Even though I was not raised in a Christian home, as a child growing up in Alabama, our family did visit the Baptist church on occasion. Even so my first experience with the gospel was not until I was around twelve years old. A friend shared the gospel with me as we were playing. Though no fault of my friend, I prayed an unrepentant prayer that day. Although I was baptized, attended church and had the appearance of a Christian to my family and friends, it would be four more years before I realized my true condition and surrendered to Christ.
Because I was a lost church member, I understand how serious the danger is. The missing ingredient in my life was repentance. Although I did not want to go to hell, I had not surrendered control of my life to Christ. All I really wanted was hell insurance.
As a result of my empty prayer, I was in bondage to sin. While this sometimes bothered me, I was helpless. After a long period of wondering why I could not do what I knew I should, the Lord spoke to my heart and asked, “If you were My child wouldn’t you want to do what I wanted?” From that moment I knew I was lost, but I still wanted control of my life. God was gracious to deal with my rebellious spirit. I remember well the night I slipped out of my bed and prayed “God, I will do whatever you want me to do.”
Kathy Denise Sherrill and I were married in 1975. God blessed us with six children and many grandchildren. I was called to preach the same year Kathy and I were married at the age of eighteen. Before that year was over, we moved to Chattanooga where I attended Tennessee Temple University.
We made a few stops along the way, but in February 1986 God led us to Green Pond Baptist Church where I have pastored ever since.