SALVATION TESTIMONIES OF
MCFERRIN MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH MEMBERS
Permission granted by members with signatures
Copy of signatures on file
Testimonies compiled for this project
By Janet Brewster
The Old McFerrin Church on McFerrin Avenue
I grew up going to McFerrin Missionary Baptist Church most of my life and have been hearing the gospel as long as I can remember. My family went to church almost every time the doors were open, Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday nights. We also attended all the revivals as well, so I knew from an early age that salvation was the most importing thing to have beyond anything else. When I turned 9, I started to see my friends come under conviction and be saved. I remember some of the ladies of the church would go around and talk to kids around the age of accountability during the revival to see if they felt lost or thought they should pray. In the fall revival at the old McFerrin church on McFerrin Avenue when I was 10, I began to come under conviction. I remember standing and singing with my mom during the altar call, and I really felt the Lord tugging at my heart. I looked over and I saw Virginia Reed step into the aisle, and I am not sure if she was coming to talk to me or someone else, but at that moment, my heart felt like a ton of bricks, and I knew without a doubt that I was lost. I quickly told my mom and practically ran to the altar and began to pray. I began to pray and call out to God and asked for him to save me. I begged and pleaded with God and promised I would try to be a better person. I promised to try and do better in school, be nicer to my brothers, etc. I begged and pleaded, but seemed to get nowhere. Revival was dismissed, but I didn’t even notice and just kept praying. I finally began to get tired and decided it was time to go, but I was terrified that I could die before I would be saved. It took me a couple of more nights of praying and pleading with God and I became exhausted with the process. I felt like there was nothing I could do, and that I might never be saved. Finally after the third night of praying and repenting for my sins, he saved me and I had a sweet peace that was undeniable. It was so quick, I wasn’t sure if I was really saved, but I didn’t feel the need to pray anymore. I didn’t tell anyone that night, because I wanted to be sure I was saved, but the next night on the way to revival I told my parents, and my salvation begin to become even sweeter after finally sharing my experience. I was baptized that next Sunday, and I have been a member of McFerrin ever since.
Tuesday Night of Revival in June of 1965
On the Altar at Harmony Missionary Baptist Church
Let me first say that I’ve got that “I know I’m saved salvation”, I’ve got that “HFS Salvation” (Heart-Felt Salvation), and I’ve got that “I know I’m going to Heaven salvation”. Now let ME tell y’all about my salvation experience. First of all, I did not see any kind of bright lights anywhere. I did not see or hear thunder or lightning, nor did I get up off the mourner’s bench crying and shouting. But on that Tuesday night in June 1965, during the revival at Harmony Missionary Baptist Church, I was on the far left side of the mourner’s bench. I don’t remember what time it was, but I sure do know that I was gloriously saved that night. Aaaaaa-men. The Lord let me know in a split second that I was going to heaven whenever I die. I don’t know the hearts of any of y’all, but if you have not been truly saved or born again, I hope you are before you die.
June 21, 1976; Home Age 7
I was saved on the evening of June 21, 1976 at the age of seven years old. That night, while I was getting ready for bed, I became under conviction. My mother, Pam Blankenship, was sitting on the couch in the family den of our home. I could not wait to crawl up into her lap so she could make the awful burden I felt in my heart go away. When I told my mother how I was feeling she said that she could not help me, but that I needed to pray for God to lift the burden and that she would pray with me. My salvation came within seconds of my prayer. The awful burden was lifted and I felt light as a feather. I was sitting in our den on our 1970's floral couch, next to my mother, and wearing my favorite yellow nightgown the night the Lord saved my soul.
Jeff Arwood Home Age 13
I didn’t grow up in a Missionary Baptist Church. However, my parents took my brother, my three sisters, and me to church nearly every Sunday. So, I had heard about Jesus and the gospel from a very young age. The church services and Sunday school classes often talked about the joys of Heaven, but I don’t recall ever hearing much about the consequences of sin, Hell, and about being “saved”. We were taught that if you wanted to go to Heaven, that you had to believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, ask God to forgive your sins, and ask Jesus to come into your heart. We were taught this was a decision you made to accept and to follow Christ. When I was thirteen years old, the pastor of our church was teaching my Confirmation Class. We were studying the book of Revelation. We read about judgment, The Lamb’s Book of Life, and that all those whose name was not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, were cast into the Lake of Fire with the Devil for all eternity. That really scared me, and for the first time I became aware of the consequences of my sin and being separated from God. As one who tries to analyze everything, I wanted to know if my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The pastor could not tell me, and he did not have the answers I was looking for to my questions. I went home that night with a heavy heart, very confused, and very scared. I knew that I had to repent of my sins. As I lay in bed, I prayed to God to forgive me of my sins. I was a pretty good kid, obeyed the rules, and did not really get into any trouble. So, it didn’t take long before I felt I was running out of things to ask forgiveness for. I began to feel worse and worse. I continued to pray, and finally cried out to Jesus to help me so I wouldn’t be cast into the Lake of Fire. It was then that God revealed to me that my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. A peace came over me that has never left me since. I didn’t realize what had happened to me that night until later in life when I married my wife, Candy. She had grown up in a Missionary Baptist Church, and as we began going to her church, I began to hear other salvation experiences. I realized then, that I had been saved when I was thirteen. However, I got my feelings hurt by some church members where Candy and I were attending, who rushed to judgment about my salvation. Foolish pride and stubbornness kept me from telling them and the Church my testimony at that time. Consequently, I stopped going to church for several years, and even spent some time attending my old denomination just to feel like I belonged. But the Lord had other plans for me. I eventually started to attend Victory Missionary Baptist Church where Candy and my two daughters had been attending. A few years later, my daughter Penny, was saved at the age of 7 during the week of Vacation Bible School at Victory Missionary Baptist Church in 2003. The following Sunday, Brother Tim Binion opened the doors of the Church at the end of the Sunday service. As Penny made a move to the front of the Church to tell her salvation experience, the Lord was tugging on my heart to do the same. We both gave our testimonies, and joined the Church that day. We were both baptized the following Sunday. The Lord has continued to bless me more and more since that day, and the peace I received the night He saved me at age thirteen, continues to get sweeter and sweeter the older I get
July 16, 1962; Age 7
Pennsylvania Avenue Missionary Baptist Church (Nashville)
For as long as I can remember my parents Clay and Katie Grizzle took me to a Missionary Baptist Church every Sunday morning for preaching service. So I heard the true gospel preached since I was born. My father was a Missionary Baptist preacher and he began teaching me about Jesus and the Bible before I could read or write. He told me that when I became accountable for my sins, I would need to ask God to save my soul so I could enter Heaven when I passed from this life to my eternal life. In July 1962, I was attending the revival services at Pennsylvania Avenue Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. On Monday night, July 16, after preaching service was over, my dad asked me if I was lost or saved. I told him I was lost. He advised me to pray and trust in God for salvation of my soul. After seeing mourners on the mourner bench in other services I knew that was the best place for me to pray and other saved people would pray for me also. I knelt in the floor by the bench in the pulpit area and began praying to God to save
my soul. After what seemed to be hours, I lifted my head and saw my Dad there by my side. He looked at me and asked if I was saved and I said yes. He shouted and then I knew everything would be all right. That was the happiest time of my whole life. Even though I was only seven years old, I know that God saved me at that moment and He’ll never take that away from me. I am so thankful God still blesses me.
Kayla Franklin Cain
On a Sunday Afternoon At Home Age 8
I was saved when I was eight years old. It was a hot Sunday afternoon and my mom and nana were out shopping. My granddaddy and I had just got done feeding our dog, Molly, and we were walking back to the house. Granddaddy said he was going to go inside, but I decided to stay outside and play. As soon as he shut the door, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I just started praying. I don’t think I prayed for too long and the burden went away and was replaced with sweet peace. However, as soon as that happened the devil got a hold of me and told me it wasn’t it, so I just passed it off as really bad heartburn or something. I never, never forgot that Sunday afternoon and about a year later at the revival, I realized that I did get saved that day.