I was born again October 31, 2000 when a friend came to my home and shared with me the Gospel. I was already under strong conviction concerning my sinful life style. The news that Jesus Christ had died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead was and still is the best thing I have ever heard. I immediately trusted Him to save my soul, and He did. He placed in my heart a love for His Word and a desire to know Him more. Within a year and a half I was baptized and joined Edmond Road Baptist Church. I desired to serve Him with my whole life and became very active in the church. I surrendered my will to God’s and in 2002, contrary to my own plan, God revealed through His Word that I should preach His Word. I was seeking God’s direction in my life and in the spring of 2003 God called me to serve Him in Brazil. I was appointed to be a missionary by Edmond Road Baptist Church in 2009 and served on staff until I began deputation in October 2010. My family and I were privileged to present the ministry in churches across the country until we were involved in a fatal car accident on September 11th, 2012. My wife, Brandy, passed into God’s presence at the scene. God protected our three children and me, and we did not incur any serious injuries.
The next few months were spent in seeking God’s will in moving forward towards Brazil. Through prayer; searching Scripture; and godly council, I sensed God leading me to pause for a season of healing. Edmond Road Baptist Church encouraged and supported this decision. I continued to serve on staff working together with Pastor Munson. While attending the annual missions conference at Rodgers Baptist Church in July of 2013 Brenda and I renewed a friendship that had begun in 2003. A regular correspondence began between Edmond and Garland. I started to hope that God had provided a godly woman to be my wife and mother to my children. After being convicted about doubting God’s goodness I mustered enough courage to express my hopes to Brenda. She greatly encouraged me in her response and after talking with her parents I asked for her hand in marriage. I came to appreciate more and more her commitment to follow the Lord; her concern for others; her kindnesses toward the children; and her great sense of humor. Finally to my great pleasure Brenda and I were married June 27th, 2015.
The Lord used the first year of our marriage to knit our family together. We, along with Pastor Munson and Edmond Road Baptist Church, believe now is the time to move forward for the glory of God and souls in Brazil. God used a survey trip taken in July 2016 and encouragement from the brethren to confirm the timing.
“I was once a sinner, but I came…” That, with credit to C.A. Miles, is the short version. As the daughter of missionaries, I can't remember a time when I didn't know the basics of the Gospel. I had daily proof that I was a sinner, and certainly knew that I wasn't worthy to stand in God's presence. It was always my plan to trust Christ, but I delayed, knowing that if I became a Christian, I would have to give up lying! Lying was quite a useful thing in my mind, and I really hated to let it go. In October of my 5th year, my children‘s Bible class teacher taught a flannel graph lesson on Satan and Hell. After having nightmares for 2 nights, I decided lying was overrated, woke my mom, confessed my sinful state, and received “pardon from my Lord.” I've been bound for Heaven ever since, and expect to spend the rest of my life expressing my gratitude for that amazing fact.