No Longer “Playing Church”

I grew up in a small town in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. We went to the little Methodist church, and I can recall my father having devotions every morning. However, I went into “spiritual neutral” at an early age because it seemed like church was just a bunch of do’s and don’ts, and I could not measure up.


I went to Davidson College in North Carolina where I was required to take two years of Bible, go to religious chapel, and attend church. I turned it off, however, because I was having too much fun “in the world.”


After college, I entered the U.S. Army. I thought I was a combination of Rambo and John Wayne and volunteered for the paratroopers and also the Special Forces.


Upon getting out of the Army, I earned an MBA and started a career in the banking business. I went straight up the corporate ladder and became executive vice president of a large community bank.


I soon learned that church was good for business, and I served as an elder, deacon, and Sunday school teacher. I could stand up and talk about Jesus all day, and it was all false. I was a good example of a religious hypocrite and sinner. I “played” church because it was helpful for my career, and I did this for 25 years.


After completing my banking career, I decided to become a speaker with financial seminars, etc. I was asked to speak at Davidson College one day, and Gideons were on campus handing out New Testaments. I thought it would look good for me to take one, so I did. I put it in my briefcase and never looked at it.


Seven months later, I got a call from my son who was about to go to college. He told me that the school had asked him to room with a blind student. He said, “I told them he would be an inspiration to me and anyway I could help him, I would be pleased to do so.”


Well, when I heard that, God did a number on me. I was immediately under conviction of the Holy Spirit and my whole life played in front of me. God told me that I had just witnessed the unconditional love that my son had for a blind student he did not know. How much more did God love me if I would just follow Him? When I finally got control of myself, I looked down and saw, in my briefcase, the New Testament given to me by a Gideon more than 28 years ago at Davidson College.


I opened it up to the last two pages, and God used that New Testament to help me accept Jesus as my personal Savior and change me from the person that I was. I signed my name in the New Testament on August 8, 1988, and became a new person in Christ.  


A few years later, a close friend introduced me to the Gideon ministry, and I have served Him especially with witnessing because of how God used that little Testament to lead me to Jesus. My wife is a member of the Auxiliary. Thank you for allowing me to share my Gideon Testimony. God’s Word does not return void.

— Gus B.

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