Ann Wielenga - Jackson, Michigan

Ann WielengaAnn's Testimony of Salvation

I first heard the gospel preached in the summer of 1956 in a tent that was pitched between the towns of Clyde and Bellevue, Ohio.  Two evangelists, Norm Crawford, from Jackson MI. and James Lipke, from Cleveland, Ohio were preaching the gospel.  My dad was walking on the street as a mailman and these two men stopped him and gave him an invitation to the mtgs.  My parents had been saved a short time before this and had been searching for the "right Church" - a Bible believing one that had the pure gospel preached. These gospel meetings in the tent went on for 12 weeks - July 1 through Sept. 30 and many souls were saved.  I was very concerned and upset about my sin that was taking me down to Hell.  But I didn’t get serious enough to put it first in my life and put off getting saved.  In the fall, an Assembly of Christians (the Gospel Hall) was established in Clyde, Ohio.  I attended regularly and went to every series of gospel meetings that were at the Hall - at least one series each year.  At 11 years of age, I had a false profession - quoted a verse in my head - Matt 11:28 and tried to believe - hoping I was saved. I held onto that profession for 7 years until I was 18 years old.  In 1967 two preachers came to Clyde to preach the gospel  - James Smith and William Snyder. They both stayed at our home while they were residing in the area for the meetings.   I was involved with many activities at school as I was a senior in high school and tried to avoid going to the meetings and also tried to avoid talking to the preachers.  The 5th week of the meetings on a Thursday night I walked into the gospel meeting and heard the news that a niece of one of the Christians had gotten saved after hearing the gospel just a few times. That stunned me - as I had heard the gospel for many years and was not even taking heed to the message.  For the first time I listened wholeheartedly to the whole meeting.  James Smith talked on being a hypocrite - false professions, etc.  That message was for me!  I was in tears and sat in my seat after the meeting was over. Both preachers talked and read Bible verses to me. Finally they said - they could not save me - and sent me home.  On the way home in the car the verse I Peter 3:18 came to my mind - For Christ also hath suffered for sins - the Just for the Unjust - and that hit home.  I knew I was the unjust one and that Christ was the Just One - and that He died for me!  It was a clear and simple thing - but so REAL - and I've never had a doubt about being saved since that day!