit suburbs), but moved to Denton, Texas, at the urging of a close friend, a great many years ago (1981). I have been married to my wife Betty for 34+ years, and we have six grown, dear children, plus three fine sons-in-law, and three delightful grandchildren- the latest less than a week old as I write!
As with most all truly born-again Christians, I would think, I love to tell the story of God’s supernatural, sovereign dealings/workings in my life to draw me savingly to Himself. In my case, however, this is inherently just a bit difficult simply because it happened so very far back: 42 1/2 years ago, when I was 18 and in the U.S. military. I’m blessed with a great memory and I remember a lot, but there are myriad details that I can only wish I still remembered. This of course is because I perceive my conversion/new birth to be the most important and most profound thing (by far) to have ever happened to me.
In December 1974 I was a lost and clueless (i.e., Gospel- and Bible-ignorant) Roman Catholic, when I heard the biblical Gospel for the very first time via, of all things, some open-air preachers in San Diego, CA. I was with two other Marines, and we had just finished watching some awful, wicked movies at a theater nearby. At that time I had just enough religion to salve my conscience and make me believe I was “good to go.” I must spare most of the details from that unforgettable evening in the interest of time and space here, but what I heard that night much disturbed me and began to rattle the small world I was then living in. I began, at least in a measure, to “understand the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 2:5).
About a month later (1/16/75), in a barracks for enlisted men at a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, my two born-again corporal roommates, clearly perceiving that the new private on board was distressed about his spiritual state, led me savingly, as I believe, to Christ. I had for the most part lived a life free from the more blatant, grotesque, and damaging sort of sins, but well realized by then-thanks to the open-air preachers in San Diego and now these roommates-that I was nonetheless a lustful, lost, and hell-deserving and hell-bound sinner. Oh the wonder of God’s sovereign grace to not leave me in that dreary, dismal, despairing state.
Approximately 9 1/2 years later, in 1984-and in God’s providence for 2 1/2 years under the teaching of much more God-exalting theology than in my first seven years in the faith-I first got involved in street evangelism. About 25 years after this (or about 8-9 years ago), I began to partake in much of the same in many other cities around the USA, and in a number of other countries. I would love to share the details about all of this, but fear that this is already becoming too long! To God be the glory for evermore for “the Lamb of God” Who cleanses, and justifies, from sin.