When I Was 17 – The Testimony of Charles Cloyd

I was born in Crittenden County, Kentucky in 1921. My parents were church goers. When I was about 11 years old while attending a two week protracted meeting at a country church, I came under some emotional distress. I felt that I was lost but my consciousness of sin was not very great. I cannot remember being told anything about Christ dying for sin and particularly my sins. I made a public profession, but I did not know anything about being saved. I just went forward in the church. I never joined the church. I think that my childish emotions were stirred by some very well told stories.

Some years later my family attended a different church were the preaching was very strong and people were being saved. I heard the gospel and realized that I could not ever be good enough to be saved on my own. I remember realizing at age 15 that I was lost. I was rather sad hearing those sermons but I was not moved to fully trust in Christ. I loved the world and had plans to more fully enjoy it. I was not ready to turn from my love for the world and come under the Lordship of Christ. The protracted meetings continued in our church in December of 1938, right on through Christmas.

In late spring of 1938 I came under deep conviction of sin. I knew I was lost and I agreed with God that if I died in that state I would be forever lost. I remember crying out “Lord remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom” (Luke 23:41). On August 28, 1938 I said in my heart that I could hold out no longer and I went forward in the church. I trusted in Christ and was saved while the church was singing “Just as I am without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, Oh Lamb of God I come.” The pastor asked, “What is your hope?” “Jesus Christ is my only hope,” I replied. That was the first time I could ever really pronounce or confess His name. That night I had peace, the peace that passes understanding.

I have presented my own experience of eternal life. Let me now speak of that which everyone must face. Billy Graham preaches that you “Must be born again.” President Carter also emphasized this precious truth. This supreme requirement is stated by our Lord Jesus Christ in John 3:7, “Ye must be born again.” Jesus went on to say in John 3:14-15, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

And so my friend I am authorized to invite you to be born again through faith in Jesus Christ. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a great Baptist preacher of the nineteenth century, was so convicted on God’s gracious disposition to saved sinners he request that a challenge be written across his tomb which reads, “Meet me in heaven.” My prayer is that you will.” Charles Cloyd

(Dr. Charles E. Cloyd {1921-2010} was a long time professor of Old Testament and History at Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College in Mayfield, Kentucky. He had a great influence of many of the pastors in western Kentucky. The above testimony is from a gospel tract he published in August, 1993.)