MY TESTIMONY BY RODGER HOWARD REED, JR., Written in the year of 2016
My name is Rodger Howard Reed, Jr. I am the Son of Rodger Howard Reed, Sr. and Glenda Faye Reed. My birthdate is February 16th, 1972. I was raised in the providence community in Trousdale County, Tennessee. As a young boy, I remember growing up on our family farm where I got to experience living in the country. I often got to spend time with my Grandfather and Grandmother. Some of my best memories of them are in that little farmhouse where I was raised. My Grandfather used to take me out on the tractor when I was just a little boy and my Dad would take me fishing down at the old mill dam and we would hunt for arrow heads in the fields along the river bottom after they had been plowed in preparation for planting our crops. As a young child, my life was simple in many ways. God allowed me to see some things then that caused me to draw near to him. As I grew older I found out that life doesn’t always turn out the way we would like for it to. I lost my Grandfather and later had to experience the breaking apart of my home. My parents loved me very much and I was fortunate to always know this in my heart. At a young age, however, my parents went through a divorce and I found myself traveling from home to home. My Mom worked minimum wage jobs most of her adult life always working from pay check to pay check. She struggled at times and didn’t always make the best decisions but she always put me first and made sure that I had a place to call home, warm cloths, and food to eat. She loved me and would do anything for me. My Dad also worked hard and did his part by paying his child support and being there for me when I needed him at times doing without so that I might have what I needed. Despite their divorce, my parents tried to always put me first. They themselves did not always make the best choices in life. I was fortunate that I had several people in my family who I could lean on even when times were difficult. My Grandmother was one of those people but there were others. God placed the right people along my path.
At the age of 10, I was invited to go to a Revival Meeting at Knob Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Hiwassee, Tennessee which is located in Smith County. My Uncle Howard’s Sister Nancy Fisher invited me to go along with my two cousins Lori and Dewayne Fisher. Lori was a year older than me and Dewayne was a couple of years ahead of me. I believe the revival started on the third Sunday night in July in 1983. The first few nights I witnessed the Spirit of God moving in that little Church. Elder Jr. Farley was preaching and many of the members got up and would sing songs and testify of when the Lord Saved their soul. They spoke about how the Lord spoke peace into their hearts. My two cousins came under conviction and went to the alter and prayed. They found peace and were saved. I’ll never forget it. The Lord started dealing with me. It seemed that the more Brother Farley preached the more and more the Lord dealt with me. I felt a heavy burden that I had never felt before. All I could think about is that if I died that I was destined to go to a place called Hell where there would be no way of escape. I trembled inside. I sat in the back of the church and resisted God’s drawing power. The torment that I felt would not go away. I went to the altar on a Friday Night. I don’t know how long I prayed but I know I promised Jesus that I would do anything if he would save my soul. I cried and prayed and promised everything I could think of but couldn’t find relief. I finally realized that there was nothing that I had to offer that would satisfy my Lord but one thing. My heart and soul. All he asked of me was to believe that He is the Son of God and that He Died for me. He did for me what I couldn’t do. At the moment when I truly Believed in my heart, He saved my soul. I didn’t shout. I didn’t get up and start telling everybody. I just knew that the burden of Sin had been lifted and He spoke peace into my heart. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. It was July 22, 1983 that I was born again into Life everlasting. My name was written in the Lamb’s book of life with the blood of Christ. Almost immediately the Devil tried to convince me that what I had experienced was not salvation. He tried to rob me of my gift. The Lord let me know quickly that what He did, He did forever and that the Devil couldn’t undo it. It was sealed.
Shortly after being saved, the Lord started dealing with me about joining His Church. As soon as I felt drawn, unlike when I was lost, I ran to the front ready and willing to unite with the Body of Christ. I told my experience of salvation and was granted all rights and privileges by the Body. I was Baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost on August 7th, 1983 in the creek behind Beach Grove Community Center in Trousdale County by Elder Jr. Farley under the authority of Knob Springs Missionary Baptist Church. My membership remained there until March of 1993 when the Lord led me to move my membership to Hartsville Missionary Baptist Church where my membership resides till this day. I joined Hartsville Missionary Baptist Church by Letter from Knob Springs. I have not always done what the Lord has asked of me and at times, I have disappointed Him and His Church. I drifted away from the church after I got married and went into the service. I moved away from Hartsville for a period of 15 years. When I moved back, I resisted going back to my home church where my membership was. I was somewhat bitter and had hardened my heart. I ended up joining Craigfont Baptist Church in Castalian Springs, Tennessee by Statement which was wrong of me. I went against the authority of the Church that the Lord placed me in by doing what I did. Brother Mike Turnipseed contacted me by phone and spoke to me about what I had done. I was angry at first and hurt because the Church had not reached out to me in all those years that I was away until they heard of what I had done. I gave them no other choice than to act against my actions. The Church moved to exclude me if I wouldn’t come before the Church and apologize for what I had done and ask for forgiveness. About a year or so after I spoke with Brother Mike, I went to visit the Journey Church just down the street from my home Church. The Lord dealt with me that morning and I found myself being drawn by his mighty hand. I couldn’t go quick enough. Instead of going to the Journey Church, I went home. During the service, Elder Barney Allison preached with power and it moved me. I knew I had done wrong and the Lord wanted me to make it right. When Brother Barney opened the doors of the Church, I went up and apologized before the Church for what I had done. The love shown in forgiveness cannot be measured. The members of the body accepted my apology and my membership was restored in full. Some may wonder why I have included this in my testimony. I felt that whoever might read this needs to know the truth. You see I’m not without sin. It’s only by the Grace of God that I have hope. When I make mistakes in this life that goes against God’s commandments, I’m instructed to repent and learn from my mistakes just as the little women who was caught in adultery that the Pharisees wanted to stone to death and just as King David was caught in a murderous act which resulted from his taking of Bathsheba. God still showed Mercy in both cases because He knew the condition of their hearts.
My testimony doesn’t end here. Shortly after the untimely death of my mother in April of 2013, I attended a revival meeting at Old Paths Missionary Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee. During the meeting, the Lord started dealing with me about something that I would have never asked for. He called me to preach. I resisted Him once again and trembled at the thought. I couldn’t understand why he wanted me. Till this day, I still struggle with understanding why. My wife was the first person that I spoke to about it. I think it scared her when I told her. She didn’t know what to say. She did all that she knew to do. She loved me and tried to show her support. One day after church, I finally couldn’t stand it any longer and I had to tell my Pastor Elder Barney Allison outside of the Church. I told him that I didn’t understand why the Lord wanted me to preach. He said nothing to comfort me. All he would say was, “Wait till you have too!!”. It wasn’t long after that the Lord dealt with me heavily. I was on a Business Trip in San Francisco, California. He put me on my knees yet again. I promised him that I would stop running and would tell my call. As soon as I got back from my trip, I told my call to preach during a Sunday service at my Church. I’ve let the Lord down with this and I struggle daily with it. I often don’t feel like that I’m good enough. I know that until I stand and do what he has called me to do, I want find any relief. I know what I have to do and I know that the Lord can take a little and make lot out of it. This is where my journey has taken me and where I am today. I pray He continues to show me His way and that I will submit to His will. God has blessed me with a loving wife of 22 years as of this writing and has given me two wonderful kids and one Grandson. My wife has told me of her testimony but I have yet to hear a testimony from my children. I pray the Lord lets me live long enough to hear theirs. He has allowed me to serve my country for over 22 years and has always made a way for both me and my family. If there is one thing that I wish to leave in this world it is what is written. My testimony of God’s grace in my life. My desire is to continue in my struggle, to never quite on those whom I love, to always remember in meekness and humility that God loved me before I loved Him, and that in the end, I will be with Him forever in Glory and to always remember to share what He has given to me freely, His Saving Grace. May God Bless You and Peace Be with You Always is my Prayer.
With Brotherly Love to All Who Read,
Bro. Rodger Howard Reed, Jr.
Written April 18th, 2016