Church was boring; I had absolutely no knowledge of the Word of God. People may not realize this, but I was a Bostonian into Rap, Reggae, R&B and Soul music--I hung around and partied with Black friends; I went to junior and senior high school with them! I was a white guy with a "Hi Top Fade", wearing my gold rope (necklace) and drinking my 40 oz (malt liquor).
I was into the Black experience, dated black women. When I graduated from high school, I enrolled in college to study Journalism with an interest in Urban Affairs, but soon ran out of money. On Valentine's Day of '91, I decided to move to Houston to live with my dad and complete my education. While I waited for the year of residency requirement, I attended the community college, and worked the "graveyard" shift at Walgreen's warehouse. A coworker asked if I was saved and if I had the holy ghost experience. My experience of being saved was to read a salvation card (saying the Sinner's Prayer) that my mother had given me before I left Boston. When I visited Life Tabernacle-Southwest in June, '91 I saw these people acting weird, talking in a strange language. I saw a black lady, but couldn't figure out what language she was speaking. It was really strange, but I remained unconvinced. The people wouldn't leave me alone.
Finally, because those church people were so persistent, I felt obligated to go another time. Also I realized that with all the friends I had, I still felt pretty lonely and hopeless. In September I received the Holy Ghost.
After that conference, I still wasn't totally committed to the Lord, I was still listening to my black music and going to night clubs. Finally, I was convicted and decided to escape the bondage of music so in the early morning I decided to
throw $3000 worth of cassettes and CD's into the dumpster. I was really into that music! I even
had second thoughts and returned to that dumpster several minutes later to find nothing but an album cover left! Someone (or an angel) had removed all of them that quickly! A fellow worker (at Walgreen's) was flabbergasted. "You mean you really threw away all that music, I think I'm going to be sick," he exclaimed.
My dad knew I had an experience with God because my lifestyle had changed, I even threw out my television, but he still felt that I 'd be slaving away at that Walgreen's hot warehouse forever. He just thought that I was running with the wrong crowd! He had a mea- sure of acceptance, still prodding me about getting a degree. But a degree was not my main goal any more, When I first arrived in Houston, and finally was admitted to the University of Houston, I didn't have the passion to be a newspaperman anymore. Even when I was awarded first place in the Texas Collegiate Award for Journalism. I turned my back on a desire I've had since I was in the eighth grade, but classes I was then attending left me bored and looking at the ceiling !
Meanwhile, a missionary service brought a tremendous rainstorm of love for God and His compassion for people. It was the first time I experienced a real travail when I knew that the ministry was going to be the focal point of my life. Still was trying to go to school, I had a fear of failure, of not getting a college degree. About this same time, I had made a commitment to give to Foreign Missions. God blessed me, I believe because of those offerings. He's made a way when I didn't have a good job.
I started teaching Sunday School and preaching at outreach services in the rehabilitation center. Our team was baptizing people in the apartment swimming pool. I knew about Apostolic Tabernacle because of a friend. and attended on off nights. I was still faithful to my church. During a span of 4 years, I felt a call to transfer.
Attending the Black Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I met with a minister friend of mine and poured my heart out to him. He rebuked the spirit of fear and prayed with me. Later , I had a real peace in the situation and God gave me a scripture the next morning which lined up and I felt the unction to move on. I really felt that Apostolic Tabernacle was the environment that I was always familiar with, a white Pastor in a Black church. My Pastor gave me the OK. We have a good relationship to this day with them. In this environment I FELT I TRULY BELONGED. I told Pastor Roch of my intentions because I knew that I needed to get into a good evangelistic church and to be under church authority . I felt this was the next major launching point of my ministry for the Lord, and he has really blessed me! I am now and licensed minister in the United Pentecostal Church international incorporated, " am I glad that is over!"
This is what I would tell you: It is not in the club scene, drinking and carousing brings emptiness to you. Any other activity is going to feel empty until you become born again in Christ!