After responding to an invitation at the end of a junior church service in the fall of 1974, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. This took place at Grace Baptist Church in Anderson, Indiana. I was about 11 years old. I followed the Lord in believer’s baptism the following April.
In 1981, I surrendered my life to serve the Lord. That fall, I attended Hyles-Anderson College where I met my future wife, Phyllis. We were married soon after graduation from college. Both our children were born while we lived in Port Richey, Florida.
Our son, Ben, lost his hearing when he was about one year old. The following year, we moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where I took my first sign language class at Trinity Baptist Church.
When Ben was nine years old, we took him to Deaf Family Camp at the Bill Rice Ranch. While there, Bob Himes witnessed to Ben during every service. On our way home, which at that time was in North Carolina, Ben understood and believed the gospel. He then prayed to receive Christ.
Phyllis and I felt burdened that the Lord wanted us to start a deaf ministry. He would need to bring deaf people to us because we did not know any deaf. The very next morning, Phyllis met a deaf couple at the store and invited them to church. On Sunday morning, this deaf couple came to church. This was the start of our very first deaf ministry.
We now serve the Lord at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Lexington, South Carolina. The deaf ministry averaged between 35-40 every Sunday before the COVID shutdowns. We thank the Lord that our church has reopened, and people are coming back to church. Our deaf services can be found on Facebook under the name Gethsemane Baptist Deaf Church.