Keith Hinnant

"I was raised a Baptist."

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I was raised a Baptist and thought that I knew what was right when it came to God. In late 2002, the Lord started changing things in my life. I was thirty-six years old and had been married to my wife, Tracey for three and a half years. We had a two-year-old daughter and I was satisfied with my life. I had the family and the life that I had always wanted when Tracey noticed that one of her knees had begun to swell. She went to the doctor and, to make a long story short, after going through some testing, she was told that she likely had a serious blood disorder and was possibly very sick. As a result, Tracey became very upset, began to seek the Lord and eventually, over my objections, went to a prayer meeting with her mother at Pastor John’s house. I was upset about Tracey going to the prayer meeting because I felt that if she chose to go one way while I went the other, we would be divided and our marriage would at least be damaged if not destroyed. The first night that she went to the prayer meeting, she came home and told me that she had received the holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I had never been around holiness people; I knew nothing about the holy Ghost and did not have a clue what she was talking about, but I could see that she was not the same as she had been when she left. A big burden had been lifted off of her. It was obvious that she had received much needed relief. I was not pleased that she had gone and was afraid that I was going to end up losing the wife and family that I had always wanted, but I was happy to see the change in her.

I had always believed the way I had been taught as a child in the Baptist church - that I was “saved”. In the next few weeks, Tracey began to tell me that I was not saved, as I had been taught to believe. She asked me to go to a prayer meeting with her and told me that I needed the same experience that she had gotten when she received the holy Ghost, and then I would have to live a life that was pleasing to God or that I would be lost in the end. This angered me, and I would not go to a prayer meeting with her, but I began to read some tracts that she brought home from Pastor John’s. At first, I was reading to gain enough information to prove that the way I believed was right and the things I was being told were wrong, but after a few weeks I had to admit that some of the things that I was reading made sense, and I began to doubt the way that I had believed all of my life.

As a result, in an attempt to find out what was right, I decided that I would read the entire New Testament. Before I began, I fell down on my face and asked God to show me what was right in His eyes. I told the Lord that I had thought all along that I knew what was right, but now I did not know anymore and I needed His help. I told Him I did not want to be right and I did not want Tracey to be wrong, but I just wanted to know what was right according to Him. I then set out to read the entire New Testament. After reading just a little I was amazed. I had spent a lot of time reading the Bible in the past, but this time it did not seem like the same book. Things that I had read many times before and could not understand all of a sudden made perfect sense to me. Things that I had never seen before now stood out boldly. I made it to the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew and read what Jesus said would happen to evil servants who are not faithful until their Lord’s return. I read in that scripture that Jesus said if a servant who had been left by his Lord with instructions to tend to the Lord’s house said in his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming,” and then began to do wickedly, that when the Lord returned and found his servant doing wickedly, he would “cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.” I understood these scriptures for the first time, and when I did, I realized that a person has to be faithful until the Lord returns if they are going to be saved. It became clear to me that salvation is a future reward of faithful servants and that the doctrine that I had believed all my life had to be wrong.

I was still very unsure of things and hesitant to go to a prayer meeting with Tracey, when one day, Tracey brought home a CD of Earl Pittman and Pastor John singing “Glory Bound Train”. I had loved blue grass music from the time I was a child, and this song touched something deep inside me. I remember having the thought that I still was not sure about them, but they sure could sing. I did not realize at the time that what had touched my heart was the anointing that Pastor John and Brother Earl have been given by Jesus.

Shortly afterwards, I went to my first prayer meeting. I was very uncertain about going but felt inside that I wanted to go, so I did. When I got to the meeting, most of the people that I saw I had never seen before, but in spite of me not knowing them and them not knowing me, I felt a deep love coming from them to me. I did not know that what I was feeling was the love of God flowing through them to me. Those feelings of love that I felt really put a desire in my heart to come back, even while I was not sure about what I was hearing or seeing. The testimonies and the preaching that I heard were really good and were totally new to me, but it was seeing the power of God move on people that really drew me. I had never been around holiness people or seen the power of God, and when I did, I wanted to feel it. I eventually went up to be prayed for when the holy Ghost was moving, and at first when I was prayed for I did not feel anything, but after going to more prayer meetings and seeking God, I began to feel the power of God flow through my body when Pastor John or some of the others would lay hands on me and pray for me.

I asked Jesus to lead me and show me what I needed to do to be filled with the holy Ghost, and he pricked my heart about something that I had done when I was eighteen years old. At first I ignored the feelings I was having about that situation because I just knew that Jesus could not want me to go back eighteen years to make something right. One day, I was riding down the road talking to the Lord about the situation, and he spoke to me and said, “You asked me to lead you. Now let me.” I could not ignore the prick in my heart about that situation, and I knew it was from the Lord. At first, I did not have a clue how to make the situation right without making a big mess, but I knew that before I would get the holy Ghost I would have to.

I began to pray and seek God and He showed me what I needed to do. Within a couple of weeks after I did what the Lord had shown me to do, he filled me with the holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues in a prayer meeting on May the 11th, 2003. I thank God for His mercy on me and my family. He did not have to show me the way home, and I often wonder why He has chosen me, but then, that is really none of my business. He is the Master and can do as He wills. I just want to be faithful, do what is right in His sight, and please Him. I want to be a blessing to His people and when all is done I want to hear Him say, “Well done my faithful child.”


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