A few years ago, I was preaching revival messages at Lyon Baptist Church in Mississippi. This is near my hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi. The Music Director for the revival services was Rev. Ray Simpson who had been my youth choir director many years ago.
One night he brought me a copy of a ledger sheet from the old Riverside Baptist Church in Clarksdale. It had on it a hand-written record of the day of my salvation. I was now in my early 50’s and that was the first time I knew the exact day and year of my salvation. All those years I had wondered what my spiritual birthday was.
I was born again, spiritually born from above (John 3:3) on April 7, 1968. Though I did not remember the date I knew I was saved because God guided me even though I did not perfectly obey Him.
I remember the events of that day clearly. I was 6 years old. The pastor was preaching and my dominant thought was, “My sins put Jesus on the cross.” I remember seeing an old picture on the wall behind the platform that had Jesus hanging on the cross.
I felt a deep conviction of my sins and at the same time the fear of walking forward gripped me. Finally, during the invitational hymn I moved out of the pew into the aisle and it seemed as if I floated down to the front. I’m sure that was my emotions making me feel that way. The main thing is that the Holy Spirit was guiding me.
I talked with the pastor and told him I believed that Jesus had died for me and that I wanted to be saved. I remember him reading some basic scriptures to me wanting to make sure I understood what salvation was truly about. He then led me in what is called the “sinners prayer” and I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart. He did! The next Sunday I was baptized by immersion.
There was much I did not know. What I did know was that I was separated from God by my sin and if I believed that Jesus paid the price for my sin I would be saved.
I thank God for a dad and mom who did their best to expose me to the faithful teaching of God’s Word.