My brother, John F. Stith Jr., drove to East Gadsden Baptist Church to talk to the preacher, Dr. W. Albert Smith, but Smith wasn’t in at the moment.
“I went into the auditorium and sat on the first pew,” John wrote, waiting on the preacher to arrive. “The summer sun shone through the ten-foot high windows, the soft colors of the glass muting its harsh brightness. As I sat there, I found myself more and more embarrassed. What in the world was I going to say to this man whom I hardly knew, and who didn’t know me at all?”
“Then I thought, if you want to talk to someone, you could talk to God. And I answered myself: ‘What do you mean, talk to God? That’s praying and you don’t know nothing about praying; you never prayed in your life.’ After considering the truth of this for a few minutes, I countered with: ‘It’s true you don’t know anything about praying, but you do know how to talk!'”
“So right there in the quiet, sunshine filled space of the first pew, I got on my knees: ‘God, I don’t know nothing from nothing about all this; but if there is anything to this salvation business, I want it. I want to turn my life over to you; to be and do whatever you want from now on.'”
“No lightening flashed no thunder rolled. Everything was as still and peaceful as it had been before. But in retrospect, I know that from that minute, God turned my life around. I began to see beauty in people who had not even been in the range of my vision before. The scriptures came alive with meaning as I approached the Bible from the stance of my new relationship with God. ‘Old things passed way; all things became new.'”
Continued tomorrow: Salvation, Part 3