This Sunday, January 26, pending the vote of the congregation, we will welcome into our church family 5 brand new members! It’s always exciting to see people saved, baptized, and added to the church. Below are the new members’ profiles of Kaleb and Kim Miller, Phil and Jessica Parsons, and Wally Neitzel. These profiles testify to their salvation, baptism, and overall grace of God at work in their lives. These are shared, with their permission, for your encouragement.
From Kaleb Miller:
“I grew up in a Christian home and attended a small Baptist Church in Northern Indiana. My church went camping in Michigan every year and did a baptism in the lake. I was curious about what it was all about so I asked my Dad and he explained to me what it meant to be saved and baptized. My Dad and I met with the Pastor the following Sunday and I accepted Christ as my Savior. A few weeks later, I was baptized. From then on, I have been active in the church and growing in my faith.”
From Kim Miller:
“I was born and raised in a Christian home in the suburbs of Chicago. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 4 years old. I continued to attend church throughout my childhood and was later baptized when I was in 8th grade. My parents were very active in the church so I spent most of my growing up years learning everything there was to know about being a Christian and serving. By time I reached high school I was REALLY good at talking the talk and was a leader in the youth group and on the worship team. Unfortunately, I had gotten really good at being one person at church and a completely different person in the Monday-Saturday of the week. After graduating high school, I was accepted to Bible College at Grace College in Indiana; so off I went. After all, that’s just what you do. I spent my first semester participating in things of the world. It wasn’t until Day of Worship at Chapel the following Spring that God got a hold of my heart. It was on that day that I rededicated my life to Christ and to serving Him fully every day, not just on Sundays.
Shortly after I graduated college, Kaleb and I started dating and a few years later we were engaged. Just two weeks after getting engaged, my brother passed away unexpectedly. I struggled for a very long time with my faith and questioning God. Fast forward two years, on a Friday afternoon, we received the call that Kaleb’s younger brother had been killed in a farming accident. I remember being so incredibly angry with God. I didn’t understand. All while this was happening we were struggling with some difficult situations in the church we were attending at the time. I felt like my world was falling apart, and in many ways it was. Little did I know at the time that God was preparing us to move to Iowa. Life can be very hard and as much as we want it to the Bible doesn’t promise that as Christians we will not have trials and tribulations, in fact it says the opposite. I am thankful that although we have times that we don’t feel He is near – He always is.”
From Phil Parsons:
“‘For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.’ – Romans 8:29-30
My testimony is found in the above verses; however, here are the details of my calling and justification in Christ.
I grew up in a Christian home. As a family we read the Bible, we prayed, and we went to Church. In the eyes of the world, I was a ‘good’ person. Because I believed that simply inviting Jesus into my heart was the key to avoiding Hell, I asked Christ to come into my heart dozens of times during my childhood, hoping that one of those requests would stick.
Eventually, I left the environment of my family and attended college. With new surroundings, I exhibited new behaviors. These behaviors continued to increase over a period of three years until I began to have very deep convictions for my worldliness, my sins. Because of my upbringing, I knew the Gospel and I recalled the passage out of Luke 9:23-25:
‘And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
One night, in my room, located in a basement of a college house that was ground zero for many of my sins, I cried out to Christ and simply said, ‘If this is what the world has for me, I want nothing of it. I choose to follow You.’ This is when the Lord called me and justified me, when He delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to the kingdom of his beloved Son. By His grace, the Lord continues to sanctify me, conforming me into the image of His Son, degree by degree, until I shall finally and eternally stand with Him in glory.”
From Jessica Parsons:
“I was raised in a Catholic home. It wasn’t until I was in college that I began to attend services with friends that were non-Catholic. I would attend a Protestant service on Sunday morning and a Catholic mass on Sunday evening. It was during those Protestant services that I heard the one true Gospel and seeds were planted. Meanwhile, I was still living a very worldly and sinful life. Fast-forward a few years…God began to change my surroundings and influences. I graduated and began working, friends moved away and I began to attend only the Protestant services. I started to get into the Word and it convicted me deeply, pierced my heart. I cried out to God and trusted in the sufficiency of Jesus’ death and resurrection for my salvation. God opened my eyes and made me a new creation and has been refining me and sanctifying me ever since.
Ephesians 2:8-9, ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And
this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.’”
From Wally Neitzel:
“I was waiting for a long time for the right time to tell Pastor David that I wanted to be saved. I went to his office with my Dad and we talked about what being saved means. I then prayed to God and I accepted Jesus as my Savior.”