I grew up in and was licensed by a small Bible church in Southeast Kansas. Sadly, the church shuttered its doors several years ago, but I still have the Bible the church gave me when I graduated high school. As you may know, the theology of a Bible church and a Baptist church is essentially the same.
Soon after joining the Navy, I got involved with the Southern Baptist Convention and the IMB. In fact, I was baptized into the SBC by US Navy Chaplain (Captain) Ralph Gibson in 1998. With some notable exceptions, I have been in the SBC since then. Even when I’ve gone with a different church, it’s been in the same conservative vein (such as EFCA and Baptist General Conference).
Knowing my religious history, then, it might come as a surprise to learn that my first publishing credit comes not from an SBC magazine or newspaper, but from a Pentecostal periodical! I submitted my article in September 1999 and it appeared in Pentecostal Messenger in March 2000. I remember the editor was really wonderful to work with and while I didn’t understand how to follow up on contacts then, I will forever be grateful for the start he gave me. That article earned me my first payment for writing as well. I got a cool $22.50!
I’ve included that original article, published in March 2000. You can read it below: