Pastor Ray Paget
I was baptized and reared in the Roman Catholic faith, attending Catholic schools from elementary to high school. On the first day of my 11 th grade I quit my Catholic school and enrolled in a local public high school. That was probably my first outward rejection of my Catholic upbringing.
Although steeped in Roman Catholicism, I didn’t hear a clear presentation of the Gospel until I was 20 years old. I was working a summer job at a shipyard south of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. A man named Bob, probably 15 years my senior, shared the Gospel with me almost everyday during that summer. Although I liked working with Bob, I thought he was a Jesus freak and never responded to his invitations to “trust Jesus as my savior.”
The Spirit of God got my attention at age 29. My wife, Debbie, and I were visiting my grandmother and she gifted me with a Bible. When we returned home later that evening, the Spirit of God impressed upon me to begin reading it and I did, every night before going to sleep. Around one year later, at age 30, having finished reading the entire Bible, I recognized my lost condition, repented of my sin, and received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
The Lord proved Himself faithful to my former co-worker Bob. About 13 years after Bob first shared the Gospel with me, I was standing in the foyer of Bible Baptist Church in West Chester, PA when I saw him walking through the doorway entrance. I recognized him immediately and yelled across the room, “Bob I’m saved!” He looked over to where I was standing, and immediately broke down in tears.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6 ESV).