At 17, I came as an atheist, and at 29, I got saved. One year before I got saved I was invited to a tent revival in West Oakland by my then girlfriend and now wife. That was in September 1972. I went to laugh and be entertained. Then, after the service, the Holy Spirit started moving. I started choking and got scared and ran out.
I returned to church services in Oakland after three months, and God started working on me. Then, in September 1973, I decided to get saved. I only went to church on Friday or Sunday night. They always had altar calls on those nights. I felt that was the way you got saved. But, for two weeks there were no altar calls. I went again on a Sunday night service. Again, no altar call. It was 10:30 p.m., and the pastor told the church to get ready for the 11 p.m. radio broadcast.
I stared praying, “Lord, tonight I want to get saved.” I didn’t want to live another day without being saved. It was then the pastor said the Lord just spoke to him to have an altar call because someone wanted to get saved. My heart leapt into my throat.
Now it was time to get on my feet and walk to him at the altar. He made me wait until that time and do it in that way so there would be no doubt about him being real.
My journey began that night. He led me to the green pastures and still water. He had restored my soul. Then I started walking through the valley of the shadow of death and evil. The warfare, the battles with the enemy all came. It’s gotten rough and hard, but his rod and staff comforted me during the hard times.
I know there is a seat ready for me at his table, and my true reward will be when I join him after my life is over here.
• Pastor Richard Genereux is minister of Galatians Liberty Center. Sermon notes is a column by ministers of the Patterson Ministerial Association.