by C. Raymond Buck

My parents, long before they were saved, had a sincere interest in church and the Christian faith. That interest eventually brought the family into close relationship with a large Baptist church in Wichita, Kansas. We became regular attenders at Sunday School and Sunday morning worship services. We were “regulars”—but lost!

This did not change until the Sunday before Palm Sunday when I was nine years old. Scrubbed and smiling, I was wiggling my way through a typical Sunday School lesson. My teacher suddenly stopped reading from the quarterly and lifted his eyes to look at his class of boys. “If any of you would like to become Christians, see me after class.” His eyes went back to the booklet and the lesson droned on.

I had been struggling with a growing conviction that I was a sinner, and I worried that I might spend eternity in hell. My teacher’s invitation, strange as it seemed, struck me with surprising impact. The rest of the class exploded into the hall when they heard the closing bell, but three of us stayed behind.

The teacher was a layman—really a layman—and he hardly knew how to handle three young inquirers. He was nervous and insecure. He used no “plan of salvation,” and he did not open his Bible as he talked to us. Instead, he told us simply how he had trusted Christ and that he knew his sins had been forgiven.

Almost any teacher in almost any Regular Baptist church could do a better job than my teacher, but I am grateful he tried. He asked us to bow our heads and to ask Jesus Christ to become our Savior. With a simple “Amen,” he ended the minutes of silence. He then said that if we had done it, we should go forward during the closing hymn at the morning service and tell the pastor. He did not ask us whether we had received the Lord, and he did not give us 1 John 5:13 or any other advice or encouragement.

Later, in the morning service, I stepped into the aisle. The congregation seemed extremely large, and I felt very small and alone. Still, despite the limited and imperfect help I had been given, I had become a Christian and the Holy Spirit was bearing His witness within my heart.

As an extra benefit, my father and mother stepped out that morning; they were with me when I arrived at the front of the church. No one dealt with us there, but we put our “yes” in the proper squares for profession of faith and for believer’s baptism—and the vote was “yes” and unanimous. With less help than had been given me, my parents also came to the Lord that day.

  • Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin (November 1986).