I was born August 4, 1941. My earliest recollection of hearing anything about God was when I was around eleven years old. My grandfather would take me and my sister, Linda, to the Baptist Church in Skowhegan. I didn't know anybody there so it was a little scary to me. I do not remember how many times we went, but I enjoyed learning about the things of God in Sunday school.

Several years went by before I went to church again. As I grew older I became involved in the sins of the world. Drinking, smoking, and swearing were some of my sins.

When I was twenty-three I got married. I kept on drinking. When I was about twenty-eight, around the middle of 1969, my nerves were pretty bad. My wife's brother came to visit me. He knew I was having a hard time. He talked to me about going to the church he went to. He came back the next day and talked some more. I agreed to go.

I went to a few meetings. About the second or third meeting I went to, they asked me if I wanted to go down front to the altar and accept the Lord Jesus as my Savior. It was hard for me to do it, but I agreed. Another person went with me, and they had me say the sinner's prayer. It seemed like it did something for me. I started to get away from some of my sins. I stopped drinking.

I kept on going to this Pentecostal Church. I did not give up smoking right off. On the way to meeting I would smoke. It was a half an hour drive and I had to have that cigarette before I went. After awhile I knew it wasn't right to smoke. I gave up smoking, but I did not completely give up swearing. When I got mad, I swore.

I went to this church for about a year. During that time a few things took place that troubled me, such as the young people getting out in the aisle and dancing during meeting.

After awhile I decided to go to a different Pentecostal Church where there seemed to be a lot of outward things going on. There were more people attending. The meetings were lively with more singing. About two years went by. During that time I did not attend every Sunday.

In 1972 I was in a painting business with my father. My sister Paula's husband and another man who were both Friends of Jesus worked with us. Tom, the other man, spoke to me one day about my condition. He did not believe I was a Christian. Nobody had ever said anything like that to me before. It upset me and it got me thinking about myself.

Time went on, and I was still going to the same church. I wanted to seek the baptism with the Holy Ghost. Other people seemed to have it, or had something, anyway. But it used to trouble me to see people get up and dance and talk in tongues, yet their lives were not any different. I always thought if I was that close to God, I would live better and want to talk about the things of God.

I wanted the real thing. I went down to the altar and prayed. I started dancing and I danced right out of my shoes. I don't know how that happened but, anyway, I did not feel good about it. I did not get the blessing I was looking for. After that I got discouraged.

In November of 1974 the Lord visited my sister, Linda, and her husband. They started going to meetings of the Friends of Jesus Christ, and they became part of the Church. I could see there was a big difference in their lives. That really had a big effect on me. I prayed and told the Lord that if He would send three people from the Friends of Jesus Christ to see me, I would go to a meeting. Shortly after my brother-in-law, George, came to talk with me. Tom and his wife, Karen, came to see me, also. That was the three people. The Lord had answered my prayer.

On December 15, 1974 they invited me to go to a meeting, and I went. I was excited about going. I remember the night before, I was reading my Bible and it started coming alive to me. All the years I had been reading the Bible it didn't really mean that much to me.

I went to the meeting and after a few minutes of sitting there, I remembered I had said things about these people in the past. I felt to apologize to everybody for the things I had said, so I asked their forgiveness. I sat down and I felt a load gone from me for apologizing.

After that the minister stood up and said, "Do you want to serve the Lord with all your soul and might? Do you want to be a part of the Friends of Jesus Christ?" I said, "Yes, I do." I felt this wonderful, glorious feeling come over me. I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself. That feeling stayed with me. There was such a difference. All things changed that day.

In all of the four and a half years of my former religious experience I had never felt this blessing before. I was happy and felt the presence of God with me. This went on for quite awhile. Not only did I have victory over swearing but I had victory over all sin. I was delivered from the world too. There would be no more TV or radio or worldly music in my home, and God gave me standards of modesty in the way I dressed.

As time went on things happened in my life. I got slack in seeking God and reading the Bible. The biggest thing was I didn't pray like I should have. It was not long after this the things of the world crept back into my life. I lost what I had back there in 1974. In 1987 I left the Friends of Jesus Christ. I did not want to be a hypocrite.

I did not feel the Lord's presence anymore. A few years went by. In the meantime I went back to drinking. My nerves were bad again after about two years, so I quit drinking. My painting business and a new video business took up my time. I didn't give God much thought.

There were times when I was troubled. My daughters were working for me in the video business, and I had them deliver movies for me. Reports would come back to me that they had some close calls on the highway. This was bothering me. I was afraid some-thing would happen to them because deep down I knew it was not right to be selling video tapes, especially the bad ones. So, in 1995 I was going to sell the whole video business. Well, I kept back part of it, and continued another two years.

On Thanksgiving Day of 1997 my wife had breathing problems and I had to take her to the hospital. We found out she had leukemia. My mother said to me, "Kerry, you need to get right with the Lord so you can be a better helper to your wife." I was already feeling bad. If my wife died while I was not a Christian, I knew I would feel guilty because I wasn't a good example for her.

I turned again to the Lord. I didn't know if the Lord would take me back after leaving Him for over ten years. My mother invited me to a meeting of the Friends of Jesus Christ. I went to meeting and the Lord was right there to greet me. God took me back and I felt His presence again. It was truly a glorious time for me again. That was on December 7, 1997.

My goal is to serve the Lord the rest of my days, to seek Him, pray daily, read the Bible, and testify to others about what Jesus Christ has done for me and the change He has made in my life.