Born: May 6, 1949,
Born Again: October 16, 1965
The Testimony of Rodger Howard Reed, Senior
Claim to Eternal Salvation
I, Rodger Howard Reed, Senior, in accordance with the promise of the Holy Scripture, laid claim to eternal life through Jesus Christ my Savior by this statement of my witness that I have received eternal salvation through his forgiveness on October 16th, 1965.
When I was 16 years old, in the fall of 1965, I began to be drawn to the Lord even though I was not raised as an Old Fashion Missionary Baptist with an understanding of the way of salvation as I know it today. I began visiting several different churches of different denominations looking for the answers to my questions that no one seemed to be able to answer. My mother and both grand mothers were very religious and carried me to church and tried to teach me from the bible but they were not able to tell me what I needed to hear. I went to one of my and my father’s best friends and deacon, Harold West, and ask him if I could go to church with him. I had been watching and listening to him while working together on the farm and became to have much respect for him because of his actions and deeds. He was embarrassed that he had not asked me beforehand but was thankful to accommodate my request. I went with him the next Sunday to East Main Missionary Baptist Church in Hartsville, Tennessee where I experienced a culture shock.
The church was much different than that which I had been used to and the congregation was very spiritual. I was very nervous at the beginning of the service and when suddenly the men got down on their knees and started to pray aloud, I was taken by surprise, didn’t know what I had gotten myself into and thought about leaving immediately but didn’t. The preacher that was there on this my first occasion, Brother L.B. Watts, was not the regular preacher but was filling in for that service. Through the help of the Lord, Brother Watts was able to answer all my questions that day in one sermon. I came under conviction and thought about this for a couple of weeks and came to the conclusion what I must do to get myself right with my Lord.
On my next visit that Brother Watts preached, I went to an old fashion mourner’s bench at the end of the service as soon as an alter call was offered. The people were singing all around me as I prayed but I didn’t hear much. After a little while nothing happened and I looked up through tear filled eyes in disappointment. One of the sisters, Mrs. Monroe Oldham, told me not to give up and I didn’t. At that time I really started to pray and get serious about my situation. It was like I was going down into a deep, dark hole or pit and was searching for the face of Jesus. I asked God to forgive me and take all my sins away. I turned them loose and gave them over to him. At that moment I felt almost cold chills as he lifted and removed the burden from me. It was in that instant that salvation was given to me and I felt at peace. I looked up when I came to myself realizing that I was in the service again. I did not shout or stand up and tell the world what had happened to me but just sat there with a little grin on my peaceful face. One of the sisters, Hazel West asked me if I had gotten saved and I answered “I didn’t know”. She asked if I felt like I needed to pray for myself anymore and I answered “no”. They told me just to pray and ask the Lord to show me the answer and that I would know if I was saved. They did not try to convince me in any way that I had gotten saved.
After I left the service and started to drive to my home in the Providence Community by myself, I began to think about what had happened and prayed to God that he would let me know if I had really gotten saved. I began to have a bubbling feeling inside that poured out so great that I began to shout in the car. He had let me know that I had gotten what I went after. The closer to home I got-the happier I got.
The next Sunday I told the church that the Lord had saved me in the service the previous Sunday and I proceeded to join the church. I was baptized two weeks later into the Bride of Jesus Christ by the regular pastor Elder T.C Jones at Second Creek near Hartsville. I had never seen anyone go to a mourner’s bench or get saved in my life to know how to relate. God let me know without a doubt that he had saved me. Never, in all these years have I doubted my salvation because I just think back to that instant when I was set free for eternity. It is my prayer that all who read this testament will come to the same understanding and possession of salvation that I have including all my descendants.
The Lord led me to move my membership to Fairview Missionary Baptist Church located in the Green Grove Community of Macon County for a few years. Later I moved my membership again to Knob Springs Missionary Church in the Hiawassee Community of Wilson County not long after my son, Rodger H. Reed, Jr. was saved and had joined there. Several years later in the year 2000 I was lead to join Hartsville Missionary Baptist Church where I hold membership and where my home is with the Lord at this time and for as long as the Lord sees fit for his purpose. I will not mention the work that the Lord has given me in the past to perform for he shall be the judge and him only of all our works at the judgment. It is my hope that I have done all things which he has directed and that somewhere along the way some lost person might have found salvation through our efforts to do his will.
I am thankful that all my children have been saved by the grace of God and that we will live together for eternity. I owe my gratitude and humble thanks to all those who prayed for me and was there with me; to the one who took me to hear the word and the one who preached to me the way. But most of all, I owe it all to the one that died for me and saved my soul JESUS CHRIST.
Rodger H. Reed, Sr.
June 6, 2007