Between ages 4 and 5, I had a spinal meningitis which caused me to lose my right hearing completely but my left hearing partly. My parent got me out of the pubic school when they discovered that I didn’t do well and can’t hear the teachers. So I attended North Carolina School For The Deaf in Morganton, NC.
My Uncle, Jesse Bowman who is hearing asked me to come to the church where he was ministering to the deaf at First Baptist Church in Granite Falls, NC. I had no way of going to the church except my dad drove me there when he felt like it on Sunday morning. I had no idea of what they did in church and why did we go there. I loved the movies and ice cream that the church provided once a month for all deaf people to come for a short devotion which I didn’t know what it is at first. My uncle sometimes explained and taught me who Jesus was but I didn’t understand fully. The only thing that I kept in mind was for me to be a good person and to make my parent proud of me. And I thought this what Jesus would wanted me to do.
There was one thing that dwelt on my mind when I saw a movie on TV which I don’t recall the name of it on Easter Sunday. It was a man who did nothing wrong as I watched him being nailed upon the cross. I woke up my dad while he was taking his nap after lunch at home asking him who was this man that died on the cross. My dad woke slowly and said, “ Jesus”. He went back to sleep ,again.
Years goes by as we are married and attended a church where we believed God wanted us there that had the deaf ministry. In 1986, Rev. Bailey Smith was preaching at our church for a revival asking us this question at the end of the invitation , “ Do you know for sure where you will go when you die ?” That night I finally understood who Jesus was and why He died on the cross after all the years that I was willing to teach Sunday School class and taught at the North Carolina School For The Deaf at the chapel every Wednesday night for the Bible study among the students. So I reviewed my life back to the time I was teenager at the Mount Home Baptist church walked up the altar to knee down and prayed as I cried but I don’t remembered asking Jesus to forgive me of my sins and come into my life as my Savior and Lord. That night at home , I decided to surrender my life over to Jesus asking him to forgive me of my sins and trust Him as my Savior and Lord over my life. I was about 26 yrs old, the most happy day of my life, knowing for sure that if I died I would go to heaven being with Jesus. And my wife , Deborah accepted Jesus that night, too.
Debbie and I are graduates of NC School for the Deaf. I am a student of Tri-State School of the Theology for the Deaf, seminary extension of Southern Seminary and working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree with Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina.
We teach a Bible study every Wednesday night to deaf students on the campus of North Carolina School for the Deaf. I am the director of the deaf camp at Camp Caraway each year. I also lead international missions with the deaf people from North Carolina every year. We had served as short term IMB Missionaries to the Deaf in South Africa (10 times), Puerto Rico (2 times), Russia (2 times), Guatemala (1 time), Quito, Ecuador (4 times), Urkaine, Taipei,Taiwan (Deaf Olympic) and Honduras (11 times). I worked a full time job as an advanced CNC machinist for almost 25 yrs at Sypris Techologies, Inc. I also work a part time job serving as a deaf evangelism events coordinator under the Baptist State Convention of NC. I had served as an associate pastor for three years to the deaf at First Baptist Morganton Deaf Mission in Morganton, NC. April 30, 2007, I became a full time evangelist and I no longer work for Sypris Techologies,INC.
I received a Certificate of License from Pleasant Hill Baptist church in Morganton, North Carolina on January 24,1993. Then later on, I received a Certification of Ordination to be a full time evangelist from First Baptist Church in Morganton, North Carolina on May 4th, 2008.
“Call To Christian Ministry”
Back in 1986 after we surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we begun to follow wherever He guided my life. By the time , Tom Lineberger asked me to teach deaf Sunday School class on every other Sunday at Burkemont Baptist church where we were the member. I was willing to do it. I started writing lots of notes from the Bible as I studied and prepared. I didn’t think I taught well at first. But Tom Lineberger know what I could do since he had heard from the deaf people in the community that I could do drama. He discussed with me and encouraged me to try the drama from the Bible. He also suggested that I looked thru the Bible and find the story that I could do well at first. I chose the first biblical drama was John 8:1-11. I acted out the drama during the Sunday School class without looking at the notes. I felt blessing to do this! My wife, Debbie also could sign some songs into ASL (American Sign Language) for the deaf people to worship the Lord during the services. She learned many songs as she worked with Marsha Lineberger changing them into ASL songs. Many of the deaf in the Sunday School class learned and enjoyed the lessons thru drama and visual objects as I used the masks, costumes, wooden heart, mimes, many object lessons and pictures. As years go by , the Lord increased all these things in our mind to use for us to share the Good News among and within the deaf communities and the “Lost People “ out in this world whom may get to know that Jesus Christ is the only way, truth and life for salvation. This has been put on my heart that the Lord wants me to be evangelist. I really enjoy this mission and I believe this is the call for me to be the evangelist. Plus back in 1993 at Pleasant Hill Baptist church by Rev. Larry Cline, I was licensed to preach the Good News.