I want to share with you a true story of God’s transforming grace and power and how He is using Mountain Gospel Radio to impact and change lives today. This is Bill’s story.
Bill grew up acquainted with church. His grandmother took him to services, but his family had no emphasis on the Bible or Christianity. Early on he got involved in a lifestyle that drew him away from the church. In fact, by age sixteen, Bill was a professing atheist. He had completely rejected the idea of God.
He went to college to become a lawyer, but the devil had too strong a hold on his life. During the day, he took classes and was the president of a student organization. During the night, he lived the party life and peddled drugs from his house. He lost all sense of morality. One of his roommates was even a professing satanist. He began drinking and was soon an alcoholic. He tried to quit on his own, but it was too difficult and he began taking pain killers to ease his withdrawal. He ended up a drug addict and a drug dealer.
His dreams for becoming a lawyer were dashed. He dropped out of school and began dealing drugs full time. His life of sin had turned him into a very selfish and heinous person. He was in deep bondage. But yet, in this desperate situation, God’s redemptive power was still at work. He learned that he had been betrayed and turned in to the authorities. Facing the pending weight of justice, he stumbled out into his yard and shouted at the One in whom he did not even believe, “God, if you get me out of this, I’ll go to church every Sunday!”
God was about to test that foxhole promise. About a month later, he was arrested and put in jail for the first time in his life. His lawyer informed him that this would be his home for at least four months. While in jail, he heard about church services being held there. Bill had destroyed his conscience, but he was still hurting badly for his family. They were suffering deeply because of his life choices. The day before his trial, he decided to go to one of those services. With no belief in Jesus and no belief in God, he asked the preacher to pray for all of their families. When he spoke those words, it was as if fear hit the room. After the sermon, they sang Amazing Grace and for the first time in those jail services, the preacher put together some chairs to make an altar and asked that if anyone needed to get saved, to come forward. Bill struggled deeply within himself. Part of him wanted God and part of him didn’t. The Devil was fighting for his life, but finally he made the conscious decision to stand up, and it was from that moment that his life was different. He along with several others went forward and he repented of his sins and asked for a new life in Christ.
From that moment, Bill’s life was transformed. As he walked out of the service, God placed this thought in his mind: “I don’t have to do drugs anymore.” He hadn’t asked for deliverance from drugs, but God was changing his life. He was so filled with joy that he began to tell everyone that he had gotten saved. That night, he began reading the Bible. The next day at his trial, as people discussed different sentences he should face, he got nervous. He didn’t know how to pray, but he remembered the Lord’s Prayer that his grandmother had taught him when he was young, and he began to pray the Lord’s Prayer. He lost track of the court room but was brought back to reality by the judge’s verdict, “Mr. Scott, I feel compelled to release you today.” He couldn’t believe it. After only two weeks in jail, he was free. God had delivered not just his soul, but also his body.
He came back home to Breathitt county with no knowledge about Christianity, but knowing he had a complete dependence on God. He asked God to lead him to the church he should attend, and Bill was given the opportunity to work with troubled young people through a ministry in that church. From the very first time he shared his testimony, he knew this was what God was calling him to do. Later, he became the youth pastor at another church. God was giving him opportunities to witness to others about what He had done in his life.
Bill’s journey was far from over, though. During the years after his conversion, Bill continued to struggle with habitual sin in his life. He was double-minded, serving God one day and himself the next. He felt like a failure, and was ready to give up on God and walk away from it all. It was during this time of defeat that he found Mountain Gospel. He kept 99.9 FM playing in his kitchen all day long, giving him comfort and strength.
One day while listening, a life-changing thing happened. The program was talking about Leonard Ravenhill, a man of prayer that was powerfully used by God. The stories were so much greater than Bill was experiencing in his own life. He purchased Why Revival Tarries and began reading. In just a few chapters he realized he had a need in his life, a need for purity and a level of living that he didn’t think was possible.
Bill got down on the floor and started crying out to God. God began whittling him down until there was nothing left. Bill asked God to take everything. It was at that moment that God filled him with the Holy Spirit, and in the same instant gave him victory over the sins he had continued to struggle with after conversion. His “want to sin” was taken away and he had a new freedom that he had always searched for.
Bill didn’t know what to call it, but he soon learned that God had entirely sanctified him. For the first time since his conversion, as he read through the Fruit of the Spirit, he knew that God had done the work in his life. His youth ministry transformed dramatically, and they began seeing young people getting saved and on fire for the Lord. It wasn’t Bill; it was God now working through him in a fully surrendered life.
Five years ago, Bill was an atheist drug dealer. That life doesn’t even make sense to him now. He is now studying at Kentucky Mountain Bible College to deepen his understanding of the Bible and prepare for pastoral ministry, and he is excited about outreach opportunities and ministries to win others to Christ and help them find real life in the fullness of the Spirit. God used many people to bring Bill to Himself, but it was at Bill’s point of defeat that God used Mountain Gospel Radio to speak hope into his situation, turn his life around, and lead him into a new life of holiness. Bill continues to grow in his walk with the Lord through the music and programs he loves on WMTC.
Friend, Bill’s story does not stand alone. Each day we are reaching many in different walks of life. Some are hearing of God’s saving grace, some of his sanctifying power, and some receiving help and strength for their daily walk. God is using Mountain Gospel Radio as a beacon of light in Eastern Kentucky, calling people to the Well of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are seeing lives changed, transformed, and renewed day by day.
We can’t continue this ministry without your help. We are listener supported, and we rely on your prayers and financial support to keep this ministry on the air and moving forward. May 5-8 is Spring Sharathon and I believe it is appropriately themed Come to the Well, emphasizing the message of hope and healing and how God is using us as a channel to draw people to Himself. We have special events scheduled this week that we’d love for you to take part in: live singing each evening from 7-9pm, special guests throughout the day, and our famous Ed Carpenter Fish Fry & Concert Friday 4-8pm. Please join us here at the studio or listen live on 99.9 FM and online at www.mountaingospel.org. We need to raise $18,000 this Sharathon for the continued operation of this radio ministry.
Would you please consider a generous gift as God enables you? Your financial support allows us to reach more “Bills” for Christ as we preach the Gospel over the airwaves in Eastern Kentucky!