A significant feature at this year’s convention was the great stories told by the speakers in hopes of encouraging others to “tell your story.” Last week we shared a few. Here are four more:
For Corey Abney, pastor of Florence Baptist Church and chair of the Committee on Resolutions, a youth minister helped answer his questions.
Raised in Dayton, Ohio, Abney said he was “in and out of church.” At age 15, though, he called his student pastor with a question that any minister would love to hear. “I’ll come right over,” the youth minister responded.
“That meant a lot to me,” Abney said, and the following night he gave his life to Christ. Soon after, God began working in his family, and Abney shared his faith for the first time with His brother.
“It was so effective he was weeping at dining room table-not in repentance, but anger,” Abney recollected. “Well, I’m a failure,” he thought. Yet, on the way to a ball game days later, his dad announced that his brother and grandfather had received Christ. They were all baptized on the same day.
For Jeff Pennington, a staff member of Buck Run Baptist Church and chair of the Committee on Committees, an unrestful spirit kept him awake.
“I was blessed to grow up in a home where mom and dad both loved the Lord with all their hearts,” Pennington began, adding that some Sunday School teachers and church training workers also had “poured their lives” into him.
As a 7 year old, one night he couldn’t sleep. “I really think the Lord was calling out to me, sort of in the same way as Samuel was being called out to when he went to Eli,” Pennington said, recalling how his dad had shared the gospel with him the next day.
“I am so thankful for godly parents who set an example and who were there for me to clearly explain the gospel when I needed to hear it,” he said.
For Nick Sandefur, a regional correspondent for the KBC and chair of the Committee on Nominations, an elderly couple brought him to church.
Though he was blessed with good parents and never doubted he was loved, Sandefur sensed something was missing. “A spiritual foundation just wasn’t there,” he said, explaining that God was never talked about much.
“I know we went (to church) on Easter a couple of times because I’ve got the pictures to prove it,” he said. “I heard Jesus’ name a couple of times, but usually after I’d done something wrong.”
Then an elderly couple reached out to “a young man who was more trouble than he was worth,” and they started taking Sandefur to Cash Creek Baptist Church in Henderson. Two years later, as a 12-year old, the gospel took root. He had tried hard to fix things by making good grades, playing sports, and even obeying his parents, but knew something was still amiss.
“One day, God grabbed hold of my heart and convinced me of my need for Him,” Sandefur said. “What I didn’t realize is, Christ did for me what I could not do for myself. He broke the chain of sin. He gave me new life.”
The events of his life haven’t been that much different from anyone else’s, he acknowledged. “But since that day I trusted Christ, I’ve never doubted that He loved me, that He is with me, that He is going to take care of me when this life is over.”
For Steve Weaver, pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort and chair of the Committee on Public Affairs, a message on hell scared him so bad as a 5 or 6 year old that it sent him to the altar, but he wasn’t truly converted, he said.
Years later, as a teenager, after living with a sense of guilt and wondering if he was good enough to go to heaven, God opened his eyes, Weaver said. “He allowed me to see the truth that the righteousness that God requires, He freely gives to those who believe,” he explained.
“I’ve never gotten over the wonder of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, because of the work of Jesus Christ alone,” he said.
Now it’s your turn! What’s your story? The most significant story for someone will be the one you share about how Christ has changed your life. Visit www.tellyourstory.today.