Brother Tony Johnson:
When I was growing up, my Mother and Father took me to Church every Sunday. I do not have one memory of the first time that I went to Church, but I have many memories of people shouting and people getting saved. We went to Mazies Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, TN, where my Mother was the piano player.
At the fall revival at Mazies Chapel during the third week in August, conviction fell upon me. I was 12 years-old and it was on a Monday night. This memory is so strong to me …. I was sitting in the middle of the church on the left hand side of the aisle. The preacher had just completed his sermon on the Fire of Hell and was giving an altar call. My heart broke, and I felt great fear that I had never experienced before. But being the stubborn young boy that I was, I grabbed onto the back of the seat and did not initially go to the altar. My cousin Gail came over to me and asked me if I was lost. All I could do was shake my head yes and cry. She said “then go to the altar and ask the Lord to save you”. I ran to the right side of the altar and began to pray with all my strength and poured out my heart to the Lord. When I came to myself, I felt the sweetest peace in my soul. The pain in my heart and weight in my chest were GONE. I thought to myself: “What happened - Had I fallen asleep”. Before I could even rise up off the altar, the old devil said “Boy, nothing happened to you”. I left Church that night without telling anyone what had happened.
For the next six years, I would continue to go to the altar during the revivals. I would try to pray and ask the Lord to save me. But most of the time, I would peek-out to see who was around or wonder how long I had been at the altar. I did not have a broken heart but I had allowed the devil to confuse me.
At the age of 18, on another Monday night, I was determined to find an answer. I was either saved; Or, I was lost and needed to be saved. As I prayed at the same spot where the Lord had saved me six years before, I asked Him if I was saved as that 12 year-old boy. The Lord by His great mercy and grace showed me what He had done. I so vividly recalled that night as a 12 year-old boy. The peace was so strong … I was not resaved or anything like that. I was enjoying my salvation and was so happy. I immediately rose to my feet and started to tell everyone what the Lord had done for me. Praise the Lord!!!
I joined the Church that night and 11 years later was ordained as a Deacon. The evidence of my salvation has grown over the years and His presence in my life has grown as well.