How I Became a ChristianI was born in Mt. Zion (Indiana), but that did not make a Christian of me!My conversion took place a few months after I graduated from high school, and two weeks before I turned eighteen years old. On November 8, 1952, I was saved after viewing the Billy Graham film “Oil Town USA.” For several days previous, I had been under conviction while working in the fields, combining beans. I had considered stopping the tractor and praying to God to save me, but I did not.
Soon after, our church youth group went to a Wesleyan Methodist church near Bluffton, Indiana, to view the film. At the end of the film, those who wanted to give their life to Christ were asked to come to the front of the sanctuary to pray. During that invitation, a woman standing near me saw my hesitation and asked if I wanted to go forward. That gave me the needed courage to make a public commitment. I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and be my Lord.
The same night Dick and Sharon, life-long friends of mine, met the Savior. The next night, the rest of our church youth group went to see the film and one of my sisters was saved, as well as others.
Before I gave my life to Christ, my English teacher, Mr. Biberstine, predicted I would never go to college. Had I not been saved, he might have been right. I had not taken my high school studies seriously and my grades showed it. But God enabled me to not only go to college, but to successfully complete three majors: math, chemistry and French. My thought was to get all the education I could for my money.
I was baptized in the Poneto Methodist Church where my family attended. The pastor took a rose, dipped it into a bowl of water, and sprinkled my head. Accepting that method as a true baptism, I never chose subsequently to be immersed.
I felt called to be a missionary even before my baptism. That call was not fulfilled, however, until I had completed college, two years in the U.S. Army, and six years of teaching high school and college. Mr. Biberstine—and his son—now attend a church in Bluffton which supports me and my family in our ministry with Wycliffe.
Here are my favorite hymns.
Click on the CyberHymnal site to hear them!
Wonderful Grace of Jesus
A Mighty Fortress is our God
There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
And Can it Be
Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone
Take Time to be Holy