I grew up in a small town, the second child to two typical, middle class parents. My dad was a civil engineer, and my mom volunteered in various capacities along with being a stay-at-home mother. Both of my parents were very religious, and were consistent in taking their children to church and teaching them about God and the Bible. They even sacrificed financially so that all of their children could attend a private, Christian school.
I was born and raised in Allentown, one of seven children. My parents belonged to the Catholic church, and although we didn’t attend church regularly, I did occasionally receive the sacraments. My mom prayed with us nightly and tried to teach us right from wrong. She had many good values and always shared them with us.
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.
I grew up near Rochester, New York, and considered myself a good kid. Okay, I wasn’t anything special, but I had Christian parents that passed along Godly values. They taught me to be responsible for my actions, to choose good friends, and to put my best effort into every task. I attended church and became comfortable living in a religious environment.
I have gone to church all my life. My parents are saved, and we have attended good, Bible-preaching churches all my life. I also went to Christian school and Christian camps. My parents were good testimonies and examples to me, and they have prayed for my salvation ever since I was born. But all these things did not save me.
My name is Roland Hammett, and this is my story. I was born into the Hammett family on August 8, 1976, in the little town of Craig, Colorado. My dad pastored a Baptist church there, and right from the start, I was faithful in church attendance! My parents were always at church, and, of course, I went along with them. Incidentally, I was a well-behaved kid because my dad and mom made sure that I did right.
If you are like many people in our world today, when you hear about church and religion, you might think immediately of all the hypocrites and showmanship that is often associated with these. Many people have no time for ‘religious’ things, because after all, it’s all just a farce! Or, is it? I have to confess that for the first eleven years of my life, I was nothing but a religious hypocrite.