Skip's Testimony: I was raised in a Christian family and my family attended an excellent church where the Gospel was preached. When I was eight (8) years old, near the time that I was involved in a car accident while riding my bicycle, I was sensitive to my need for a Savior and went forward to receive the Lord one Sunday morning. Unfortunately those attending to me when I went forward did not properly sense my need for counseling on how to be saved and assumed I came to be baptized. Shortly thereafter I was baptized in water, but had not yet received the Lord.
The summer when I was fourteen (14) years of age a friend of mine invited me to a Christian camp that was operated by the seminary that met in our church facility. I was reluctant to go because I didn't care much for spiritual things, but at the insistence of my friend I attended. The evangelist speaking that week was Don Camp from Anderson, Indiana (now with the Lord) who preached on the broad road to destruction and the narrow way to Glory using the illustration of a rushing river. Realizing my sinful condition and need for a Savior I received the Lord that evening (12 July 1971). In obedience to God's command to be baptized by immersion following conversion I asked my home pastor to baptize me "again" following my conversion.
During my teen years I struggled much with assurance of salvation. I would often feel tormented with questions like "did I ask the Lord to save me using the correct words", or "did I understand the Scriptures on the subject of salvation at the time", etc. Thankfully during my freshman year at college I settled the matter of assurance once for all.
Skip's Life Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6
Tere's Testimony: Evangelist Robert Shelton was preaching to a packed house on Friday evening in August, 1964. My young parents had only been saved two years when they decided on the spur of the moment to spend a week at Gull Lake Bible Conference near Kalamazoo, MI. Now, on the final night of the conference, I sat listening as intently as a six-year-old could to the message coming from the platform.
Suddenly, as if by impulsive thought, Evangelist Shelton stopped in the middle of his sermon and said, "I feel that I should pause here and explain the plan of salvation so simply and clearly that even a child can understand it." My attention was snagged for the next several minutes as he presented salvation's story so thoughtfully that, yes, I did understand my sinful condition and need for the Savior. The invitation to accept Christ as personal Savior was given, but I was just too scared to go forward among so large a crowd.
After we returned to our cabin and were tucked in for the night, I tossed about and tried to cover my tears. Dad came over to investigate. At first he thought that I was ill, but further questioning brought to light that I was indeed under the conviction by the Holy Spirit. He led me step by step through acknowledging that I was a sinner (Rom. 3:23) whose penalty needed to be paid (Rom.6:23), that Jesus Christ had paid the full penalty for me by His death on the cross (I Jn. 2:2; 4:10) and that I needed to accept the gift of salvation as the only way to Heaven (Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9-10). We prayed together and I asked Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior. Even these forty years later, I recall falling peacefully asleep under sheets that felt like angel's wings.
An evangelist who was sensitive to God's timing, a spontaneous vacation, and a newly-saved dad all brought me to the moment of my Christian conversion.