I was seventeen years old. Putting my Bible and three sermons in a suitcase I got in a car with my friend, Mark Carouthers, and my sister, Patti Jones, and drove to West Monroe, Louisiana, to preach my first sermon that was to be delivered outside of the youth group at my home church. I was nervous and excited.
Arriving in West Monroe in the afternoon, Pastor Fred Foster and his wife took us to a cafeteria where we dined before service that night. I remember that the pastor was wearing some sort of a cartoonish, jumping bean on the lapel of his suit because his church was in a Sunday School contest with the church in Alexandria, Louisiana. Elder Foster treated me like I had sense and talked to me about church matters. He likely felt a little sorry for me…I know I feel sorry for them having to listen to me.
I started preaching that night, and now, thirty-five years later, I am still preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. How great is our God!