My Wake Up Story

I grew up as an evangelist’s son, and I remember clearly the day we moved into our 40ft bus as a family, and for seven years, that was our life. We traveled to many churches, and by the time I was seventeen, I had been to every state other than Alaska and Hawaii. Our host church was Victory Baptist Church in Milton, FL. My testimony of being saved is while we were at a Sammy Allen camp meeting where Phill Kidd was preaching.

When I was sixteen, I attended a church youth summer camp for the second time in Michigan. I was truly on fire and desired to be a preacher. But one night of that youth camp, a preacher got up and was going in hot and heavy against music. To this day, I cannot remember the name of the preacher, the text he was preaching from, or the entirety of the message. But I do place this statement that he made:

(Please read the following like a good ole southern hellfire preacher.)

“I was preaching a meeting at a church, and the Pastor’s daughter was a cutter, she was cutting herself on her wrist. So I asked her what kind of music she listened to, you know what she told me? ”She says, “Casting Crowns.”

He then goes on to preach about the evil that Casting Crowns music was to make someone cut themselves. I cannot help but wonder if this preacher ever listened to Casting Crowns, but to make such a statement was beyond me. The only reason I even knew who they were is that a close friend of mine had been listening to them and had made the statement to me that because of Casting Crown’s music and staying in her bible, she was able to overcome anorexia. She had a terrible time getting through that part of her life, so her statement had stuck with me. So to hear this preacher say such a thing was astounding to me—so thus my first wake up moment.

I am now twenty-five years old; I have no church family. But I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and baby girl. My wife does have the desire to find the right church home, but I have had the internal battle of the issues I saw on the road with churches and pastors. I went through many years; I wanted nothing to do with the church, but I never turned against God in my heart, I have always considered Him to be my friend. Lately, I have had a renewed vision and hunger to be even closer to God, not just inwardly as I have always kept it, but outwardly to those around me, to talk about what I believe and hopefully win someone over one day. One day I hope to find the right church home near me to attend.

My sister recently told me about the podcast, and I have been listening to each episode as they are posted and catching up on past episodes. The truth has been refreshing to hear for once. Thank you all for sharing the truth. Something I have been saying for a while now is: God wants a friendship with us, and through the ages, humanity did what we are good at, and we tainted the beauty of that friendship with God. We corrupted it with our ideals and rules. But when we take all that away and look past it all, we can finally see the basics again. God just wants our friendship, love, and adoration.