The night that I got saved was probably no different than any other revival service I had ever attended as a lost person. I hated it. People wanted to come and talk to me about it and try to persuade me to go to the Mourner's Bench (pew in front of the Pulpit) to pray. What I really wanted was for them to leave me alone.
However, it was different. It really hurt. My heart was absolutely broken. Usually in order for me to bow and pray somebody had to come and talk to me (when I was younger this was very commonplace, not as prevalent today). That night nobody came. They were singing and to be frank it was just breaking me more and more. Still, nobody came to me.
The service hadn't been going to long when my dam broke and tears just came flowing. I am not a crier, never have been. I was deeply convicted and I knew I had to do something.
Backing up just a little bit to give you a bit of perspective I had been "lost" (seeking the Lord, being a mourner, on the altar, seeker) for a few years. In all honesty I had began doubting the existence of God. I'd grown up in church, went to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, revival, prayer meeting., etc. My Grandad was a Deacon and Preacher. These people (my family) wouldn't have it any other way than for me to be in a church house every time the doors were open. I'd gone because it was my obligation. I reached the age of accountability (the point when you become "lost" and separated from God, meaning you MUST be saved), or at least I had been convinced that I was. I sought the Lord for salvation assuming if he was going to save anyone, I'd be first on the list. Nope. Didn't happen that way. I was a good kid for the most part. I always felt like he HAD to save me. I was wrong again.
After seeing basically every other young person around me at Pleasant Hill get "saved" I had my mind up that one of two things were happening. These "religious folk" were insane and caught on some emotional trip. In my mind, this whole "salvation" junk was just a part of their imagination. Many times I considered just telling them I had been saved so they would pass me by and get off my back. I didn't because every time I would go to the altar and then get up someone would look at me expectantly, hoping, praying, wishing that maybe this would be the time. I'm sure telling them I was okay would have made them feel good, but I didn't want to lie. I was still sure they had lost their mind. The next thing I assumed was that God was not real, and these people had subscribed to a fairy tale. You mean to tell me some baby was born in a manger, lived 33 1/2 years and then died on a cross....FOR ME? Yeah, right. I never told anyone how I felt. My family was far to invested in church for them to ever let me get away with that notion. I kept it to myself. I wasn't hurting anyone or so I thought.
Back to this night, I went to revival because essentially I was made too. Revival time meant you went regardless of what your plans were. You shutup, you went, and you payed attention.
This time was different. My heart literally felt as though it has been broken right in two. I was so sad for some reason. I was in some trouble. Again, remember that I was doubting the very existence of God at this point. I was still so heart broken. Yet nobody was even concerned about me it seemed. Couldn't they see I was sad?
I had to do something. I remember looking into the A-women corner (some of the ladies of the church sat there beside the Pulpit, directly opposite from the Amen Corner) and seeing my Great-Grandmother, Sister Brenda Tuttle, Sister Linda Delk, my Grandmother, and Sister Wheet and they had this look of contentment while they were singing. Here I was in complete turmoil and they were content. This picture was all wrong.
I very vividly remember just wishing someone, ANYONE would just come and ask me if I was lost. I wanted them too. It's funny how I hated it before, but now I just wanted someone to care.
I gave up. Nobody was coming so I just dropped to my knees on the front seat and began to do the only thing I knew to do. This felt familiar. I'd been here before. I was so desperate for relief even death right then had to feel better. I don't remember what I said (it isn't even about what we say, or do for that matter), but I'm sure I used the same argument as before. Only half believing this story I had been told. This was so much different though. I really did believe this time. I knew the only way I would get relief is from the one I had heard about for so long. I knew he loved me. I do remember getting to a point that I was not going ANYWHERE until I felt better and BAM something happened. The hurt was gone. I felt such peace and happiness that was not there before. I'd heard about this before, and it felt so good.
Immediately, the devil tried to convince me it was all an emotional thing. It wasn't real, it wouldn't last, and God still was not real. Despite this nagging from him; I was at such peace. I got up from the seat seeing those same expectant faces just waiting, hoping, praying, wishing that tonight was the night. The first person I remember seeing was Sister Wanda Spears. She was the prettiest lady I had ever seen in the world. They asked, and I just told them I was still lost. The devil won that battle.
I left that night and didn't tell anyone. In fact, nobody knew until the following year when they opened the doors at Pleasant Hill and I joined the church the first Sunday of the revival. After that night I couldn't pray for my soul anymore (it was as saved as it would ever be) the best part about it was that I still felt that same peace. I'd still periodically go to the altar to "pray" for my soul. No need. I was saved.
For a long time, I wouldn't tell when I got saved because to be honest I could not remember the day. It bothered me so bad. Anytime I would pray to the Lord and ask about my soul he would remind me of that night and the peace I had. I couldn't get passed my "spot". The best I can recall it was on July 14th, 2004.
I'm not sure that anyone has read this far, or if anyone will. Regardless,I felt compelled to share this with you should find yourself this far in. You see it has been almost 12 years this coming July since that night. That same peace I told you about is still there and it always will be. God took a little sinner boy such as myself whose soul was stained scarlet red because of my sins and washed it in the red blood of a perfect Savior making it white as snow. Only a true and living God could do that.
Salvation is between a person and God. No middle man. Nobody else is needed (you must hear the Gospel at some point) to save. I've even been Baptized into the Lord's church. However, you see what happened on the front seat of that little country church is what saved me. It was a year later before I followed the Lord in baptism. Yet I was as saved then as I was the day Elder Ronald Delk plunged me into the Drakes Creek.
Maybe this all seems far fetched. Insane. Crazy. Emotion driven. I've been there, I understand. I'll say this though since that day my life has been changed and I can guarantee he'll change yours too. If you'll let him.
Today, I am Pastor and a member of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville Tennessee.
God Bless those who may read this. I pray it may touch you in someway.
Brother Taylor Gregory
Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Nashville Tennessee, 5208 Nolensville Road, 37211.