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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)

TITLE: Twice Born
By Darlene Edmondson


Reverend Joseph Samuel Garrett stood at the altar and his gentle, arthritic hands reached for mine. Other than my dad, he was the kindest man I knew: a loving pastor full of grace and mercy. On many occasions, he and his wife, Lorinda came to our modest home for Sunday dinner; always extending humble goodness toward our family. They owned a rustic general store bordering the outskirts of town and faithfully ministered to our small community in Scott County.

The sun gloriously radiated Easter Sunday morning as my three older brothers and I jumped into our ‘57 Chevy. With dad driving and mom by his side, we traveled the dirt road to our little country tabernacle, Opossum Rock Baptist. The church was named during its’ building project. One particular evening, after the foundation was completely laid, a deacon spotted a furry ‘possum’ perched on a craggy rock near the cemetery.

Easter celebration service closed with the choir singing a beloved hymn ‘Amazing Grace’. The words and melody of that powerful song pierced my heart like a fiery branding iron. Even though I was only nine, I knew I was lost and needed to be found. I was grateful for the ‘grace that brought me safe thus far’. I realized God loved me and the whole world so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cruel cross.

“Take my Easter bonnet daddy! I’m goin’ down front to get saved. Jesus is drawin’ me and I ain’t puttin' it off any longer!” Brother Sam welcomed me with open arms. We knelt together and I repented of my sins. Heavy sobs were strangled tight in my chest as I uttered. “I’m giving my life to God.” The white-haired preacher smiled from ear to ear as if I were his own child. “My darling, you’ve been born again!” Later that month, my brother Craig and I were baptized in Big South Fork River several miles outside Oneida, Tennessee.

Brother Sam often declared, “When my time comes to die, I want to be in the pulpit preaching for the Lord!” His desire came true September 25, 1964. He was 84 years of age.

Since surrendering my life to Jesus in April 1960, Eastertime is the holiday I cherish most. It represents life and death. I died to my old sinful nature and received Christ’s gift of eternal life. Because Jesus conquered death, hell and the grave, I am a new creation. His crucifixion and resurrection is central to the Christian faith. It provides the only way for sinful man to be reconciled with Holy God: One, who alone forgive sins.

“Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Note: This is a true story of my salvation experience.
Opossum Rock recently changed its’ name to Leatherwood Baptist Church.

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This article has been read 405 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 04/12/12
Thank you for sharing this lovely heart warming story of your experience of being "born again." I loved it. Well written and completely on topic.

God Bless~
Donna Wilcher04/14/12
I loved this story! Not only because you've written it so beautifully, but because I was "Twice Born" too - in a little country church - on Easter morn - in 1984.

You got a 20 year start on me, but it would seem Easter holds a special meaning for both of us, beyond the message of His glorious resurrection.

I always consider Easter as my "spiritual" Birthday!

Thank you for sharing this Amazing Grace story! How sweet the sound...

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/15/12
This is a lovely testimonial. I just love the name of the church and felt sad to see it changed recently. There is something humbling about the name Opossum Rock Baptist. I also smiled at the line Take my Easter bonnet Daddy. It painted such a picture in my head. You did a fine job with this one.
Genia Gilbert04/15/12
This is touching, and well written. It certainly is a heartwarming testimony to the grace of God and your experience of it. I see that your faith is real. Good writing!
Mildred Sheldon04/19/12
What a moving testimonial. I thorougly enjoyed this and the name of the church was perfect. Thank you for sharing.