Shiloh Bible Church

at Fremont & Kirkville Roads, East Syracuse, NY

Andy’s testimony

Hi…My name is Andy Bunton and this is my testimony.

I was born in 1938 into a Christian family in South Carolina. My parents were not frequent churchgoers, especially my father, but he did impart to me a strong sense of right and wrong. I was the youngest in the family, having three brothers and two sisters. I can say with all honesty that we were a loving family.

My mother attended church occasionally. I do not recall whether or not my father ever attended church. However, they did see to it that I attended Sunday school. My memories of Sunday school go back as far as I can remember. When I was a little older, I attended regular church services.

At the age of eleven years, I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour. I was alone in church that day and it was my decision. Not even my parents were aware until I informed them after church. Shortly thereafter, I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in a Baptist church. It was a joyous occasion.

Probably at about the age of thirteen years, I loosened my church ties, stopped being a good student in school, doing just enough to get by and graduate. After graduating from high school, I joined the Army, and my only aspiration was to jump out of airplanes.

After getting out of the service, I joined a Lutheran church, where I went to church on Sundays, Easter, and Christmas. This lasted seven years, and the experience was uninspiring. It was from here that I turned to Orthodox Judaism. This worked well for me for about ten years; at least I thought so at the time. But something was missing.

For the next twenty years, I drifted into a nothing land with no direction in my life. I put some distance between myself and God, but I never felt that He had left me. I had done many things in my life that were shameful, to say the least. Probably around the turn of the Century, my life also took a turn. I began to search for something, but wasn’t sure exactly what. Something was gnawing at me and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

The lady who lived across the street from me began to draw my attention. We knew each other, to be sure, but only as neighbors. She was a churchgoing lady and attended Bible studies a couple of times a week. That was something that I really admired in her. I truly looked upon her as a woman of God.

My main stumbling block in returning to Christianity was accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God. I wanted proof-positive that Jesus is the true Only Begotten Son of God, who died for our sins on the Cross, was buried, and rose the third day, according to the Scriptures. Proof-positive was a pretty tall order on my part.

So, I searched for substance on a few of the religious channels on TV, but found that most of them were more interested in contributions to their ministry than teaching the Word of God. One night I stumbled onto a preacher who really caught my attention. He was giving a testimony in a revival tent meeting he had held, recounting the opposition that was brought against him and how God had brought him through it.

I did not get this preacher’s name, nor was I able to find him again on TV. However, in my search to find him, I ran across Joel Osteen, who seemed interesting enough. He always prefaced his sermons with a joke, never asked for money, gave you the opportunity to accept Jesus, and instructed you to find a Bible-based church. Joel was the one who the Lord used to keep me interested in the Word of God while I was being guided in the right direction.

I might add here that throughout my entire life, I always believed in God, but had difficulty in accepting Jesus Christ as part of a Triune God.

The God-fearing lady and I got to know each other pretty well, and we were married in April of 2005. We accepted each other as we were and she never once tried to push me into returning to Christianity. Then came Mother’s Day of that same year. A day I shall remember for the remainder of my life. As usual, Joan was planning on going to church alone. This became a turning point for me.

I was really not comfortable with Joan going alone to church on Mother’s Day. It just didn’t seem right. So……I asked her if she wanted me to attend church with her. Of course she said yes, but she also informed me that it shouldn’t be out of obligation. She wanted it to be because I really wanted to, which was the case. I might add here that I intended for this to be a one-time thing. The last thing that I wanted was for her to expect me to start attending on a regular basis.

The service went well. What really impressed me was the pastor’s sermon. He delivered a sermon, but did not preach a sermon. His sermon was based on the Word of God, searching the Scriptures and comparing them, going from New Testament to Old Testament and showing how they relate to one another. In my previous church experiences, the pastors preached from the Word of God, but not conveying the Word of God to the congregations.

All in all, it was an uplifting experience for me. For the first time in my life, I was in a church where the Word or God was taught. I left church that morning wanting to know more about the Word of God. I especially wanted to know more about Jesus Christ and how to find out for sure, proof-positive, that He is the Son of God, that He died on the Cross for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures.

During the course of the next few months, I continued my proof-positive search of Jesus Christ. Then one day while studying Scripture…………there it was. I don’t recall the circumstances, but the Lord led me to Proverbs 3:5-6 and all of a sudden, everything became crystal clear to me. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

I found out that it isn’t about proof-positive. It’s all about faith. Faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It’s about faith plus nothing…a wonderful gift from God. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn this gift. The eternal gift of life everlasting which can only come through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only way. None can come to the Father except through His Son, Jesus Christ….And this must be accepted by faith in Him.

Earlier I indicated that something had been missing in my life, but I didn’t know what it was. I now know for a certainty that it was Jesus Christ.

And that’s it, people, how I came to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour.

But, that wasn’t the end, it was a new beginning. The beginning of a personal relationship with Lord Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within my life. My whole life has changed, and I now have “the peace of God which passes all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7, in part.)

Oh……That church that I walked into on that Mother’s Day of 2005…I have missed very few services at Shiloh Bible Church since that day.

May the grace, mercy, peace, and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Andrew Bunton
East Syracuse, NY
November 06, 2014

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