GOD was the further most thing from my mind when I graduated from Borup High School. After two years of aviation training in Thief River Falls, four years in the Navy and two more years of schooling, I was searching for answers in life.
It was at that time, I decided to start farming in 1976. Eager to get involved with the community again, I became the treasurer of Faith United Church and also involved myself with the youth of the church.
On November 27, 1977; I was visiting some friends of mine in Grand Forks. They were all excited about this church that they were attending and invited me to come along with them.
As soon as I walked through the door of that church, I knew that this one was unlike any church that I ever attended in the Ada area. When they started to worship by clapping and raising their hands, I wanted to run out of the building. But out of respect to my friends I stayed.
As I listened to the singing and the preaching of the Word I started to feel conviction. I turned around in my seat and knelt when they gave an altar call. At twenty-six years old and in public I started to cry. The irony of it was that it felt good.
When I got through praying the minister showed me in the scriptures about the need for water baptism by immersion in the Name of Jesus Christ. Reluctant at first (remembering I had been baptized as an infant), I said, “Let’s do it”.
As I was changing, preparing myself for water baptism by immersion; part of me wanted to run. Deep down I knew I was doing the right thing. It was like I was submitting myself as a little child.
Stepping into the water I sat down and the minister immersed me calling on the Name of Jesus Christ. When I came out of the water I stood and began to raise my hands. I felt so clean on the inside.
This all happen in the morning service; after some convincing I decided to stay and go to the evening service. That was the best decision I have ever made.
That night I felt very comfortable clapping and singing with everyone. So comfortable, that when they took prayer requests, my hand was one of the first ones to shoot up. My request was, “I don’t know what you people have, but I want it!”
After the preaching of the Word, altar call was given again. Unwilling at first, I yielded and found myself kneeling at the altar in front of the church.
Without any prompting; I stood up, raised my hands and began calling on the Name of Jesus Christ. Almost instantly, a warm presence came over me. It was as if I had been covered with warm oil; I began to speak in another language.
With a big question mark over my head, I asked myself, “What is this?” While praying, those that were around me said, “Mike, that is the baptism of the Holy Ghost”. I must have prayed for a half hour; speaking in tongues and praising God. When I finished I just started hugging everyone.
Back on the farm the next night, I gathered the family together. Mom and Dad weren’t as excited as I was about my New Birth experience. My Mom cried and thought I was in some cult. Dad said, Oh, he will get over it. My three Brothers who were still living at home, were indifferent. All my other siblings who were already married; I’m sure thought, “This is just another phase in our brother’s life.”
After four years of farming and my family slowly adjusting to my new life; God dealt with me about getting into the ministry while I was cultivating sunflowers. I knew what I needed to do. I was going to get out of farming and follow the calling of God in my life. That is when Rachelle came into my life and we got married.
I have seen others, along with my children and now grandchildren give their lives to Jesus Christ. They too have received the New Birth experience; Water Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.
Salvation involves the turning from sin (repentance), the removal of sins from a person's life (water baptism) and the coming of God's Spirit to live within his being. Both the removal of sin and the reception of the Spirit happen because of God's grace and a person's obedient faith.
Our Testimonial presentation affirms that the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only necessary and sufficient basis for our salvation and that we are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It all began on the Day of Pentecost, and it reaches our generation with the same life-changing experience and power.