“Reason Led Me to the Bible; the Bible Led Me to CHRIST”
by Carl Woodbury
With the prayer that it will be of some encouragement and profit to you who read it, I am going to recount for you my testimony. I preached nine years before I was saved; and, after the experiences as a worldling, a mystic, a new-orthodoxer and a modernist, I became a fundamentalist. I turned away from all man-made schemes and came as a helpless and ruined sinner to the cross of the Saviour of the world.
Candidly, I must state that I once regarded the despised fundamentals as bigots and ignoramuses. But from the day that the Gospel they preach saved me and did for me what other experiences could not do, I have had, and do now have, a deep and abiding affection for them.
Had it not been for their courage in standing for the Christianity of the Bible, I would not be a Christian today. In reflecting on all this, I have something of the feeling of the psalmist:
“I believed, therefore I have spoken.”
“What shall I render unto the LORD for all
his benefits toward me?
“I will take the cup of salvation,
and call upon the name of the LORD.
“I will pay my vows unto the LORD now
in the presence of all his people”
Psalm 116:10, 12-14.
I was born in Morganton, North Carolina, on February 5, 1922. My father, a merchant, was a Yankee from New Hampshire. He was the grandson of a Unitarian minister and the son of a shoe manufacturer.
My mother, an “unreconstructed” rebel of North Carolina, was the daughter of [Pastor] Francis Freeman. He was an old-fashioned missionary Baptist minister who rode the mountain trails preaching the Gospel and establishing Southern Baptist churches.
The atmosphere of my home stimulated my interest in men and events.
My basic trouble as I was growing up was self-righteousness. It was a common thing for me to be referred to as a “good boy” by visiting relatives and ministers. “Someday he is going to be a fine preacher like his Grandfather Freeman.” And of course my dear mother wanted me to be a preacher.
She often related how GOD preserved my life during an early and serious illness and had assured her that He had a purpose for my life. (I see now that He did.) I grew up at my mother’s knees hearing Bible stories.
The church in which I grew up was socially and financially prominent, and some of the most gifted ministers in the Southern Baptist Convention had preached from its pulpit. They preached the love of GOD, and they exalted the cross. But specific sins were not dealt with, and GOD’s wrath and the eternal punishment of the wicked were seldom mentioned.
I grew up accepting all that was written and said about the “traditional” JESUS. But I had no conviction that I was a guilty sinner and had to be born again. Prior to 1955, I hardly had a thought of being a sinner in need of salvation.
During an annual protracted meeting, I told my mother that I wished to be baptized and unite with the church. I had been listening attentively to the minister’s preaching, and one reason why I had was that he told many interesting stories.
My mother asked me why I wished to be baptized and unite with the church. I said, “Because I love JESUS.” But her countenance was troubled. (Later, I learned that it was because she had not seen any evidence in me of genuine conviction for sin.)
My mother called the minister and they made an appointment with him for me. He met me in the annex of the church. He asked me if I believed that JESUS was the Son of GOD, If I believed that He had died for my sins, if I confess Him as my Saviour, if I would follow Him in baptism. To all of these I gave verbal assent without putting my trust in CHRIST JESUS.
Therefore, with all due respect to the minister, I remained unconverted – after having done all that he told me to do. The truth was, my profession of faith was a false profession. I was not dishonest; I was deceived – not by the minister, but by the devil.
Following my “conversion,” I attended all the services in the church, including Wednesday night choir practice and the Boy Scout meetings. And since our church made no issue of them, I also attended the theater, danced and played cards. Why not? The town’s first drive-in theater was built by one of our deacons.
Another deacon operated a mountain beach which provided a dance hall. And the bridge club members were among the most faithful teachers and officers in the church. My position was that if a man didn’t drink, gamble or commit adultery, he was a Christian. I wasn’t too good to do any of these; I was too proud.
Courtship and Marriage
After dating girls in the adjacent towns and communities, I fell in love with a hometown girl, Ruth Lane. At the time she, like me, was worldly and lost. Brought up in the Methodist church, she later united with our church. She laughed if the preacher said anything about sin, but she was faithful in doing her part to carry out the church “program.”
We were well matched. After a year of courtship we were married in 1941.
In 1943, I went into the military service. I served with the navy, attached to the Third Marine Division in the South Pacific. Of course, we had chaplains, but their ministry didn’t impress me one way or the other.
“Called” to the Ministry
World War II ended: The troop ship moved out from the harbor of Guam and headed for “the good ole USA.” Time was cheap; therefore, I accepted the invitation of a young marine to attend a night prayer service, which was scheduled after the movies. He tried to explain to me how I could live a sanctified life. He finally gave it up as a hopeless job.
But one thing did happen: his talk revived my religious interest. I began to think about the ministry – as I had often done. When I reached the United States, I would have to make a definite decision about my life’s work.
I wanted to go into the clothing business with my father. But it seemed to me that my assurance of Heaven depended upon my willingness to preach.
One night, after a navy friend and I had gone to the movies, to the prayer service and were finishing off the evening with a card game, GOD seemed to say to me, “Carl, I want you to preach.”
This impression came to me on several successive nights – after the prayer service, while I was playing cards. On the third night, my “answer” was: “I shall be a Christian businessman” – with the emphasis on the “Christian.”
But the impression remained: “I want you to preach.”
And then I began thinking about college and the seminary. Turning to my card partner, I asked, “How much will the government pay a GI if he goes to school?”
After telling me how much it was, he wanted to know why I had asked the question, “I am thinking about studying for the ministry.”
Dropping the deck of cards, he exclaimed, “Carl, you are not fit to preach!”
Back at home, I decided that I would preach and that I would go to Mars Hill College. My partner was right: I was not fit to preach.
But I had several months on my hands before college opened in the fall. This meant that I had time to make some money and to get to work fitting myself into my new role as a preacher.
Satan gave me a good hand. Some churches sponsored a “preacher’s school.” The teacher was a noted mystic. For years a professor of philosophy of a Southern Baptist college, he had resigned to go on a “quest for the truth.” This “quest” led him into all types of churches and groups. He ran the gamut of organized and unorganized confusion and being confused.
Finally, he came up with a spectacular vision of what he called the glorified Christ, a theological thesis that collaborates thought from Plato (together with recent philosophers) and mysticism of all ages to Christian Science, Pentecostalism and Baptists. Since no religion is wholly false, this teacher quoted Scripture; and he constantly talked of Jesus.
Since I was going to be a preacher, this preachers’ school was just what I was looking for. Almost everyone was enamored with the man’s teaching. The school lasted two weeks. I laid aside everything and concentrated on getting his experience. I prayed his prayer: “Jesus, come into my body. Push out all evil. Become flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, blood of my blood. Be my all in all. Amen.”
After keeping this up for several days, I had a mystical experience. Being mystical cannot be explained. Although the experiences are real to the mystic, they are unscriptural and devilish. It sounds good, but it is “another gospel: Which is not another” (Galatians 1:6, 7).
At the same time, a preacher gave me a book designed to instruct Christians on how to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. I knew nothing, of course, of the Bible’s teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Satan was providing for me. Lost religious people are like untrained dogs: they will chase anything that moves. I started my chase out of necessity. I had to preach. But now, I was enjoying it.
Experience followed upon experience. I was equipped. Satan had blinded me from birth, churched me, called me; and now he had energized me with his experience of mysticism and “baptism of the spirit.”
I had announced that I was called to preach. I received invitations. I preached enthusiastically. What did I preach? I preached Jesus. I boasted about my experiences and how close Jesus was to me.
And all the time I was lost.
Why I Know It
I know now that all of these experiences were of the Devil. I know it because they destroyed the authority of the written Scriptures. The written Scriptures are the test, the sole rule of faith and practice.
One day I had a vision. I believed that I saw the face of Jesus. I believed that I saw Him on the cross. “Liquid love” flowed through my body. From that instant I became a pacifist and a one-worlder. I was all for union – of everything and everybody.
I didn’t get this from the Bible; I got it from my mysticism, from my vision. True, I used the Bible when I preached – but only as a peg for my own thoughts.
I fooled people by using the Bible and talking about Jesus.
Mysticism and asceticism are twins. I didn’t neglect my body, but I did withdraw from many things, good and bad. My separation was the separation was the separation of a Pharisee, not that of a true disciple of the CHRIST of the Bible.
My “holiness” was different from that of most people; it was “holier than thou.” I had received a mystical “union with Jesus.” I have been “baptized in the spirit.” I had “seen Jesus face to face.”
The truth was that I had not even been saved.
My wife was having a struggle. To begin with, she had no sympathy with my being a minister, GOD’s or the devil’s. Her mother told her frankly that GOD didn’t call men like me to preach.
But in spite of everything, my dear wife, realizing that I meant to go on, yielded. In desperation, at my urging, she prayed the mystic’s model prayer and then tried to walk with me.
In the fall of 1946 my wife, daughter and I were settled in the hills of North Carolina – at Mars Hill College. It was there that I became a modernist. My mother had attended this school. It was known among Southern Baptists as one of the most conservative colleges in the Convention.
Dr. R. L. Moore (a friend of my family for many years) had retired as president. A new day had begun. Modernists had infiltrated, and supposedly fundamental professors who had been on the faculty for many years began to speak blasphemy.
A pronounced modernist was pastor of Mars Hill (town and college) Baptist Church. He was a graduate of Wake Forest College and Crozer Theological Seminary. He and I became warm friends. I went to him with all my questions. He answered all of them – at the expense of all the basic doctrine historic Christianity.
A member of the faculty, a friend of the families of both my wife and me, spent several hours in my home – helping me to deny the virgin birth. Another faculty member became enthralled with Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
I was president of the ministerial conference one year while I was a Mars Hill. I made an address at one of the meetings, in which I delivered myself as follows:
Abraham and Moses were in the chains of ignorance and heathenism; David and others to a less extent. The disciples of Jesus broke many of these chains; but we, today, in this enlightened age, ought to stand on their shoulders and write NEW SCRIPTURE and not be bound to any Book of the past.
The following Sunday the Mars Hill pastor quoted me in his sermon – with enthusiastic praise! A faculty member met me in the vestibule of the church on that Sunday and complimented me highly.
There were two professors present the night that I delivered the blasphemous message. They both complimented me highly. The only objection one of them had to it concerned an error in pronunciation.
Incidentally, I once asked the professor – for who I personally had a warm regard – if the substitutionary death of CHRIST was necessary for the doctrine of atonement. He replied, “The entire life of Jesus was an atonement.” Thank GOD, I later learned that “without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Evolution, of course, was taught in the science textbooks. I studied it and believed it. Nothing was ever said against it.
I was recommended to the associational missionary for a pastorate. As a result, I became supply pastor at Madison Seminary Baptist Church. I did not preach my modernist beliefs. I used the Scriptures, but I never preached positively.
I often used the new Revised Standard Version of the New Testament (the Old Testament had not yet come off the press). Of course, I do not use that corrupted version now.
The people came to church hungry and they went away hungry. I gave them just enough to keep them coming back. “A blind hog will pick up an acorn now and then.”
I believed ‘the hidden things of dishonesty . . . walked in craftiness . . . handled the Word of God deceitfully . . . and the Gospel was hid to those who were lost’ (II Corinthians 4:1-4).
At Wake Forest College
I was happy. My new life of mysticism, modernism, evolution and “modern enlightenment” in general thrilled me. When I arrived on the campus of Wake Forest College, I needed a little brushing up to feel at home there. Mysticism had destroyed the authority of the Bible. Mysticism had “explained away” all the miracles.
Word preceded me at Wake Forest that I was a progressive and was deserving of cultivation. This meant that they didn’t have to talk to me with reserve. Meantime, I knew that Wake Forest was modernistic; that’s the reason I went there. I didn’t go to study the Bible.
When I graduated, I had a double major in Greek and English and minors in philosophy, psychology and history.
I shall always be grateful for the course in philosophy. It was a turning point. In my study I discovered that all philosophers died; that new men rehashed their thoughts, adding and taking away; and then they died.
And yet, after several thousand years of this process, man had been unable to know GOD through human reasoning. It made a profound impression on my mind.
I began to read the Bible afresh. I learned that the Bible declared itself to be the Word of GOD and that it could not be destroyed. These truths began to impress themselves on my mind. It was at this point that I moved to the neo-orthodox position; that is, that the Bible contains the Word of God.
Meanwhile, I was a pacifist. I condemned the protection of democracy and individual life. I rejected all the Scriptures that justified war or the death penalty. My God was “a God of love.”
I was asked to resign as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, near Wake Forest[.] . . . Things began to come to a head for me. I was carrying a full load of school work, completing the structure of my house, operating a dry cleaning route at night, “preaching” every Sunday, and fight GOD and society.
I almost collapsed. The doctor told me that my trouble was outside his field. But I didn’t collapse. I pulled myself together and went on with my work.
Wake Forest was steeped in modernism. One professor said in class that the teachings of Jesus could be understood by the smallest child until the first theologian, the apostle Paul, confused them. “And now,” he went on, “one cannot understand them with all the dictionaries and commentaries in the world at hand.” The college chaplain was visiting the classroom that day and heard the statement.
I later asked some advice from the college chaplain concerning modernism. He put his feet on his desk, lit a cigarette and said, “Now the thing for you to do, is to settle down, study and keep your mouth shut.”
One professor openly denied the Trinity in class. Another member of the faculty told me that he had a friend in New York, a Jewish rabbi, who loved Jesus Christ as much as I or any other Christian. This same professor told me that I ought to join up with the fundamentalists.
This was the best advice I got while at Wake Forest.
Wake Forest’s apostasy and the coarse results and fruits of that apostasy are of course now well known. I saw much of it first-hand.
One of the athletic coaches was a violent blasphemer. One summer a dormitory was constructed for football players; the work went on seven days a week, even during church hours – within hearing distance of the church.
Drinking and poker were common. Boys and girls were permitted to smoke in most of the classrooms. There was nearly always a card game going on in the college soda shop.
While I was a student at Wake Forest I was ordained to the ministry by the First Baptist Church of Morganton, North Carolina. When I was asked for the experience of my conversion, I frankly admitted that I had not had a definite experience of conversion.
I was then asked, “How do you know that you will go to Heaven?”
I replied: “I would be willing to go to Hell with what I have.” (Five years later, when the Holy Spirit convicted me that I was going to Hell, I changed my mind.)
I came to the end of my career at Wake Forest – a lost sinner, ordained to the ministry, confused by mysticism, disgusted with modernism, resting a little in neo-orthodoxy, and waiting for a train to Chester, Pennsylvania where I was to enter Crozer Theological Seminary.
One of the Wake Forest faculty members had recommended me to Crozer. I appreciated the fact that Dr. Blanton of Crozer invited me to his home and gave me a personal invitation to Crozer. He offered to send a truck for my household goods.
But I declined his generous offer; I paid my own transportation, and I returned all scholarship checks. I was getting suspicious of modernism; and if I decided to leave it, I didn’t want to owe it anything. I went to Crozer to discover if modernism had an element of truth in it.
Crozer, of course, is an American Baptist institution. There they at least deserve credit for not trying to conceal their modernism. In orientation, one of the professors said, “You students think that you are liberal. You will discover that you are only a light pink.”
The New Testament professor, who was the chairman of the deacons in his church, openly denied the deity of CHRIST. In the New Testament class we had a Jewish dentist. The understanding of the students was that his wife, who was a Christian, had died and before her death had requested her husband to study in a Christian school.
One day our professor said, “Now Dr. __ there is a Hebrew. His religion is Judaism. I am a Christian. My religion is Christianity. I would not want to see Dr. __ become a Christian. No one ought ever to change his religion.”
Another professor openly and vehemently denied that JESUS CHRIST was the Son of GOD; and he tried to convince the class that Paul never believed that CHRIST was the Son of GOD.
Another professor forbade any student to use the name JESUS in practice speeches. “Sunday is enough for religion. I like a vacation.”
The professor of ethics was lecturing on neo-orthodoxy. I was amazed at the flow of fundamental terms. At the end of the class period, I asked him, “Do Brunner, Barth, Niebuhr and others of the neo-orthodox school mean literally their fundamental terminology?”
He said, “No.”
I asked, “Do you?”
He said, “No, it is only scaffold to hold your thoughts.”
The truth struck me with great force: The neo-orthodoxy (which means new orthodoxy) is not a new orthodoxy; it is a new cloak for the old deceptive modernism.
Here I had another turning point. In theology, I chose to write a paper on “Revelation, as Related to Mysticism, Catholicism, Fundamentalism, Modernism and Neo-orthodoxy.”
I was shocked to discover, through the research I made for the paper, that fundamentalism claims are only reasonable, dependable basis for revelation; that is, the Bible as the Word of GOD.
At the time, I was a student assistant to the pastor of First Baptist Church in Camden, New Jersey. When one day I told the pastor that he was a Unitarian, he nodded assent.
The faculty ridiculed the independent Baptist preachers in Chester. This interested me in them. I became acquainted with Pastor Bronson of North Chester Baptist Church, and with Pastor Merle Winters of the Baptist Temple. I found them to be men who loved the Bible and preached it with inspiring results.
In my confusion, I began to reason, “If GOD is love, and if GOD says, Come, let Us reason together, there must be one source of authority on theology to lead me out of this terrible mental and spiritual state.”
I came to the conclusion that the answer was that the Bible is GOD’s Word – every word of it. When I came to this conclusion, I found myself the last thing I had ever wanted to be, the last thing I had ever thought of being – a fundamentalist.
I had always believed that fundamentalism was for emotional people, not for people who studied, not for people who analyzed. It certainly wasn’t true in my case. The truth drove me to fundamentalism.
A True Conversion
After I came to accept the Bible as the Word of GOD, in November 1951, I informed the authorities that I was leaving Crozer. My father telephoned me and said, “Carl, please stay in school. I will send you all the money you need.”
I said, “I am making $100 a week (at the Lime Hamilton Corporation, at Eddystone, Pennsylvania). It is not a question of money. I am through.”
Reason drove me to the Bible, and the Bible led me to CHRIST. In three years I was saved, and in the following way:
One of my hometown churches extended me a call to become its pastor. The invitation came by telegram. The church was in trouble and needed help. The members knew me and knew my character.
When the time came for the special revival services, I sought for a fundamentalist preacher to help me. Pastor Ed Miller of Hickory, North Carolina was being persecuted for his stand for GOD’s Word. I invited him to help us.
It seemed to me that all he preached on for two weeks was, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He kept hammering away on that. I couldn’t get away from it..
I began to search the Scriptures. I discovered that the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of CHRIST for sinners runs like a scarlet thread from Genesis to Revelation.
My mother came to my help. Through the years she had given me many fundamental, premillennial books and tracts. I had always thought that I was too smart to read them. But now I began to compare their teachings with the Scriptures. At the same time, somebody (I have never known who) sent me a subscription to the SWORD OF THE LORD.
The books and tracts my mother had given me and the sermons in the SWORD OF THE LORD and the study I was doing in the Bible gradually led me along the road that led me to the cross.
I tried to preach the Gospel. Sometimes I succeeded reasonably well when I followed the outline of one who knew it. At other times I couldn’t keep near the truth. I tried at times to tell the congregation how I became a “Christian” but usually wound up saying, “I have had so many experiences that I don’t know just when I was saved.”
I was convinced of definite things by the Word of GOD. I tried to be intellectually honest with the Bible. I was convinced that there was a simple plan of salvation. I believed on the finished work of CHRIST on the cross, in man’s justification solely through CHRIST, in the necessity of man’s hearing the Gospel, in the necessity of man’s believing the Gospel.
I believed that there was but one Gospel. I believed that all who heard the Gospel could be saved if they would believe it and accept it.
A Woman of Prayer
While I was pastor of Clear Creek Baptist Church, near Charlotte, North Carolina, I met Mrs. Addie Baucom Brooks, who lived in a nursing home in Waxhaw, North Carolina. She had suffered with arthritis for many years. She had read her Bible through thirty times. She was a woman of powerful intercessory prayer.
I asked Mrs. Brooks if she would take my case to GOD and pray until something happened. I told her, “There is something wrong. I am terribly burdened; perhaps I should go to the mission field. I don’t know what the trouble is.”
She promised me that, by GOD’s grace, she would be faithful. (Later she told me – after I was saved – that the Lord showed her through the Bible that I was trying to get to Heaven without the blood of CHRIST being applied to my heart.)
Several months after I met Mrs. Brooks, I accepted the pastorate of Pitts Baptist church, near Concord, North Carolina. It was a mission work. I was the first full-time pastor.
I was going to lead the church to support the Southern Baptist Convention program. The associational missionary promised help. We took a religious census on Sunday afternoon.
I invited Rev. MacCline to preach for us on Sunday night. Mr. Cline lived in the Pitts community, near Concord. I knew he was not in good graces with the association because of his firm stand on the Bible. But I was tired; I wanted him to preach and get it over with.
He preached on repentance. I became angry. I was suddenly conscious that I had never repented. I thought he was deliberately trying to embarrass me before the congregation.
A barbed arrow was driven through my heart that night. For five weeks I tried to pull it out. It wouldn’t come out.
All the Baptist churches in that community were simultaneously studying the Book of Hebrews. I was asked to teach the book in two of the churches. I knew that the key to the book was “faith”; therefore, I prayed and said, “JESUS (I never called Him Lord until after I was saved), please teach me what faith is.”
He did. He taught me what saving faith was. I studied diligently. The most terrible cloud came over me. I began driving the highways – day and night – praying. I went into churches, fell on my face and screamed for hours at a time.
It was time for the association’s simultaneous revival. I decided that I would do the preaching in the church where I was pastor. I had read in the Bible where the psalmist said, “Seven times a day do I praise thee” (Psalm 119:164).
I asked the people to pray (for the meetings) seven times a day, wherever they were. Many did.
Then an extraordinary thing happened. By mistake, I announced the revival a week earlier than I was supposed to, which meant that the prayer service began earlier. As the people prayed seven times a day, I also prayed seven times a day.
I lived beneath the cliffs of Sinai. There was no peace; there was the continual thunder of GOD’s wrath and condemnation. I began confessing my sins and begging GOD to forgive me. He didn’t answer. I was at Sinai, not Calvary.
The Word of GOD began impressing itself on my mind with regard to CHRIST. I became convicted that I had never really repented, had not been saved because I had not believed on CHRIST. Such passages as these stirred me:
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God” (II John 9).
I had denied the virgin birth.
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46, 47).
I had utterly rejected the Old Testament.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world” (Hebrews 11:7).
When I read those last words, my heart was pricked. I clasped my hand over my heart and cried, “O GOD, this is the first time in my life that I have been afraid.”
I could hardly walk to the pulpit to try to preach. I became afraid to go to sleep. I lost my appetite. Folks began questioning my wife as to what the trouble was. She, in turn, of course, would question me.
But I wouldn’t even whisper that I was lost.
One morning I left my breakfast half-eaten. My wife said, “Carl, you will not tell me what is wrong. I have asked you everything in the world. There is only one thing left; you must be in love with another woman.”
I said, “I cannot let you believe that. I’ll tell you: I am lost.”
She was incensed. She was a wonderful Sunday School teacher and a wonderful leader in the Women’s Missionary Union. But she too was lost.
I fell on my knees in the kitchen. But she was so angry that I could get nowhere trying to pray in her presence. I had my Bible in my hand. I ran to the bedroom with it open to Romans, chapter 10. I fell down on the floor and said, “O GOD, I don’t understand it, but I am the worst sinner in the world today.”
My eyes dropped on the page open before me. I read a verse that I had never preached from in nine years of preaching. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
My mind went to Isaiah, chapter 53. I turned to the chapter and read: “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him . . . when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin . . . He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied” (vss. 10, 11).
There were no longer visions and feelings. by faith in the naked Word of GOD I believed that JESUS had died for my sins, that He was buried, that He rose on the third day. In other words, I believed the Gospel as defined in I Corinthians, chapter 15.
I said, “Lord, if You are satisfied, I am satisfied. I confess the Lord JESUS as my Saviour.” At the very moment the burden of my sin and guilt rolled away. I stood up a saved man. I ran out of the house. My wife said, “Where are you going?”
“I am going to tell Brother Mac that I have been saved.” My heart, for the first time in my life was singing about the “Amazing Grace” that had saved a sinner like me. Stanza by stanza I sang it – all of it.
The Word of GOD had led me to CHRIST. I had done what the Word of GOD told me to do to be saved. I was saved on March 23, 1955. My dear wife was saved three days later.
Following my salvation, I was baptized by the Southside Baptist Church, Concord, North Carolina. Realizing that I had never been called to preach, I was getting ready to give up my pastorate and leave the ministry. It was at this time that I received a real, scriptural call from the Lord to preach the Gospel. I was ordained by the Pitts Baptist Church.
I saw Mrs. Brooks one time after I was saved. She praised GOD.
I went to see her a second time. The bed was empty. The frail, twisted body was gone. Mrs. Helms, who cared for her, told me that following my first visit, Mrs. Brooks had prayed all night.
After I was converted, called to preach, and ordained, I remained with the Pitts Baptist Church for two years. I withdrew all support from the modernistic agencies of the Convention and designated all gifts to the home and foreign mission program.
The mission giving was tripled. All indebtedness was paid off. The Gospel was preached in the pulpit and from house to house. The countryside was flooded with gospel literature. I was thrilled with the power of the Gospel.
The Convention opposed me, but I kept my eyes on the Lord, won souls, fought modernism and went straight ahead. The battle was the Lord’s. GOD gave the victory for two years. Through the Word of GOD, I felt impressed to leave the Convention.
I became more and more conscious of the fact that even the mission program of the Convention was seasoned with modernism, and of course, much of it was postmillennial. I wanted to be the pastor of a church and support a mission program that was scriptural and effective.
I came to realize that my zeal was only a tool for the modernistic, postmillennial program. I decided to sever my life from modernism, even if it would cost me my life.
During my pastorate of the Community Baptist Church in Brookneal, Virginia, the Gospel was preached, and the countryside was flooded with the Gospel by means of print, radio and house-to-house visitation. Our church sent out the Gospel to every creature.
What a wonderful change has come to pass in our home! My wife praises GOD for His grace. She has become a wonderful witness and helpmeet. Our children have been saved.
It is the desire of my heart to encourage fundamental Christians around the world to keep on preaching the Gospel of until JESUS comes, that other lost sinners, as I used to be, might hear and believe.