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This Is My Story

December 1, 2004

I was born in 1941 in Pascagoula, Mississippi then moved to Moss Point where I grew up. I attended Moss Point High School until withdrawing early before graduation.  My parents were Cleo Poole Linder and Leo Linder and as a small child I remember our family being involved in the church.  Mother sang in the choir and Daddy was always doing something in the church. Although  I never what happened, something caused them to suddenly stop attending church. During my teen years, my aunt and uncle took me with them to their catholic church where I continued to worship until I was married in June, 1960.

I married Ronald Johnson and we had four children, three boys and a girl. Today we also have ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren. When our children were small, we started attending and eventually joined a Baptist church in East Mosspoint where we were both baptised. I thought I was saved, but would come to realize later in life that I wasn't. I did the religious thing, but I did not give my heart to Jesus.

As the years passed, my husband started doing construction work that required us to travel a lot. Going wherever his job took us, we didn't stay in any one place for very long. In fact, one year was about our limit. We both fell away from regular church worship, grew distant to God, and started living in the world again, acting just like the rest of the world.

In 1979 we finally moved back home. Although back home, I realized that I wasn't very happy and  didn't know why. My husband then developed serious heart problems requiring surgery. It was a terrible and frightening time for me, I was so afraid I was going to lose him!  You can imagine how relieved I was when God brought him through the surgery. Yet, I soon forgot how really frightened and concerned I had been. Since we were still doing our own thing and pretty much ignoring God, I did not recognize that this was God's hand of mercy and grace bringing us through it all.

My husband's heart problems did not go away and soon we were facing more tests and even more dangerous surgery. By this time my son, Sam who had been saved and called to preach, moved home to pastor Woodhaven Baptist Church and was able to be with me in the hospital. As we sat waiting together, we prayed. God told me that He was giving me one more chance to come to Him, to give my heart and life to Him, to worship him, and to return to His church and His people.

After the surgery, I began attending church and at a Christmas program on December 22, 1999, I gave my heart to Jesus. On February 14, 2000, my son baptised me. I have been serving in His church ever since. Now I teach Sunday School, sing in the choir. God is blessing my life and using me for his glory and now I am truly happy.