Marsha McMillin - Dunkerton, IA

Marsha McMillin - Dunkerton, IA

I was raised in a family that attended church and Sunday School regularly. It was a mainstream religion. I am so thankful for this, as I did believe that the Bible was the word of God and everything in it is true. I also was taught that I was a sinner and there could be no sin in Heaven. Now, as I think back, I find it strange that I didn’t question things sooner. The verse, “In due time, Christ died for the ungodly” meant just that. At the right time, the Lord dealt with me though.

I played the organ for the services, and so every Sunday I would be found at the organ bench. My husband felt religion was all hypocritical and did not attend very often. In the fall of 1973, our second son was born. I was going through some depression. All I wanted was for us to be one big happy family, with all four of us attending church. My husband, Cliff, finally agreed to take instructions and join the church. There were weekly classes he needed to go to. Each week, he would come home with questions that were not being satisfactory answered at the classes. Our church taught that a baby had to be baptized to go to Heaven. Cliff questioned why a loving God would send a baby to Hell because his parents did not get it baptized. I certainly could not answer him and began wondering myself.

Now back a few years, when I was young, we had communion every 3 months. At that time, each person taking communion would go to confession. Then, they changed it to the first Sunday of every month and no confession. During the fall of 1973, I started thinking, if I take communion on a Sunday morning that all would be fine and dandy that my sins would be forgiven to that point. But what happened when I went home and sinned many times before the day was over. (We were taught when a person took the bread and wine, that the bread turned into Christ’s body and the wine turned into Christ’s blood when it entered the body). Taking communion washed all sins away up to that point. The more I thought about it, the more questions I had.

That fall, a couple of men from the town stopped by and informed us they were having a Gospel Tent set up in Dunkerton. My reply was I had my own religion. Little did they know how the Lord was dealing with me. I am convinced all the prayers of the saints at that time had a great deal to do with me getting saved. I can remember being alone at night and watching Billy Graham on TV, wondering what it was all about. At some point that fall, I knew there had to be an answer, but was unable to really identify what it was. I did feel a sense of relief, just knowing that there was a righteous and just God and that He did have the answer.

On Good Friday, in the spring of 1974, I was attending church services, where we had communion. It was a very solemn service. The minister spoke on the last words of Christ on the cross. At the end, when He said “It is Finished,” I started to sob and say to myself “He did it for me, He did it for me,” over and over again. Everybody else there kept asking me what was wrong and I’m sure thought I was pretty weird.

For a number of years, I stayed in the religion, trying to share the love of the Lord. I really was not enjoying the Lord as He wants. My husband was saved in 1980 during a few weeks of gospel meetings, and soon after we were baptized and received into fellowship at the Dunkerton Gospel Hall. The Lord has blessed me over the years beyond anything I could have imagined.

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