Joan Finn - Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin

Joan Finn - Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin

A day of Salvation - June 19, 1956

My parents were born again Christians and daily read the Bible and prayed with we five children. I always knew from their Bible teaching that if I wanted to be in heaven, I would have to be saved. At age nine I started to seriously consider God’s way of salvation. Although I was as some would say, a “good girl”, I knew my sins of lying, stealing from Dad’s money box, and wanting what others had. I did not want to go to hell and my sins were taking me there.

In the summer of 1955 Mr. George Baldwin and Mr. Albert Klubunda held a series of gospel meetings at the Garnavillo (Iowa) Gospel Hall. We lived across the street from the hall so I walked to meeting every night with my family. It was a very, very hot summer and no air conditioning. All I could think about was how much hotter hell must be, but I did not get saved.

For the next twelve months my number one priority was, “I want to be born again and have peace from my sins”. The following June 1956 Mr. Lorne McBain and Mr. Harry McCready held another series of gospel meetings in the Garnavillo Gospel Hall. Again, I wanted to be saved. Each night after meeting I read the gospel tracts that the preachers gave me and looked up the scripture references in the Bible. I was taking swimming lessons, but was afraid to go for fear I would drown and  be in hell.

My identical twin sister, Jean, had not been troubled about her sins as I had been for over a year. She was saved June 10, 1956 after three days of searching. That made me angry and upset to think that she could  be saved so easily when I had tried so long. For nine days many said that they could tell us apart. Jean was very happy and Joan was very sad.

On the Monday night of the last week of meetings the preachers announced that Wednesday would be the end of the gospel series. I went home that Monday night from meeting feeling lost and helpless and said to myself, “I guess I will have to go to hell. I just can’t get saved.” After I had gone to bed the doorbell rang. Mr. McBain and Mr. McCready asked if they could talk to me. While Mr. McBain was  reading some Bible verses to me, I was thinking, “Why did Christ die on the cross anyway?” And just at that moment I realized, “Why he died for my sins!” Then Mr. McBain read John 5:24–“Verily, verily I say unto you; he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me, hath everylasting life; and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” I asked Mr. McBain, “Am I saved?” He said, “What does the verse say?” I said, “Hath means I have it! I’m saved!” That was June 19, 1956 at 10:10 p.m. I was so happy because my load of sin was gone. If I drown, I would be in heaven. Now both Jean and I were saved and very few could tell us apart again.