Meridian Avenue Baptist Church

Philippians 3:8,

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my lord, for whose sake I have lost all things, I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

     When Steve (not actual name) and his wife married neither of them were Christians.  His wife came to know Jesus a few years following their marriage and some difficulties began between them.  Enough so that his wife told her grandmother that she was considering divorce.  Her grandmother, a devout woman of Christ, told her that she should pray for Steve before making that decision.  Although Steve wasn’t happy with the friction that had developed between him and his wife he saw no reason to change how he lived.

     Steve was a barber who had his own shop during the time VHS video tape came into existence.  Available from his barber shop were VHS tape rentals, most of which Christians would think inappropriate to view. 

     Time passed and the church that Steve’s wife attended held a revival weekend and she had several times asked Steve to attend the evening gatherings.  He resisted but, out of love for her, decided to attend one evening although he intentionally arrived late.  He stood at the doorway of the sanctuary, not wanting to enter, and saw that his wife was sitting with the choir behind the man who was speaking.  As he stood there he began listening and he felt as though the pastor was looking directly at him, speaking directly to him, and the words began to reach his heart.  Being someone who had rarely attended church Steve didn’t know how to respond to what he was experiencing. 

     While the minister continued to speak Steve began walking down the aisle.  He walked past the minister and reached his hand out to his wife.  She took his hand and he led her out of the church and to their home.  At home he poured out his convicted heart and she led him through the prayer of salvation.

     Being a new creation Steve felt that he had more to do.  He told his wife he would return shortly and left the house.  He went to his work place where he burned all the VHS tapes in the area behind his barber shop.

     Following the purge of videos, customers who entered his shop would ask where all the tapes had gone and Steve would tell them he burned them and why he did so.  He witnessed to all who entered and it wasn’t long before his customers were no longer returning.  With the lack of customers Steve and his wife began discussing where God was leading them.  That path led them to Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Steve became an ordained minister.  In time the two of them became American Baptist missionaries and served outside the United States.

Steve experienced God in a miraculous way and, through their growth in their faith; the two of them began serving others in previously unexpected ways.

     Following Christ isn’t without cost, for Steve it was the loss of his customers and business.  But, having gained Christ and following the Holy Spirit’s lead into the ministry, and also having renewed his relationship with his wife, Steve would say that his gain far outweighed any loss that he experienced.