Alex Brandt - Marion, Iowa

Alex Brandt - Marion, Iowa

I grew up in Garnavillo, Iowa where I went to every Gospel meeting of the assembly and grew up hearing the Word of God read. My name was often mentioned in my parents' prayers.

My Great Grandfather, Louis Brandt, was a preacher and though I have very few memories of him my Great Grandmother would ask me if I was saved every time we visited. It bothered me because I respected her. Otherwise as a young boy I do not remember being troubled about anything related to my sins. I went to the church meetings because my parents wanted me to but I always slept through the meeting. Even when my sister got saved I was happy for her but never thought about myself. Then my brother got save. We were very close. We shared a room and did everything together.  But again I was happy for him but did not let it bother me. I went on like that for a few more years.  I do remember complaining at school that I had to go to "church" every night during the fall because it seemed like we had a series of Gospel meetings every year!

Then Murray McCandless and Paul Kember came for meetings. I went as usual and was really bothered by my sins for the first time that I can remember. At one point Paul asked me if I would like a ride home (that was one way they could talk to you personally!) and even thought I didn't want to I said sure! On the way home he asked if I wanted to be saved and I told him, "Yes. But I am never going to be saved because I have sat through hundreds of meetings and I still am not saved!" He didn't say a word the rest of the way home.  I was getting out of the car he simply said "Alex, I hope you are wrong!"

I went on for a number of years like that and I got into rock music and bought a lot of tapes and was having a lot of fun! Then in 1988,a song became popular on the radio called "Honestly." This song was sung by a Christian rock group called Stryper. I began to really enjoy their music but not the words because I really wasn't listening to them, only to the guitars and drums. I went out and bought all their tapes.

In 1989 a new tape called "In God We Trust" came out. I immediately bought it.  As I was laying on the floor at home listening to the title track I began to listen to the words, "In God we trust, in Him we must believe, tomorrow's too late, accept him today" and everything I had heard at meetings came back to me.  I just put my trust in the Savior and the work he had done on the cross!!! That was the last week in April 1989.

Immediately I had doubts because nobody in the assembly that I knew listened to Christian Rock. I thought they wouldn't believe I had gotten saved listening to a rock band! Besides that it was too easy!!! So I didn't tell anyone but I was always looking for assurance. Then a friend in school got saved and I couldn't figure out how she new she was saved and I didn't!

One Sunday night we had visitors from Canada and one told his testimony at the meeting. At the end of his story he said he had received his assurance from 1 John 15.  Later while reading the Bible I couldn't remember which verse he said, so I decided to read all of that chapter. I never got further than the first half of the first verse! "For whoso believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." When I read that I thought that's what I believe so I must be born of God and that means I am saved!

Since then I have not always lived for the Lord but I have recently come to realize what I have missed by not living for him. My faith in him has helped me through some hard times and I have turned to him to lead and guide. He has now blessed me with a wonderful wife, Karen, and we LOVE the meeting here in Marion, Iowa!