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How We Found the Church

Mildred Irene Allen, Pana

It is important for me to tell of my experiences with God (Our Heavenly Father).

My husband (Lawrence) and I were living in St. Louis.  Our children, Larry and Ricky were in school.  Being a knitter, I had made Ricky a stocking cap.  The first day at school, someone took it.  Larry was called from his class, to try to find it.  It was an unhappy situation for our sons.

The next morning, as I took a last look in the mirror, I said "God, there has to be something better than this".  Taking the bus to work later, and sitting alone, a voice said "Go Home".  There was nobody close to me to hear.  "Who was that?", I thought.  Then, I was thinking about it all day.  When we were all home that evening, I said "we are going home".  Next morning, we packed our few belongings, and off we went to Stonington.  Lawrence and I were raised there.  Our sons were born there also.

We stayed at Wade's home over-night.  The phone rang, and sure enough, it was for Lawrence.  He was asked to play music (his hobby) the following night.  We didn't own a guitar at that time.  Dewey said "Go to the Music Box" in Decatur, and they'll loan you one."  Lawrence did, and sure enough, they did.  The next day, he was returning the guitar.  J. R. Henson asked him to go for a ride.  As they drove along, JR told him the story of the church.  That evening, he said "Let's go to church Sunday".  I asked him "the one in town, or the one at Old Stonington?" (both Baptist).  He said "Neither, it is in Decatur".

From that first visit, it came to me that this was the answer to my prayer in the mirror.  The church building was fairly new.  The sanctuary had only sub-flooring (we could see through them into the basement!)  The seats were old, used theater seats.  The people were so friendly and full of love.  They made us feel so a part of them -- more so than any other people we had ever known.

We were baptized a few weeks later.  God has continued to direct our lives.  Lawrence served as pastor at Casey Mission for a while -- encountering even more loving and caring Saints.  Then, he served as pastor at Decatur IL.  It was like returning to family again.

Due to our health and living in the country, our prayers were answered again -- a move to Pana and a new group of loving Saints.  It was a fast move.  We sold our country home and had purchased one within about 2 weeks

I thank Jesus Christ daily for His message hat day on the bus, over 40 years ago!

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