I grew up going to church at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. I have
    many memories of seeing broken people make their way to the front of
    the church to be saved. My mother was the church clerk and my dad
    was the head deacon. We always Kept the evangelists at out house
    during revivals...good memories :)

    I remember watching Billy Graham on TV and feeling so emotionally
    drawn to do something...didn't know what, just knew I should do
    something. My friends felt the same way( age 9 or 10). We used to
    discuss getting saved. We knew from being in church that all we had to
    do was ask the Lord and He would save us. We probably did that many,
    many, times lol.... Obviously the main ingredient, faith, was lacking not
    to mention the fact that we wouldn't have known what the heck we were
    being saved from. We just knew that everybody that was anybody got
    saved.

    We got older and grew out of that phase. I was fourteen when I made my
    proverbial trip down the isle. My parents thought I should have "made a
    move" way before then. I could tell by the remarks that were made to
    the preacher or evangelist..in my presence, embarrassing the life out of
    me. It's a shame that religion hides the truth isn't it? I felt like I was a
    total embarrassment to them because I had not "made a move".

    Well, I decided it was time to get saved. So at the invitation one night of
    the summer revival, I took the first step and before you knew it I was
    crying and shaking the preacher's hand, saying, "I want to be saved."
    He said,"we've been waiting so long." We all had a crying, good time
    and I was "voted" on and approved to be a member of the church but
    walked away from that experience lost as a goose. But, I thought I was
    saved. I had done exactly everything everyone else did when they got
    saved.

    Naturally, I grew into my teen years being sucked right into the
    foolishness that a lot of teenagers get sucked into. I was faced with all
    the questions...drinking, smoking, wrong relationships, sex..., but, hey, I
    was saved, I couldn't go to hell. Little did I know that I was creating my
    own hell by breaking the laws that God laid down for my good, not just
    to keep me from having fun. So, here I was... living like the devil on
    Saturday night, playing the piano at church Sunday morning. Thank God
    for His mercy. He could have fried me on the spot!

    I was married at 19, had two children by 21. This is when the miraculous
    drawing process of the Holy Spirit started in my life. I was doing my daily
    chores around the house, one day in particular while loading the
    dishwaher, I noticed something different, almost like someone was in
    the room with me. There wasn't so I just continued with the dishwasher
    and other chores. This little "nagging" just hung on and would not quit. I
    went to bed one night and was trying for the life of me to figure out
    what was going on. The thought struck me, " could this be the
    conviction of the Holy Spirit?" I thought, "no, I am saved already." I lay
    there that night going over my "salvation experience" at church when I
    was fourteen. Then, it dawned on me, I never even talked to God that
    night! I completely left Him out of the whole ordeal."

    I realized that I had never been saved at all, that I simply went through
    the motions that I had seen everyone else go through. I was shocked.
    So, for about two weeks I rationalized and grappled with things. The
    scriptures that I had been hearing preached fervently from our pulpit,
    same church, different preacher, like.....no man building a tower does it
    without counting the cost... were all coming back to me. "Faith cometh
    by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." And, a story our pastor,
    Brother Ralph Brand, would tell. It was about a hen that was hatching
    some eggs, Someone put a duck egg under her with her eggs. When
    the eggs hatched, naturally, the duck found some water and got in it
    while the mama hen watched in horror. He said it's as natural for a born
    again person to want the things of God as it is for a duck to go to water.
    I knew my heart was not after the things of God. I was also car pooling
    with a friend taking our children to pre school during this time in my life.
    This woman was always talking about God like she knew Him personally
    or something. She made the statement one day in the car, "I don't know
    what I would do without God in my life everyday." That really got my
    attention. I didn't think about Him at all. I knew she must have had
    something that I didn't. I am really thankful that she was in my life at that
    time. God used her to help draw me to Himself.

    Realizing the experience that I was having was not coming from myself
    and admitting my lost condition, I knew deep down that I wanted this
    God, who evidently wanted me. Even as a lost person I knew that if I
    was to come to the Lord for real, I wanted it to be for real! Not just some
    religious, mechanical, routine that I would go through three times a
    week and live like anybody else the rest of the time. (the leaven of the
    Pharisee starts early doesn't it?) So, the very next opportunity I had to
    go to church, I was there and couldn't wait for the invitation...too
    ingrained with religion to call on the Lord at home. When they gave the
    invitation I went to the preacher and told him that I had been a church
    member for 8 years but had never been saved and I wanted to be saved
    for real. This time I talked to the Lord and told Him that He said if I came
    to Him that He would in no wise cast me out. I confessed to him that I
    was a sinner and wanted to be saved. I called on the Lord and He heard
    my cry! My life has not been the same since. I can truly say, like that old
    song....The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows!

    I grew up being taught eternal torment. I questioned it as much as I
    thought I could and once felt like I had an answer from God about it.
    And, at that time in my understanding, it was fairly enlightening. I simply
    asked God, “if you are a God of love, why did you create most people to
    go to hell?” His reply to me was, ”I did the same thing you did. I created
    billions of people and you just happened to create three. “ It’s like He
    asked me, “did you know when you had your three children, for sure,
    that any of them would spend eternity with Me?” Well, according to my
    theology, my answer was no. So, I felt like I didn’t have much of a
    complaint anymore. It actually made me feel closer to God because it
    made me see Him in a light that I could understand…He desired a
    family……just like I did!

    That answer satisfied me for several years, but about 6 years ago, I
    became extremely grieved for lost people. I was more than just
    confused why God would come up with a plan like hell. I realized that I
    actually believed that most of humanity would be going to a literal,
    burning, hell, with no hope of getting out. This revelation came after the
    death of both of my parents, eight months apart and dealing with the
    fact that my oldest son battled drug addiction. Knowing the Bible like I
    knew it, I knew what it said about people who do certain things not
    inheriting the kingdom of God. And what the Bible said about a man's
    religion being vain if he could not control his tongue...

    Well, my daddy was a good as gold but his words could peel the paint
    off the wall if you caught him at the right time. So, what was I to think?
    Would my son die and go to hell because he was a drug addict? If he
    had the power in himself he would have gladly walked out of that role.
    Would my daddy hear the words of Jesus..."depart from me I never
    knew you" because he cussed like a sailor? There was no way I would
    be able to stay sane thinking that someone I love like I love them, would
    be suffering horrible pain and torture with no end in sight! These were
    very real fears of mine. I have to give credit where credit is due though.
    In the waiting room at the hospital, when my Dad was in ICU, I came out
    of his room and sat down. God knew my concern, He very sweetly
    assured me, "I love him more than you do."

    Having gone through my parents deaths and watching a movie called
    “The Perfect Storm,” I became obsessed with hell. On the "What
    Changed My Mind?" page there is a picture from the movie that shows
    the horrible looks on the fishermen's faces when they realize they are
    not getting out of the storm alive. At that point in the movie I started
    thinking about Jesus talking to his followers about His coming again. He
    said the times would be like they were in Noah's day. Basically, folks
    would just be living life as usual, not worrying about too much, when
    the judgment of God was about to be unleashed on them. Which meant,
    if what I believed was the truth, that most of humanity would go to hell
    forever. ( that was my understanding of eschatology at the time) Being
    totally consumed with that fact, evangelism became a priority to say the
    least. I made a fool out of myself on the elevator at a local hospital
    attempting to "be a light for Jesus" and keep people out of Hell. A nice,
    well to do, gentleman got on the elevator and said, "hello, how are
    you?"  In all sincerity I replied, "I'm fine thank you and I am so glad I
    don't have to go to hell when I die!" From the look on his face I am sure
    he was thinking, "another nut."

    In my zeal I found a website that gave the numbers of evangelized
    people in the world. According to this site, from the six billion people of
    the earth, 31% were affiliated with the Christian religion. 21% of these
    were Roman Catholic (who did not believe in being born again, so that
    left them out). That left the other 10% that might possibly go to heaven,
    and this number even included Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. It
    didn’t look good.

    I bought books and videos on intercessory prayer for family members
    that were lost and sunk myself into them. I tried praying detailed prayers
    for each one that I was concerned about, attempting to bring down the
    strongholds that kept them from the knowledge of God. Well, as I
    prayed for my family, I begin to consider all the people I was NOT
    praying for! I prayed not only for my kids but for their cousins and
    friends... I could have prayed constantly if it had been possible and still
    not prayed for everybody that needed to be saved. The job was just too
    big for me to do. It made me sick to think of anyone being burned
    forever with absolutely no hope of an end to it. I cried at Bible study, I
    cried at church, I cried at home…I was a mess.

    Then, thank God, I happened to read an article on “Beliefnet.com”,
    entitled, “Will Everyone Go to Heaven?” It was an interview with Bishop
    Carlton Pearson from Tulsa OK. He had started preaching the gospel of
    inclusion, better known as Universal Reconciliation. Can you imagine
    how I felt to see such an article? This was sweet music to my ears....
    eyes! I read the article and found out that Bishop Pearson was having a
    conference on "Contending For The Faith Once Delivered" in Tulsa in
    the near future. I went to that conference at Bishop Pearson’s church in
    Tulsa, OK.

    There, my husband and I met Dr. Harold Lovelace and found out that he
    lives only about 2 hours away. He has been so faithful to help and teach
    and lead us as we would have questions to arise coming from the
    eternal torment teaching. As a result of this soul searching journey, I am
    more in love with the Lord now, than ever, including all the people He
    created.

    I know now that Jesus was the propitiation not for our sins only but for
    the sins of the whole world. The first Adam was the problem(by God's
    own design) and the last Adam was the solution. And, this scenario was
    orchestrated and played out under the loving eye of our great,
    sovereign God before the foundation of the world.

    We have been set free from the law of sin and death. The wages of our
    sin was death and Christ tasted death for every man and conquered it
    by rising up from that death. We are free to love each other as Christ
    loved us, no racism, no prejudice, no holier than thou…. God’s
    judgments are more real to me now than ever before. They just happen
    to make sense now because I know they are designed to bring us all to
    the end of ourselves

    That is my testimony so far. I look forward to the rest...
My Testimony