Thank You for visiting our website. Faith Baptist Church, Myrtle Mississippi is located at 1152 CR 54 Myrtle MS. 38650. Our Pastor is Bro. Claude Mills and his wife is Becky. He has been our pastor since 1993.

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We are afflitated with the Churches of Camp Liberty in Pontotoc Mississippi.

Please visit camplibertybaptist.com

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Salem Baptist Church

Located in Salem, India and is a work in progress, planted by a seed from Beulah Bapist Church in Germantown Maryland. It is being watered and nurtured by the churches of Camp Liberty in Pontotoc, Mississippi. That seed that was planted is the family of Britto and Viji and their daughters Jessica and Ivanna.

 

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Cindy Robbins

  The Missing Piece 

I told the church one night during a service that I felt like our church was missing a piece of a puzzle, for some reason in my heart it seemed like we were missing something. Little did I know that it was ME that was missing God in my life, the peace that passes all understanding. There were many in the church that realized this, but I was clueless until several years later. Here is my testimony of how the Lord revealed himself to me and gave me my missing piece, and made my life whole.

I was raised by my mom who had been divorced 5 times, and a bitter grandmother that had raised 9 children alone after her husband had died of bone cancer. It was a very unstable environment, but it was all I knew, I thought it was normal for many years. I have never known what it was like to have a father, because I am an illegitimate child. My biological father denied that I was his. So I was raised with a bad attitude about men. I was taught they were all losers, and self centered. The discipline that was carried out was by my grandmother, who carried a switch and was just itching for a chance to use it, and unfortunately I gave her many chances. Growing up in this atmosphere, I learned to trust in myself and appeared that I did not need or have to have a man to depend on for anything.

School years were great and fun and I loved school and my friends. I was very independent and started working when I was 12. I made my own decisions and answered to no one at a very early age. Ironically, I was looking for love by the time I was 13 and thought I was ready for marriage by 15. Kenneth, my husband, and I were classmates in high school, we dated for about a year and were married  just 3 short months after we graduated high school.  My purpose for marriage was not for love solely, but to not have to live with my mother and change situations that that I was not satisfied with in life. I thought I would get to rule my own life after marriage, however, that was not the case.

Two years after we had been married, I had my first child, a son, Heath. Kenneth and I had such a good marriage relationship that I couldn’t even tell him I was pregnant for 3 months.  I was afraid he would be angry with me because I was supposedly taking the pill (when I would remember).  He wasn’t too upset with me, so we muddled through the process of adjusting to having a child.  Kenneth and I had very different ideas of parenting, I wanted him home helping me, and he wanted to not be at home, not helping me. So, most of the time he went his own way and I went mine. He loved to hunt, and fish, and run beagles. We both worked, so my new life was raising a son, and his was well the same as it was before Heath was born. We rarely went to church, we had no desire to. He was raised in church, but I only went to church when taken by a relative. I had no thoughts of God or spiritual matters growing up, life was just life and you rolled with the punches, taking all matters into your own hands and dealing with them the best way you knew how.

When Heath was 15 months old he had spinal meningitis, he was very sick and at the point of death. The doctors rushed him to a pediatric hospital to spare his life, at this point I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter Brittany. Needless to say this ordeal changed my complete thinking about life and brought my mind to thinking about God. I was in the waiting room attempting to sleep waiting to see if my son was going to make it through the night. I realized at this point in my life that there was a God and that he was in control of all life and situations. I started making deals with God in my mind, I said God if you will allow my child to live I will start going to church and live my life for you the best I know how. I dozed off to sleep, the next morning my son was much better and the prognosis was that he was going to be ok after a few weeks of meds and being in intensive care.

Now it was time for me to keep up my end of the bargain that I had made with God.  After the birth of my daughter, Brittany, I told Kenneth we were going to have to start going to church. We started going to New Oak Grove Baptist, because that is where Kenneth attended when he was growing up and his parents were still members there.  We attended on Sunday mornings only, for awhile, but then as our children were growing older and getting involved in sports and many other activities, church was not a priority again. Our children loved sports, so that became our God, even though we didn’t realize it at the time. Both of our children were very good in sports, Heath played all star baseball from the time he was 7 until he graduated, and Brittany played all star softball from 7 until she graduated high school, and basketball also. We were on a sports field or basketball court, every day, every weekend for 10 years.

As the years rocked along, we still attended New Oak Grove when we could fit it into our schedules. We had several preachers that came and went, which had become a norm for our church. The faithful people of the church had become weary of the searching for a new preacher process, because they would only stay for a year or two and then leave us.

In 1993, the pulpit committee decided to ask the Blue Mountain College Seminary to send some young men for trial sermons. Bro. Claude Mills came to our church with his wife and family of 3 young children. I don’t remember what he preached the very first time he came, but when they called him back for his second sermon, he preached a sermon titled “what are we passing to the next generation”. That sermon touched many of our church members, deep meaning for us shallow minded people. We had never thought about what we were passing to the next generation. He was preaching spiritually, asking were we teaching our children the ways of God? All we were teaching our children that I could see was how to play ball. Of course, this could mean scholarships we would tell ourselves.  We certainly didn’t know anything about the bible to teach them, even though we had been attending church for years. Little did we know that God was going to teach us what to pass on to the next generation in the years and sermons to come.

We elected Bro. Claude to be our new preacher, because we were all impressed with his sermons and his family. After he got settled in at our church and got the feel for what we believed or didn’t believe and realized where our hearts were, he started preaching what he called “truth”. Truth was what the bible really said about things and the standard by which we should live our lives, according to what God and the Bible said, not what we thought was right in our own minds, or vain traditions of the church.

When Bro Claude came to our church, we were well into our love for sports, and our children’s lives. Kenneth and I had grown apart over the years of our marriage because of it, he went one way with Heath and his games, and I went another way with Brittany. We had very little time for one another, and when we did it was usually arguing about money or who was right about what and you did or didn’t do this for me, or the usual marital fights and justifications of your feelings.

I got to the point that I hated sports, hated being at sports events every weekend, being in the hot sun, listening to parents whine about their kid not getting to play or the coach yelling at my kid because they didn’t play good enough. I worked hard and I deserved better I would think, if my family loved me they wouldn’t put me through this mess. I was very selfish, became very distraught, very strong willed and obnoxious to everyone, not only my family, but anyone that crossed my path. I got into financial messes, and Kenneth would have to borrow money to bail us out. I didn’t care about who it was affecting, I would turn around and do it again. I eventually was unfaithful in our marriage, so therefore I was an emotional wreck, and put my family through hell, but I hid it all inside, or in my mind I was. I was very deceitful, I pretended that nothing was wrong and trudged right along justifying all of my thoughts and actions. While all this was going on, I had to appear to be a good parent and wife and attend church, after all that’s what I told God I would do, my feeble promise earlier in life. I was living a double life, pretending nothing was wrong, living one way at home and work another way at church. It became a miserable life circle.

When Bro. Claude started preaching truth, one of the first things he preached about was that God expected husbands to love their wives and wives to love their husbands. Not only did he preach this, he lived it. Bro. Claude and his wife Becky were much in love. They held hands in public, would sit close to one another in church, and kiss in public, enough to sicken me. I would make fun of them and tell them to get a room or make other smirk remarks to them. But I could really see that they cared for one another and cared what the other thought about things, and had a relationship and respect for one another.  It was not good to compare our marriage to theirs, because it did not match up. Deep down in my heart, I was jealous of their relationship but I knew in my mind I could never love my husband like Becky loved Bro. Claude or the way God said it was supposed to be. It was at this point in my life that conviction started piercing my heart. I started hearing God speak through a preacher and it was about love, a type of love that I had not ever heard of before, a love from an almighty God that would forgive me and wanted a relationship with me. A type like a husband and wife are supposed to have, unconditional, forgiving love.

Bro. Claude often preached about how to love God was to love him and love each other, not only your spouse, but people in the church. I was so in love with myself at that time in my life, I had no desire to love anyone in the church, or get close to them. If I were to get to close to anyone or open up to anyone, they might find out about my sins and my terrible attitude.  Another thing Bro. Claude preached about often was repentance, a form of humility and showing obedience toward God, I was not ready to do that. I remember sitting in church and wondering to myself and asking the Lord what I needed to repent of. Bro. Claude would say that repenting is a change of mind? I had no intentions of changing my mind about anything, because I was determined and convinced that I was right in all of my thinking. The Lord needed to straighten Kenneth out, and have him treat me better and take better care of me, but unknowingly to me Kenneth was thinking the same thing about me.  Somehow the Lord started showing me through many sermons that I needed to start seeking him, asking for forgiveness, and repentance. My heart was very hard and cold and I did not want to admit that what I was hearing about love toward my husband and others was the right thing to do.

I finally just ask the Lord what must I do to be right? He told me to get right with my husband, and love him. I did not like that answer and rejected the idea that was what I needed to do in order to be saved. However God started a work in my heart and life and convinced me differently. He sent not only Bro. Claude but other preachers, like Bro. Greg Moffitt, Bro. Tim Rutherford, and Bro. Terry Owen to help convince me of God’s teachings about love, mercy and forgiveness.

Bro. Greg Moffit preached a sermon at Grace Baptist Church that pierced my heart, it was out of Luke 18 and talked about how we trust in ourselves and have no need of the Lord. It talks about thinking yourself as righteous, and despising others. That was exactly how I felt. I thought I had everything under control and I didn’t want the spirit of the Lord showing me how sinful and what a mess I had made of things. I despised others that loved God and I thought everybody sins and I am as good as they are.

By this time, Kenneth and I were on the verge of divorce, I was at the point where I was ready to divorce and leave my kids. I wanted my own way and do my own things. The only thing that kept me from leaving already was I didn’t want someone else to raise my kids, I did not want them to be in a broken home situation.  I had no feelings for Kenneth, no love, I told him I wanted a divorce. Kenneth went to Bro. Claude and talked to him and told him what was going on. Bro. Claude started counseling with us individually.  He told me that my thinking was wrong and this is not what the Lord would want, and he felt like we could reconcile our marriage.

I had to get to know my preacher and trust someone besides myself. All this was a work of God in both mine and Kenneth’s life, drawing us to our man of God and teaching us to trust him. I was not in the right attitude about any of this to start with, I was still rebellious and really wanted my own way , but I wanted to do what was right for my kids and God eventually.  As I started hearing and obeying what Bro. Claude was saying about reconciling our marriage, the Lord opened my ears to what he was saying about reconciling to Christ. I started doing whatever Bro. Claude said to do. Kenneth and I separated and started all over, we started dating and trying to relearn each other, listening to each other and trying to sort things out. As I started to lower my guard and quit finding all the negative things about Kenneth and looking for positive, I saw that he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. The Lord showed me how he had really taken good care of me over the years and provided all the things I needed, I was just not appreciative of it, a type of Christ in a sense.

Bro. Greg Moffitt preached a revival service for us and one night he preached about giving your problems to the Lord, he used the words throwing up or puking up our sins. I went to the alter that night and tried to do just that, I cried and puked up every distasteful sin I could think of that I had ever done, but I did not get saved that night, but I was doing some serious repenting. Some people were confused because it seemed I was broken and looked like maybe salvation had occurred, Bro. Terry Owen came to the alter and asked me could he talk to me and I said yes. He asked me did I not know that God was there for me, I said no, I don’t see him or feel him. He said you might as well go back to your seat, because God was there for me, but I missed him. I did what he said, I was not upset, I didn’t even know that salvation was near, I was just trying to get rid of my guilt and sin on my own once again.

A few weeks after that, I awoke in the middle of the night and the Lord told me to walk away and sin no more. It was so vivid and real, not like a dream. I had no idea what that meant. I didn’t tell anyone for a few days, but it was constantly on my mind. So finally I told Bro. Claude what happened, and what the Lord had told me. Immediately he said do you not know what story that phrase comes from. I told him no.  He told me that was from the story of the adulterous woman in John 8, how the woman was caught in the very act of adultery, and the people brought her before the Lord and wanted her stoned, and the Lord told them whoever was without sin to cast the first stone and the Lord looked down and drew in the sand, and when he looked up, the people that brought her before the Lord were gone. He asked her where her condemners were, she said they are not here Lord. The Lord told her he condemned her not but to walk away and sin no more. I was like WHAT?! I said so you are saying the Lord does not condemn me and I can walk away and sin no more, forgiven by the Lord of Heaven. He said evidently, if that’s what the Lord told me. I just could not believe my ears. Why in the world would the Lord not condemn me, after all the things I had done to him? Well I just couldn’t believe it.

On August 27th, 2003, I went to church and Bro. Claude got up to preach and he read a verse out of the bible, I don’t even remember the specific verse, but he made the statement, that somebody in the service was a God hater, and we closed the service. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I thought I do not want to be a God hater, somehow through all the things that had happened in my life, I had learned to hate God, but at the same time it brought me to God and showed me how God had provided and taken care of me all of my life. I started to the back of the church to stack the chairs and put up the songbooks with all of these thoughts on my heart and mind. When I turned around to get another chair, the spirit of the Lord just sat down on me, I could not even stand up straight. Somehow I made my way to the pulpit where Bro. Claude was standing, by this time I was crying and I told Bro. Claude I could not leave the building that night without God and knowing that I was not a God hater. I was crying so hard I could hardly talk. Bro. Claude told me I just needed to get thankful, and thank the Lord for what he had done.  I was puzzled by this answer, I was like thank the Lord? I was not feeling thankful at that very moment.

Bro. Claude convinced me that I had already repented and it was time to be thankful, so I just started saying thank you Lord, and then the next thing I knew I was really thanking the Lord, for everything, for showing me myself, for sending me a preacher that taught me truth, for my husband, for my kids, for my church, for everything that he had taught me in the last 10 years, showing mercy to an unworthy sinner, for not killing me, grace and forgiveness of my sins and not condemning me, just on and on, I just couldn’t quit. I thanked the Lord for deliverance and salvation….SALVATION, yes the Lord had redeemed and saved me that night.  I worshipped for over an hour, it was unbelievable. I told the Lord that he was right about everything and I was wrong about everything. The spirit of the Lord not only moved on me that night but also my brother in Christ, Ralph Knighton, a birth of twins in the church.

The great physician had healed my heart, made me a new creature, gave me peace. I found the missing piece of the puzzle I had looked for. A great transformation had occurred that night.

My life has not been the same since, I love church, I love learning what the Lord wants and desires from me. Kenneth and I have a wonderful marriage now, he got saved 6 years later, and the Lord is still blessing both of us. When the Lord changed my life, it also changed the life of my family, our priorities changed, our decisions about where we go changed, everything is different, but better. Life for the Lord is wonderful, and he is still teaching us many things through the leadership of Bro. Claude and Faith Baptist Church. I would not trade my life with anyone.

Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.  

Andy Johnson

           

           

I’M FREE:  NO MORE CHAINS

The Testimony of Andy Johnson

          My life started out like most other people.  I grew up in a family where church was a top priority.  My parents taught me the importance of the church my whole life.  I loved our church, and I enjoyed all the activities and friendships that came with it.

          When I was ten years old, my great grandmother passed away.  It hit me hard, because she was a big part of my life.  I missed her always being there.  We had a revival at our church a few weeks later.  The preacher made a comment that if you ever want to see your family and friends again, who have died and gone to heaven you had to be saved.   I knew that I wanted to see my grandmother again, so I went and talked to the preacher after the service.  He took me back in a Sunday School room and led me through a prayer to receive Christ as my Savior.  I didn’t understand what was going on.  I just knew what the preacher said, so I did it.  I told my parents, and they were so happy and proud of me.  I thought everything was okay then.

          I started my teen years resting on the prayer I said when I was 10 years old, but I always had doubts.  I always wondered if it was real.  I never really had rest in it.  Sometimes when I doubted, I would just repeat the prayer again just to make sure.  I went through my teen years doing things I was not proud of.  I still thought I was okay though, because I was at church every Sunday, every Wednesday, and all the other church functions.  I felt as long as I was there, I was okay.  This whole time I was still banking on the prayer I said. 

          I was nearing graduation from high school when the church called a new preacher.  For the first time in my life I started hearing strong preaching on sin and repentance.  It blew me away, but I still figured I was okay, because I had asked Christ into my heart.  I still had my doubts, so I had to figure out why.  Bro Lou preached a sermon on if you are truly saved, you will serve God.  He talked about doing things for other people and telling other people about Christ.  I thought that was my problem.  I had those doubts, because I wasn’t serving God like I was supposed to.  I thought if I would do those things, the doubts and fears would go away.   I jumped into serving God.  I started driving a handicapped man to church.  I started leading devotions in Sunday school and at Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) functions at school.  I would also talk to people about Jesus whether on my own or during visitation at church.  I started impressing a lot of people, including myself.  When I was busy doing all these things, I wasn’t worried about if I was saved or not.  But all these things still did not change this one thing:  At night when I went to bed, and there was nobody there but me and God, the fears were still there.  I went to sleep each night with the same doubts,  the same unrest, and the same emptiness.  I would wake up the next morning determined to serve God better.  I would make it through the day okay, but each night I still felt like it wasn’t enough.  My mind was set on the fact that I could serve God even more, so I would try even harder.  But, no matter how hard I tried it, was never enough.  I was doing all I knew and all I had been taught.  Every night was the same.  At night when I couldn’t prop myself up by my service or hear someone else brag on all I was doing, I was miserable.  This was the common theme of my life.  Work, work, work during the day, and go home with no rest.  I was tired.  I just wanted to go to bed and not have all the doubts and unrest.

          Our church started having some division because of what was being preached and some other things that were going on in the church.  To make a really long story short, some of the big shots of the church got people together and voted out the Pastor.  In the middle of doing this, they also did some ungodly things to our Pastor and his family.  The men of the church that I grew up respecting were the ones right in the middle of all this.  This put a nasty taste in my mouth toward the church and only made the doubts I had greater.  For the first time in my life, I did not like church.  I remember telling God that if this was what church was about I wanted no part of it anymore.  I meant that.  I asked God if He was real to somehow show me. 

          All this was going on around the time I met Crystal (my future wife).  We talked on the phone a good bit.  All she ever wanted to talk about was God and the church.  The manner in which she spoke showed me that she truly loved the church and the people of God.  It made me very interested in what she had.  She finally talked me into coming one night to Faith Baptist Church in Myrtle, Mississippi, where her father, Bro. Claude Mills, was the Pastor.  The church was having a revival.   I didn’t expect much to be honest.  The same nasty taste of my old church still lingered.  The service started and some things immediately caught me off guard.  I saw people thanking God and weeping for what He had done for them, and it pricked my heart.  The worship of the people blindsided me.  I quickly realized these people were not like me…..at all.  Then Bro Greg Moffitt got up to preach.  He started preaching on the God of hope.  He mentioned how God was not a God to leave you with no hope and that He was the source of our hope.  In the sermon, he got to screaming, “God is real! God is real!”  For the first time in my life, I felt the presence of God in a way that I could not describe.  I thought I was going to pass out.  I am not kidding.  That is how strong God was.  God had made it known to me that He was real. 

          A couple weeks later Bro. Claude sat me down at his kitchen table for a talk.  It was about my relationship with his daughter, Crystal.  I was 20, and she was just 15.  He told me he did would not let me date her for a long time.  He said I could come to church and talk to her on the phone, but dating wasn’t going to be an option for a long while.  I didn’t take that too well.  I thought that since I was 20 years old I should be able to do what I wanted to do.  I left that night with the intentions of never coming back.  Even though I had felt God in that service, I was going to walk away.  I was angry on the way home.  I was even getting angry at God.  I was questioning everything when God pierced my heart and said, “Don’t walk away from this.”  It was so strong I had to pull over.  At the time I did not understand, but now I know it was the wonderful grace of God working in my life to not let me run away from Him.  I decided I would give it a try.  I knew God had dealt with me, and there was a curiosity and wondering in me if there was something more.

          I started going to church with Crystal some, as well as attending the church that split off from my old church.  I continued seeing a lot of praise from the people at Faith, as well as hearing some very powerful preaching.  The presence of God in the services almost scared me away.  I always wondered why I couldn’t thank God like they did or why I wasn’t grateful for what He had done for me. 

          One Sunday night Bro. Claude was preaching out of Genesis 3 on the fall of man.  He talked about Adam and Eve eating the fruit that God told them not to eat.  He dealt with how they covered themselves up, because they were ashamed of what they had done.  Even though God knew, He still asked them, “Where art thou?”  That phrase started ringing in my heart strongly.  I was starting to see myself in that scripture.  Bro. Claude talked about how we try to cover up who we are.  He would hide behind a plant, acting like Adam hiding, while screaming “Where art thou?  Where art thou?”  Those screams tore me up inside.  God’s word and His Spirit started revealing to me who I was.  I had spent years of my life covering up who I was by my religious acts and good deeds.  I thought I was covered, but God could see the depths of my heart.  Yet, God still asked me “Where art thou?”  I was revealed for who I was - a lost man.  My cover was blown.  From that point, there was no denying that I was not saved.  I was scared to death, but somehow relieved.  I finally understood why all those nights I went to bed doubting.  It was because I had nothing but my works. 

The next few months God really raked me over the coals about who I was and how prideful I was. All the religious acts I had performed were all done in pride to make me look better than I was.  Bro. Claude started preaching through Romans. He preached about being a slave to sin. I never thought of myself like that until God revealed it to me. Not only was I a slave to sin, but I loved it. I lived for it.  It was my master, and it had complete control of my body and soul. It was not in just what I had done.   It was who I was.  I had never heard such hard things preached to me, and God had never talked to me so specifically before as to who I was.  It was the hardest thing I had ever gone through.  I spent days and nights with the constant reminder of who I was. There were no props for me anymore. God persuaded me of who I was.

From this point I had no hope that a Holy God would save me. I was too busy seeing myself and not God’s grace. Bro. Claude preached one morning out of Luke on loosening the colt.   He talked about God waiting for the right time to loosen the colt to be used. When they asked the Lord why he wanted the colt, He told them, “The Lord hath need of him.”   Through that God told me he wanted me.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around why God would want someone who was a slave to sin.  I couldn’t argue with what He said either. He wanted me.  I finally had some hope.

Bro. Claude continued preaching through Romans. I was reminded again how I was enslaved to sin. The hope I had somewhat diminished.  I knew who I was, and I would never merit salvation.  It was like the harder I tried, the farther I was from being saved.  I felt like I was chained down by sin and couldn’t break loose. The more I tried on my own, the tighter the chains got. What I saw as an impossible situation was just God getting me to the end of myself. He wanted me to see how I could not do it on my own.  How, no matter how hard I tried, I was still shackled.  I couldn’t move.  I had no strength to make the effort anymore.  Then Bro Claude started preaching on being free from sin.  He wasn’t dealing with who I was, but who Christ was. I had spent all this time shackled by chains, because I only saw me.  I wasn’t seeing my substitute.  I was not seeing my sacrifice.  He spent the next few sermons preaching on Christ, and how we receive Him not by our merits but by His.   God was just revealing to me over and over why I was chained.  He kept on mentioning being free.  The thought rung strongly in me, but I just didn’t believe it.  I didn’t believe it, but I couldn’t forget it either.  The thought of “Could I possibly be free?” went over and over in my head.

The next Sunday he started preaching the same thing: Free from sin.  Free from sin were the words, But I still felt like I hadn’t done enough. I realized that a slave is a slave until someone greater than him grants him freedom.  The slave had no control over it. God was talking and working in me.

I went to my parents’ church that night. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything to happen.  As the songs were sung, I felt the weight of my chains dragging me down again.  I felt like I was at the Mercy of God and, if he didn’t do something, I would die.  In the midst of all this, God reminded me of all that He had been saying to me about being free.  Out of nowhere I heard this sweet voice saying “You are free!”  Three simple words changed my life forever!  I believed God when He told me I was free.   All of the sudden I didn’t feel the chains anymore.   All I felt was liberty.  I was no longer worried if I had done enough.   I finally believed Christ for who He was.  I rested in His sacrifice.  All I could do was fall down and weep.  My heart was overwhelmed by the liberty I finally had.  I no longer had to try to prove myself.  Christ proved Himself for me. Sin was no longer my master.   I was blown away by how such an Almighty God could simplify His salvation for me.  God had made me free.  I was saved.  I had no more chains.  Thank you God!!!