A preacher came through close to where Mom and Dad lived and held a ?meeting”.
Mom received the Holy Ghost (as evidenced by speaking in tongues) first, then Dad. The oldest kids were very young at the time. Dad?s aunts, Lena and Zadie, came into the church. Their families were Pentecostal. Hazel, Lena?s daughter, became Pentecostal. Mom?s folks were good Baptists, and they had a fit. Her brother told stories on her, and they persecuted her. They never accepted it.
Free Pentecostal churches did not have a lot of stability in those days, and many times we were not close to a oneness church. That probably should have been the first criteria before we moved. For a couple of years we were across from an Assembly of God church and attended there. While we were in Barnsdall, a Jesus Name church was started. Preachers traded off from week to week. Gilbert Raymond (Dad?s sister?s boy) started preaching there in Barnsdall. We rode in the back of an old pickup truck to and from church. We would ride in the back and hang onto the bars for dear life. It was 5-7 miles from the house. Many times we would be 1/2 hour late or more due to the evening chores.
Even when we were unable to attend church regularly, Mom never wavered. She would pray for hours on end–many times in the middle of the night. The reason my brothers were saved is because of Mother?s prayers.
By 16 or 17 years of age, the boys were let go. They did anything they thought they were big enough to do. Mom and Dad were still very strict on the girls at that age, as was the custom. We were not allowed to do anything–not even to go to town.
Because of this, the boys tended to get into trouble. Before they came to the Lord, they were typical men of the world. Lloyd fiddled for dances and went to shows. Emmitt was saved and living for God before we moved to Sperry. Johnnie said he never drank, but Wes said he drank some. Earl drank a lot, but all that changed when he came to know the Lord in his mid-20s. At age17 he came home drunk late one night. Mom had been burdened and was up praying in the Spirit. He could hear her praying from the minute he got to the gate. He tiptoed in, trying to sneak past her, but that did not block out the sound of her prayers. In later years, he told of hearing the services at the Sperry Pentecostal Church from the house and being convicted. Many years later he became pastor of the Sperry United Pentecostal Church. The boys all became strong, stable men of God and have wonderful testimonies. Several of the boys later became preachers.
Ruth received the Holy Ghost at the Chelsea church. Ruth and Orpha never backslid, but they did date out of the church. Thank God for their husbands, Houston Marrs and Richard Briggs, who became wonderful God-fearing men and pillars in the church at Sperry, Oklahoma.
Thank God for our glorious Apostolic heritage.