Jim Batterton III - Cornwall Bridge, CT

Jim BattertonJim Batterton III - Cornwall Bridge, CT

Born 8/8/75    Saved 1/9/89

I was born and raised in a Christian family in just outside of Pittsburgh, PA in the town of White Oak. Some of my earliest memories are of attending Gospel Meetings, Children’s Meetings, and Sunday School. At age five, I remember attending a series of Gospel Meetings every night of the week. Mr. David Oliver and Mr. Jim Smith were the speakers, and for the first time, I began to be concerned about my soul’s eternal destiny.

I always believed that the Bible contained the truth. I never doubted the reality of God, or that Jesus Christ was God’s son, or that He died on the cross. I can remember when my sister was struggling with salvation, and I was able to tell her clearly how to be saved from sin, yet I wasn’t saved. I knew the gospel. I knew my eternal destiny would be in Hell, not Heaven, yet I hadn’t accepted salvation for myself.

From about age 5 until age 8, I was very concerned about getting saved. My main fear at that age was the Lord’s coming. I knew that if the Lord came, I would be left, and my parents would be caught up with Him in the air. To someone that age, the thought of losing one’s family is very frightening. However, even though I was afraid of losing my parents, I wasn’t really afraid of losing my soul. As I got older, I began to be less and less concerned about getting saved.

My family moved to Brookfield, CT when I was about 10. From when we first moved there, we always went to the Brookfield Gospel Hall for meeting. There were occasional times that I would be concerned about getting salvation, such as after a solemn Gospel meeting, but overall I was busy adjusting to a new school and making new friends, so getting saved became a very low priority in my life.

In December of 1988, Mr. Robert Surgenor came to the Brookfield Gospel Hall for a series of ministry meetings. On Sundays, he would speak in the Gospel. Mr. Surgenor has the ability to preach in a very fiery manner. At the Gospel Meeting on Sunday January 8, 1989, Mr. Surgenor painted a particularly vivid picture of Heaven, and of Hell. I hadn’t thought about salvation in over a year, but his message really stirred me, and the Lord started to work in my heart. That night I became very concerned, but I somehow managed to get to sleep. The next morning I woke up, and went through the day, and then went to the ministry meeting at night, and I never gave it much thought. But when I went to bed, I started thinking a lot. Getting saved finally became a very urgent matter for me.

That night, January 9, 1989, I paced around my room. All of the memory verses I had ever learned were racing through my mind. I knew I really needed to be saved, and as I became increasingly more upset, I was realizing that I really didn’t know how to be saved. I began frantically paging through my Bible, and trying to remember various Gospel messages I had heard. I finally realized that I was a sinner, and that I was destined for Hell. For the first time, I knew I was truly lost and that I needed salvation. I finally came to the conclusion that I was just going to have to go to Hell, because I simply could not figure out a way to be saved. That was when I remembered that the Lord Jesus died on the cross for lost sinners. So, in simple child-like faith, I put my trust in His death on the cross to take me to Heaven. It was at that moment that I was saved.

There were no bells or whistles that went off, no flash of light, nor was there any other physically miraculous thing that happened when I trusted Christ. I simply came to the realization that I was a sinner in need of salvation, and the Christ died for me. I felt a tremendous peace after putting my trust in Him. As the hymn goes:

 

My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part, but in whole,

Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more;

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

 

It is well with my soul,

It is well, it is well with my soul.