Salvation Stories: “The Lord Was Trying to Tell Me Something”

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By MARK MAYNARD, Kentucky today

GRAY, Ky. (KT) – Gloria Keck has been playing the piano at Keck Baptist Church for over 50 years. She has been a Christian for about four weeks.

Keck, who is 77, said she played the role of Christian most of her life. She stepped forward on an invitation as a young girl with a group of other girls. Even though she did what good church members do throughout her life, the burden of not being truly saved has never left her.

His life resembled that of most Christians. She served the church not only as a pianist, but also sang and worked with children’s groups, provided meals on demand, and prayed with friends. She was a good woman, a good wife and a good mother. No one would ever have known she was not a Christian. But she did.

She knew that the profession of faith she gave as a little girl was not given by genuine faith in Jesus. However, life continued for Gloria and her husband John Bill, who raised three boys and took them to church whenever the doors were opened. Gloria was the pianist and her husband, who had a history similar to that of his wife, led the music for years and years. They did this for decades while trying to hide the burden that was buried deep in their souls.

“I thought about it every once in a while, but not so overbearing that I had to do something about it,” Gloria said, even remembering an accident in the 1970s when their car was slammed while someone was around. one was crossing a red light and crashing. in them. “This thought occurred to me, ‘You are not saved!’ I thought, ‘How can that be? I loved the Lord. Sometimes that would be a real doubt and sometimes OK.

The couple played the role of Christian well. They were good people, so this part was easy. They helped others because it was their nature. They were even part of the church leadership.

On the outside, they were perfect church members.

Inside, they were overwhelmed with doubt.

John Bill said he stepped forward when he was 11 or 12 with some of his friends on Sunday morning.

“I was baptized with a friend of mine in a rural pond,” he said.

Like his wife, John Bill still has this nagging burden and this question: have I really surrender everything to Christ?

John Bill, who began conducting music in the church at the age of 15, has lived his life with high moral standards. But deep down he knew that the profession of faith in his younger years did not come from the heart. Peer pressure was more the reason he went ahead.

“I was at Keck school with 30 kids and all eight years,” he said. “You learn a lot there. You also learn a lot of nastiness.

It wasn’t until 1991 that John Bill settled the salvation issue with a friend, Gene Hurst, who helped him overcome it.

It was much later for his wife, who finally settled the problem on August 29, 2021. She was baptized “for real” a week ago.

“I had this feeling, this burden, often when I was conducting the singing,” said John Bill. “Several times I went upstairs and made a new dedication, but it was short lived. It did not ease the burden I had. I felt the conviction. One day in a regular church service, I went ahead and gave my life to the Lord. It’s very difficult to do when I’ve been playing the part for so long.

Over the years, from 1991 to 2021, he occasionally asked his wife about her salvation experience, but never pushed too hard. He knew she was also having trouble knowing what to do.

“One morning at the breakfast table, John and I were talking,” Gloria said. “He asked me, out of the blue, about my salvation. Another friend told me that his wife had not been saved and had worked in the church all of her life, then suddenly found out that she was not saved. It was cases like this that kept coming up. The Lord was trying to tell me something.

So, on August 29, Gloria Keck stopped playing the piano at the time of the invitation and went to the church.

“I finally went to see the acting preacher,” she said. “He was saying things that brought me (to come) forward. I couldn’t hold back anymore. I had to make sure. I needed to know. Now I am sure that burden is lifted.

Her husband said Gloria spoke to the pastor, who knew nothing about her past life.

“She was standing in the audience and he shut down the service. After the service, she rushed forward. We all sat down and started talking. She was upset by the situation. I told him, ‘Today is the day. Nothing in the past matters. If you feel convinced of this now, ask the Lord to forgive you and accept the Lord aloud. She did and that fixed the problem. She said, ‘I want to be baptized.’ ”

Gloria said that she had never felt such peace and that the burden which was heavier than the piano she played was lifted. “I have the peace that I didn’t have and I no longer have a burden,” she said. “It’s never too late. I didn’t know how they (friends and church members) would accept it. But they loved me. They are wonderful people and always have been.”

Gloria has her 78e birthday next month. Meanwhile, her spiritual birthday reaches one month next week.

“It’s been so good to know that I know that I know,” she said.


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