Carl C.’s Story

Ash Wednesday HD_variant3 (Custom)What was your life like before you met Christ? * I was raised in a Christian hime, son of a minister and grandson of a minister so I tell people I have been in church for x years plus 9 months. I was taught about Christ from the beginning and when I was 7, during VBS at West End Mission, I went forward because “I wanted to be a Christian”.

However that was a head decision, not a heart decision. The church people thought my parents had shared how to become a Christian and my parents thought the church people had done so when in reality no one had. I was baptized in First Baptist Church Athens but in reality it was simply a dunking because I had not asked Jesus into my heart and the only difference in my life was that I had gotten wet in front of the church. For over 20 years, I did all of the things I thought a Christian should be doing. I became a “minister” serving as a Minister of Music and Youth minister in various churches in the south. However, I did not have peace in my life and I was constantly under conviction regarding my spiritual condition.

How did you come to Christ? * In the ’60s and 70s, Lay led revivals were a popular evangelical movement using the “Four Spiritual Laws” as the primary tool for sharing the message of Christ. While participating in one of these revivals in Orlando, FL, I realized that I had never asked Christ to be my Savior and immediately did so. However Satan continued to work on me by convincing me that I could not tell the church that I had not been a Christian during those years I had served them as a minister and I should just keep this as a secret between me and God. Another 10 years went by while I continued to serve as a minister and was elected as a deacon in the church. I continued to serve God and was living a better life as a true Christian but still did not have the true “Joy of my Salvation” All too often I was convicted by the scripture where Jesus tells us if we deny Him before Men, He will deny us before the Father! In 1975, in another Lay revival in Marlington, WV, I came to grips with the fact that I needed to make my life situation public and come before the church to acknowledged my salvation. Upon returning home, I shared this testimony with the church and was truly baptized here in First Baptist Church, Athens.

What is your life like now in Christ? * Since accepting Christ, but especially since acknowledging my life situation, I have had true peace and joy in my salvation. I have had a good life and have had the joy of serving God in many ways. I have continued to serve as a minister and seen God work in my life in many ways. I still have had times, as does everyone, of difficulty because we all have sin in our lives but Christ gives us strength to live for him in all areas and continues to forgive us of our shortcomings. I have grown in Christ and have the assurance that my salvation is sure and Christ is my Lord and Savior. This is a wonderful feeling and I know true peace and truly enjoy spending time in His word and with other Christians, especially my church family.

Any additional comments? I suspect that there are others in our churches that are like I was for several years in that they have made a head decision and not a heart decision. They are playing the game of Christianity and have not given their heart truly to Christ. They may be doing as I did in that they are trying their best to live a Christian life but continue to fall short and have no joy in their lives. I want to encourage them to come to Christ and give Him your heart and let Him be your Savior and Lord.