pastor John's House is the personal website of Pastor John D. Clark Sr., of Burlington, NC
pastor John's House is the personal website of Pastor John D. Clark Sr., of Burlington, NC

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Carrie Caldwell

"I Can See God's Hand"

When I look back on my childhood, I had a very happy one. I was an only child born to two very loving and caring parents. They instilled good morals and values in me from a very early age. Even when I was very young I remember having thoughts of wanting to do right. Just as I wanted to please my parents, I knew that I wanted to make God and Jesus happy. Even today I am very thankful that I had these thoughts in my heart.

I grew up in a formal Methodist church, but after being disappointed by the minister there, we began to look for a new place to go. During my freshman year in high school, I met Taylor. We began to go to a nondenominational church that his family attended. During the following year, Taylor and his parents made plans to move to North Carolina. This was a very hard time for me. I was living in Wisconsin and Taylor was moving away. Even though Taylor and I were only 14 years old, I knew when I met him that we would be married one day. At the time I was wondering what it was that God was doing because it hurt so badly. Now I can see God’s loving hand in it all.

Throughout high school Taylor and I kept in touch. After my senior year in high school my parents decided that my dad would move his podiatry practice to North Carolina. We moved to Charlotte the summer before I went off to college in South Carolina. As you can imagine, I was thrilled about our move!

Time passed and while I was away at school, I was very homesick. I decided that I would move back home and attend a local university. Even though I was at home, I was still very unhappy. Taylor and I were back in touch and seeing each other, but there was still an underlying sadness within me. There is one specific day that I remember very clearly. I was alone in the house, up in my bedroom, and I started crying out, “Are you there God? Where are You?” I felt absolutely nothing. When I look back on that day I don’t know what I was expecting, just relief of some sort I guess. It is not until later that I found out that you CAN feel wonderful feelings from God. He is alive and well! God had a few more plans for me first before he would reveal these things to me.

Shortly after this time, I moved to Chapel Hill so that I could be in the same town as Taylor while he finished school. We began studying the Bible with some Korean missionaries. The services and the Bible studies that we were involved in were very structured. For instance, we would practice the service before we would have it and we were required to write out our prayers and have them checked before we read them in the service. (I can now see that God was showing me the complete opposite of being led by the spirit and worshipping in Spirit and in truth.) It was not feeling right to me, but I hung on because I felt like it was the right thing to do. Also during this time, waves of conviction would come over me. I remember wanting to feel better and praying to God about it; I knew somehow that He would be able to make me feel happy.

During the summer of 1997, while we were studying with the missionaries, they went on a trip to Korea. Taylor was watching a black preacher on TV one day, and Taylor decided that we should go to one of his services. During his sermon he preached on speaking in tongues. This was also the first time that I had ever heard anyone speak in tongues. Taylor and I were curious about speaking in tongues. Was it a gift or was it something we needed? Taylor got on the internet and did a search on speaking in tongues and holy Ghost. One of the first sites that appeared was Taylor and I learned so much from this website such as the truth on the new birth, salvation, and the trinity, to name a few. We came in contact with Gary Savelli the webmaster of that site. He told us that there was a group of people that get together for home prayer meetings just 30 minutes from our house. The pastor of that group is the one that wrote most of the literature on the website. Think about this…God moved Taylor and me from Wisconsin to just 30 minutes away from where the truth is being taught by Pastor John. Oh, how God is so good and loves us so!

We began attending these prayer meetings in the summer of 1997. At our first meeting I remember seeing things that I had never seen before…the power of God on people, dancing in the Spirit, speaking in tongues, and Pastor John praying for people and having them fall out in the Spirit. Although these things were new to me, they were not scary to me. Perhaps it was not scary because of the love that I felt from all of the people. Which later I would realize was the love of God for me. Early on in the meetings (even before I received the holy Ghost) I would feel the power of God. You do not know the relief that I felt to really feel God! He is alive! All of those feelings that I had wanted to feel for years were right here for me. God was saying to me, “I am very real!” Taylor and I knew that we needed to receive the holy Ghost to have our sins washed away, to live a clean holy life, and to have a chance at being saved in the end.

I do not know the exact day that I received the holy Ghost. Some say that I spoke in tongues or had stammering lips a couple of months after we started attending the gatherings, but I do not know for sure. I continued to seek God for almost another year before knowing that I had the Spirit. In September of 1998, Taylor knew for sure that he had the holy Ghost. The next day at home, I got alone with Jesus and told him I just had to know if I had the holy Ghost or not! The spirit told me to go into the other room and hug Taylor. When I did, the holy Ghost fell on me and I began to speak in tongues. Taylor was saying to me, “That’s right, that’s right.” What a wonderful feeling it was to know that I was accepted by God, my sins were gone and I had His sweet Spirit! How happy I was! Not only was God listening to my prayer, but He answered it so quickly. God is so faithful!

While we were learning the truth, we began to share it with my parents. My dad received the holy Ghost at home in the summer of 1999 and my mom received the baptism in December 1999 in a prayer meeting. There is something to be said about the experiences that Taylor, my mom and dad, and I have had and it is this: all four of us have received the baptism of the holy Ghost outside of Christianity. What a testimony that is! Christianity is not required to receive the holy Ghost. We have come out of Christianity and its dead works and ceremonies and it is here that God has blessed us. It is a wonderful feeling to be on the outside and have real feelings, real experiences and to be led by God’s spirit.

While growing up, I never desired to have a career. I knew that I really only wanted to be a mother and stay at home with my children. Jesus has also given me this desire that is my heart. Taylor and I have been blessed with three children. I love the time that I spend at home with them. I feel so very thankful for my little simple life that Jesus has given to me. I have learned that a happy life is a simple life; it is not complicated. God wants me to trust Him, obey Him and think of Him first. He wants me to be good to those around me and to “take care of their hearts.” God wants me to enjoy the people and the things He has given me and stay thankful.

It has been twelve years now since we found the Isaiah58 website. There have been so many blessings along the way. It really is a journey, and I am continually learning new things. As I look back on my testimony, I can see God’s hand in every aspect of my life. He has been looking out for me in all things. He was there when I wasn’t sure if He was or not. When I was miserable, He was waiting for me to seek Him. He saw my heart and gave me the desire to want the things of Him. He has given me a very, very blessed life.

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