I lived two lives growing up—one was a good girl who was active in a Southern Baptist Church with her parents; the other was a girl who tried to cover up for sexual abuse.
My name is Rachel Custer, and this is my story. Since before I was born, my father has been an independent Baptist preacher. I went to church with my family every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and all special services. My brothers and I were always involved in the church activities, and we even lived next to the church building.
The Lord had been working on me little by little for quite some time; small things, like what would I do after I graduated, what should I become, where should I go? When I would ask my mom she would say, “Pray about it.” But every time I prayed, there seemed to be a small voice saying, “the Lord will not give you direction for your future if you are not saved.” I pushed that voice away because at the time it was just easier to ignore it, but I still had doubts.
Being born to Baptist parents, raised in a Baptist church, attending a Baptist school, and running with a Baptist circle of friends, left quite a Baptist impression on my life. An old saying says, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” I am thankful that this was not the case with me. I loved my Baptist community and was very blessed to be placed in my Baptist family.
I was sixteen years old at the time. Just a typical teen girl who went to church—trying to be good, but also trying to fit in with the fun kids and be cool. I knew God had a perfect plan for my life if I would submit to Him, yet I still chose to do it my way and hope things turned out OK in the end. It was tough sometimes balancing these two—but mostly I thought that I had it all under control.
My name is Jackie Wolf, and this is my story. I was raised in the Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury, PA. My dad worked most Sundays, but it was a ritual for my mom and me to attend every week. I wasn’t too excited about church because I had no friends there. There was no fellowshipping, the singing was morbid, we never took our Bibles, and the sermons were just reading and repeating after the pastor from a Lutheran book.