I was raised in a good home but did not go to church much until after my father’s conversion when I was 17. Two years later at a revival, I came under conviction, went to the altar, and repeated a prayer the preacher told me to pray. I said I was saved, but….
I remember thinking, Now I can’t go to parties and experience what people do at my age. With that attitude, of course, it was not long before I found an excuse to quit church and start binge drinking in bars.
I had a good job, a nice truck, and my own home by age 25. Then all my friends grew up and got married. I came close to marriage, but each relationship ended with me doing something stupid. So there I was—26, single, and alone in a small east Kentucky town, holding onto yesterday.
I made new friends, the wrong kind. They were drug addicts, and we brought out the worst in each other. Marijuana took over my life after my new friends began smoking it at my house. I smoked with them, bought more to feed my habit, and got hooked. I became what I never wanted to be—a “pot head.”
There’s more. I began snorting prescription drugs, did not pay my bills, and eventually lost my truck. Before long, I was a full-blown drug addict, known on the job as a crook and a foul-up. Nobody respected me.
Wrestling with God
My two-year downward spiral ended six months after my younger brother Chad was saved. At his baptism, I raised my hand for prayer. I had seen God change one of my best friends—and seeing Chad so happy, I wanted to be saved. I was a member of a local Baptist church where my dad belonged, and my hypocrisy was hard for me to handle.
I should have asked them to remove my name from the roll. I also knew they would freak out if I did, because 15 people in the church were my family members. For six months, I attended church under deep conviction, always raising my hand for prayer.
A cousin in the church heard I was drinking. (They found this out eight years too late!) He told me to quit, or I would be kicked out. I did not and they did.
A week later, I went to Eastside FWB Church in Thelma, Kentucky, and raised my hand for prayer. Another cousin stopped me after church and asked if I would coach the Johnson County Christian School basketball team. I said, “Yes,” and told myself I would go to church that night and get saved. Instead, since it was Super Bowl Sunday and I was a man of the world, I went to a Super Bowl party and got high.
Please Save Me!
The next morning God grabbed my attention through my job as an electronic service technician. My job was my life. Without it, I had nothing, and I was about to lose it. That’s when I realized I could not change on my own. I thought about my commitment to coach the basketball team and knew I had to clean up my act for those kids.
Right there in that dirty service van, I cried out, “God, I am sick of living like this! Please save me!”
I had said those words a thousand times, but this time I meant it. I told God that I would do anything if He would save me. When I said, “Amen,” I felt peace for the first time in my life. I found my brother at work and told him I was saved. I called my mother and told her, then called my closest friend and told him.
I met with my boss in West Virginia and did not lose my job after all. He kept asking why I was so happy. That night, alone in a hotel after telling all those people I was saved, I knew I’d have to live right or leave the county.
Call to Preach
The next day I threw out the drugs and beer, called every Christian I knew, and told them the news. Then I called my druggie friends, and to my surprise they were all happy for me. My life changed overnight. I was involved with those wonderful kids who prayed for me over a year because my cousin wanted me to coach his basketball team.
My social life was the church. I loved preaching and singing, loved reading my Bible even though it took two months to finish the book of John. Three months after I was converted, I announced my call to preach on April 27, 2002, at the Johnson County quarterly meeting.
My first sermon (1 Corinthians 12:12-25) was titled, “Just Do It.” Because of pastors willing to use a young preacher, I gained a lot of experience those first 18 months.
The FWBBC Connection
When I informed my pastor that I wanted Bible training, he told me about a Bible college that offered classes at a Baptist church in my hometown. I enrolled, hoping to attend full-time when the money was right.
During the 2002 Kentucky State Association, President Matthew Pinson talked with me about enrolling at Free Will Baptist Bible College. I prayed for a year before submitting my application. I did not think I would be able to attend, but it was a step. I carried the application to the post office praying if it were God’s will that He would open the door. He answered my prayer before sundown.
I left the post office to make a service call. While there, I was paged and learned that after eight years with the company, and after I took the step of sending my application to FWBBC, I was being laid off.
I took this as God’s will for me to move to Tennessee, so I sold my house and began scouting for a place in Nashville. In August 2004, I enrolled at FWBBC. Today, I am 30 years old, overweight, going bald, and single…but I am happy!
I am happy not only because I am at FWBBC, but because I am in the center of God’s will. I have been all around God’s will, and now I am in it. Just look at what God did after I took that little step of faith a year ago! I may be 10 years behind as a Bible student, but I have the brightest future in the world, because I am serving God.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Reverend Scotty Curtis was elected student body chaplain at Free Will Baptist Bible College for 2005-2006. He was ordained to preach in May 2005.