I was born in New York State in 1949, the youngest of three children. My father had me late in life due to health problems. My mother was confined to a wheelchair well before I was born due to polio. She was a good person but also a chronic alcoholic. I later found out that she drank all through her pregnancy with me but not my older sister and brother. That knowledge brought me much peace. It explains many things about myself that I never understood.
Growing up Catholic, I had no conception of a loving God who cared about me. I didn’t fit in well growing up and started drinking as a teenager. Before I finished high school, I was a chronic alcoholic. I was led to the Lord in my early 20s by a godly cousin. However, by then, I was too far gone into my drinking. I accepted Christ as my Savior, but it was a difficult struggle for the next 35 years. I ended up living on skid rows all around the country.
Hit Bottom and God Saved Me
Today, I praise God for every rescue mission and Salvation Army that took me in when I got too sick to stay on the streets. I started going to AA in 1983, but it was a revolving door relationship. I wanted to get sober but couldn’t. In 2005, I hit the lowest point in my life. I knew without a doubt that I would soon be dead on the streets in Morgan City, LA. There seemed to be nothing I could do about it. How dark it is before the dawn!
I made arrangements to come back to San Antonio, though I had no idea why. Through the kindness of a friend, I had a place to stay. I returned to AA, not expecting anything to change. A man spoke who made me realize for the first time that I had no understanding of “surrender.” My journey from there started with baby steps. However, I soon realized that God was truly doing for me what no one on earth could do.
Deacon Minister Training at CLI
The friend who gave me a place to stay is my loving wife of fifteen years, Karen. We married in 2006, and what a journey it has been! Several years ago, we both felt that we needed a local church. We went to several. But, as soon as we walked into SE Baptist Church in San Antonio, we knew we were home. I have been nurtured and mentored by the godly men in my church, including Pastor Jerry Cosper. I was invited to pray about becoming a deacon, and I do not doubt that God called me.
God placed it in my heart that I needed ministry training to be an effective servant. I had no idea how that could happen. I am still working full time as I have no pension and very little social security because of how I lived. Out of nowhere, I saw an ad for the Christian Leaders Institute. I thought, “This is too good to be true! What an awesome God we serve!”
I am not sure what else the Lord has planned for us, but I am as excited as any man half my age. Literally, I laugh out loud when I think how God is using this old sinner. I am taking deacon minister training courses to be an effective, ordained deacon. I hope to continue as long as God allows. Thank you, CLI!