I was a man filled with sin until I invited the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart when I was 72 years old, and my life was changed forever. I was saved by his precious blood, and I know I have been forgiven of my sins and, by his grace, I will spend eternity with him.
I was baptized in a Lutheran church when I was younger, and my family went to church on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter. Later in my teen years, I attended youth group there. I was never a really bad kid growing up, but things were not always happy at home. When things were bad, I would have evil thoughts about my Dad who was a heavy drinker. During these times, I would question whether there was a God and wonder why He was letting these things happen to me.
When I was very young, until I was seven years old, my parents took me to church. After that, I would occasionally go with some neighbors. When I was about 18 or 19 years of age, I was starting to wonder what religion was all about. At the same time, my girlfriend was urging me to get to know God. This drove me back to the church that I had grown up in. I attended several Sundays to hear what the pastor had to say.
Six months before Pearl Harbor was bombed, I was born to the Woodring family in the Pennsylvania borough of Catasauqua. I lived there on Race Street until I graduated from high school and headed into the military around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1959. After I was discharged in 1963, I worked a job for several years before taking over my father-in-law’s grocery store and meat market in Emmaus in 1973.
When I was about 15 or so, I began to wonder and inquire about what the Bible really had to say. As a child I had attended Sunday school at the Hereford Mennonite Church. And, as a young teen, I went through their catechism classes. But I didn’t feel like I was learning what the Bible really had to say, so I began my search for the “truth.”
My name is Doug Wilkinson, and this is my story. I was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, and for the first 18 years attended one of the larger, liberal Protestant churches in Allentown. I was baptized as a baby, confirmed as a young adult, and attended Sunday School and church most Sundays. In my late teens, the “God-is-dead” theology was beginning to be propagated.
If you had known me a few years ago, when I was a wild, drunk, popular entertainer in various bars, and then knew me now, you would insist you had met two different men. That is the difference that Christ can make in one’s life. My story demonstrates the great mercy and love of God to reach into the depths of hell to save a wretch as undeserving as I. Christ had to break my hard heart with the gospel. My name is Dale Stengele, and this is my story.
For over twenty years, I lived in denial. I claimed to be a Christian for most of my life, but my desire to do good would never last long. I would be stirred to obey the Bible, but after a time the zeal would go away. I would be back to doing the things which brought me great shame and heartache. My name is Becky Simmons, and this is my story.