Of Elder Danny Chandler
My earliest remembrance of religion goes back to
the time when I was about five years old. My father was saved in an Missionary
Baptist church way up a hollow in Kanawha County, W.Va. We attended that church
regularly for the next two years until my fathers' work moved us about 125 miles
north to another part of the state in Pleasants County. Dad, being a good
Baptist and loyal to the covenant that hangs on the wall, immediately joined
himself to the local Baptist Church. What he was not aware of was this Baptist
church was cold and Spiritless, not anything like the one he had left.
I was almost eight then and by the time I was nine the modern teaching of this church had taken its toll on me. I was beginning to feel the convicting power of the Spirit upon my heart and soon realized I was lost. The Sunday School teachers talked to me and told me that all I had to do was accept Christ as my savior and every thing would be alright. So the first opportunity that presented itself, I did just that. The preacher gave an invitation that anyone who was lost and wanted to be saved should come up front and shake his hand and by doing that act, signifying that they were accepting Christ as their personal savior. I did this and was baptized the next Sunday. I felt better for awhile, but it wasn't long until I had doubts and fears creep into my mind. Whenever I would ask someone about them, they would just pat me on the back and say "Don't worry about it, you'll be alright, just trust the Lord." Well, they had just as well told me to fly to the moon, because no matter what I did I still did not feel right. These feelings of uncertainty went on until I was thirteen.
In November of 1962, this church was without a pastor. My father persuaded them to let a preacher from his home church in Kanawha County come in and hold a revival. It was during that revival and under the sound preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I really got under conviction. The problem was that I did not know what was wrong with me since I already thought I was saved. As the revival meeting progressed, I could not carry the awful burden any longer. On Tuesday night of the second week, when the preacher gave an invitation to come and pray, I got up and started for the altar. As I left my seat, still thinking I was saved, my intentions were to tell the Lord I was going to do better and to rededicate my life.
Somewhere between when I got out of my seat and when I got to the altar, the Lord had so convicted my heart and flashed before my eyes my utter lost condition, there was no doubt left that I was a sinner. I then knew that I was headed straight for hell with no hope in this world to keep me from it. When I bowed down before God at that altar, it was with the sickest feeling I ever had in my life.
I do not have any recollection of how long I was there, but while I was crying out desperately to God to have mercy on my soul the Holy Spirit showed me the way of escape. It was then that I met Jesus. All those years I had not known or trusted him at all, but when the Spirit revealed Him to me and granted me the faith to truly believe in Him, He saved my soul and put a peace in my inward parts that to this day I have never been able to fully describe. All I know is that it is there and it is "a well of water springing up into eternal life."
I do not remember any more about that service, but I do remember that about three hours later I was in my bed and my heart was so light and my joy was so great that I literally thought I was floating on to Glory. It was not until the break of day that my rejoicing ceased enough to allow sleep to overtake me.
I have had many ups and downs since that November night in 1962. There have been times I have failed the Lord and on many occasions I have wondered why God ever bothered to save me. But the Devil has never been able to make me to doubt that experience, and I know I met the Master that night and "He whispered sweet peace to my soul."
This site was last updated 04/21/11