By Teena Myers
Hearing the gospel preached and taught at Sunday school, church services, and fiery revivals filled George’s childhood. The first sermon he preached pre-dated his salvation. At the tender age of eight, he heard some older boys say God had called them to ministry. He blurted out, “God has called me to ministry too.” George’s mother heard her son’s declaration and brought it to the attention of the pastor.
“George,” said the pastor, “I hear God called you to ministry.”
George hesitated. He planned to say, “No,” but, “Yeah, I believe I am,” came out of his mouth.
“Good, next week you are preaching the sermon.”
George went home terrified and told his mother he would not church next Sunday. His wise, godly mother gave him a pamphlet about a little lost sheep named Wuggins that explained the salvation story.
“Read this pamphlet next Sunday. That will be all the preaching you have to do,” she said.
“I read the pamphlet and ran back to my seat,” said George. “At the time I made that statement, I never dreamed it was true or that God would hold me accountable for what I said.”
Two years later, the heavy presence of God filled a church service. Intrigued by the people praising God and speaking in different languages, ten-year-old George walked to the altar to see what was happening. His mother joined him and led him in a prayer of repentance.
The pursuit of girls soon replaced his commitment to Christ. But his parents forced him to attend church. The presence of his girlfriend, Jody, made the services tolerable, but he wasn’t interested in God.
Stifled by the resistance George and Jody’s parents had to their children’s relationship, George asked Jody to elope. She left a note for her parents and traveled to Texas, where they married. George savored the taste of freedom. He vowed no one would tell him what he could do again, including his new wife.
When they returned to New Orleans, Jody attended church with George’s mother. The pastor led her to accept Christ as her Savior. For the next five hard years of her marriage, Jody prayed George would return to his faith.
“In December 1976, George went to Texas with his brother and a friend,” said Jody. “I knew they were up to no good. I was at a prayer meeting interceding for George when a woman came to pray with me and spoke a word of knowledge: ‘Jesus says don’t worry about your husband. I have him in my hand. He has a call on his life. He will return to me, and you will have a son.’” Within a year, George returned to church, and Jody gave birth to their son.