Wilf Payne ~ Parson

I was born and raised in Parson’s Pond, Newfoundland, Canada. By the time I was saved, the Gospel had been preached in our town for close to thirty years.


I am the oldest of three boys, born in an Anglican home. Although I can never remember my parents taking us to church, my mother gave me an Anglican Bible when I was about nine years old. My dad was a very heavy drinker and he spent many long nights in the club drinking. Even though I did not know God, I remember asking Him many times to bring my dad home safely, and I promised that I would live a better life if He did.


My mother started to take us to Sunday School when I was about ten years old. The Sunday School was in the Parson’s Pond Gospel Hall. A short time later, she professed to be saved. From then on, my brothers and I did everything possible to stop her from going to the Gospel Hall. About a year later we succeeded.


When I was fourteen, my youngest brother was born. At that time I also started to get out in the world. I began drinking and using drugs. When I was sixteen, my uncle told me my baby brother was in the hospital in very serious condition. I ran home praying to God to save my brother. I made yet another promise, that if He would let my brother live, I would get saved. He survived, but soon I was back doing the same things.


When I was eighteen, I went to St. John’s, Newfoundland to go to school. A friend of mine there invited me to go to a Gospel meeting. I refused, but promised to go to meeting at home.


Then there was a Gospel Conference in Gander Bay, Newfoundland on May 18, 1981. He asked me to go and I went and took my Anglican Bible with me. Up to that time, I thought “saved” was a Gospel Hall word and that it was not in the Anglican Bible. I never heard of being saved in our church. In the conference Gospel meeting, the preacher read Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” When I looked down and saw “saved” in my Anglican Bible, I was stunned.


I said to myself, “What those preachers have been saying all along is true. I need to be saved!” The preacher said a person must want to be saved more than anything in the world. I knew I did, but pride kept me from asking for help. I left the conference to go home, alone and longing to be saved.


I was driving along the highway between Gander and Deer Lake when John 3:16 came to my mind. I had not heard this verse since I was eleven years old, but I remembered every word: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Driving along the highway, I accepted God at His Word.


“Whosoever believeth in Him, means me,” I said. “I believe in Him and God says I have everlasting life.” God said it; I believe it, and that is all I have for eternity.


I met a beautiful young lady the next day, who was saved a year earlier. She later became my wife. We spent fifteen wonderful years together and had a beautiful little girl. However, on June 13, 1998, she passed into Heaven. That day, I realized again that knowing you will be in Heaven for all eternity is the greatest blessing you could ever have in this life. Do you have it?