My Testimony

I have never truly felt qualified to teach the Word of God, but many have told me I have the gift to teach. My qualifications are twofold. I have a BA and a BHS from the school of the Holy Ghost. Let me explain these, so there will be no confusion.

My dad was a firm believer in drug therapy. Every Sunday he took my sisters and I and drug us to church even though most of the time we preferred to stay home. I never really understood the gospel message or why this Jesus had to die on a cross. Nevertheless, I heard it anyway, but it still made no sense. Furthermore, I had no desire to attend church or to anything else associated with God. In May of 1980, the church where I was forced to attend had a week long revival, and Sunday morning was the last day of this revival. The preacher gave his usual invitation, but as usual I ignored. This time, however, I heard a voice tell me, “You’re lost!” I readily agreed. Next, I heard “well, what are you going to do about it?” I said nothing. Next, I heard “don’t think I am going to keep doing this!” I realized this might be my last opportunity to get saved. All I know is that I stepped into the aisle, and some force carried me down that aisle. After the preacher and I prayed the sinner’s prayer, he stood me in front of the church and asked if I had anything to say. All of a sudden I said, “all I know is that Jesus died for my sins and the third day he rose again!” The preacher told everyone I had just been saved. He was right because the next Sunday I went to church on my own, and my dad never again practice drug therapy on me. This is where I obtained my first qualification: born again (BA).

A few years later I married, and we had two children. As the years passed, we left the church, but eventually returned and started attending a little Baptist church out in the country. I spent many years in that church teaching the adult Sunday school class. As I studied the Bible, I noticed some things I had never been taught. For example, I was taught that faith healing went out with the first century church, but the Bible says this:

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14-15)

They told me that only Jesus could heal the sick, but the Bible says:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)

My spiritual eyes were slowly being opened as I dig deeper into this wonderful book that God had blessed me with. I wondered why it wasn’t working for me, and no one seemed to have any answers. At that time I had a job where I drove a truck several days a week. One day as I was on the north side of Atlanta, I just out of coincidence heard a preacher on a radio station talking about another work of grace that God had for me. I was interested and listened to him every time I was on that side of town. He talked about how it wasn’t working for him either until he found this. I was interested, but my tradition prevented me from going any further.

Years later, I found myself becoming more and more disgusted with making the scriptures work for me. Then one morning something happened that changed my direction spiritually. As I was sitting at the computer doing work, the television behind me was on. All of a sudden, a show called A Study in the Word with evangelist Jimmy Swaggart began. I didn’t care for his teaching, but this morning was different. He said he was not going to teach on the sin nature as usual, but today and over the next four or five weeks, he was going to teach on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. After four weeks of watching him, I was hooked. I now realized that this was not only what Dr. Rutland was teaching on when I was making deliveries on the north side of Atlanta, but it was also what I needed. One of the scriptures he mentioned was the icing on the cake for me:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)

I realized that in order for someone to receive this gift, two things are necessary. First, they must be saved, and second, they have to ask for it. At that point, I began to seek God for this precious gift. For years nothing happened, but I persisted. Then, on April 29, 2012, I had the privilege of hearing Donnie Swaggart preach in person at a Campmeeting at Lithia Springs Assembly of God. That night he preached on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and I went forward as the invitation was given. Bro. Swaggart prayed for me to receive, and a few seconds after, I was speaking in other tongues as the spirit gave the utterance. I know I received because I spoke in tongues all the way home (35 miles). To this day I speak, pray, and sing in tongues daily. I love it!! I have never felt so alive in my life! What an awesome gift to receive! This is where I obtained my second qualification: baptized in the Holy Spirit (BHS).