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My name is Allen Key. I was born and raised as a pastor's kid. I was in church every time the doors were open. I knew about Jesus from the time I could remember.
When I was 9 I was at a revival and got very emotional. I asked some friends about it and they decided I must have gotten saved. I agreed with them so I told the church that. I was baptized. I struggled with the fact that I didn’t make a decision on my own to follow Christ.
When I was a senior in school my brother came in on a Sunday morning and woke me up saying he just got saved. It was then that I realized I never acknowledged the fact that Christ died for my sins and was buried. Then He rose from the dead for ME! I asked Christ to forgive me and I accepted His death for the payment of my sins. That day my brother and I were baptized together.
Sometimes it is difficult when you are raised in church to understand that you are a sinner even though you go to church and live a good life. The only way to Heaven is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The problem is we have to be the one to realize that and accept that Jesus died for each one of us. That’s the only way our debt for our sins can be paid for to spend eternity with God the Father.
My name is Kelly Key. I have been raised in church my whole life, and I never remember a time when I didn’t know who Jesus is or a time when I didn’t believe He is real and is God’s Son. Of course, as a young child, I didn’t really understand why He died for me. And, since I’ve never been able to pinpoint a certain point in time that my salvation occurred, this has been a question that I have often wrestled with, doubting my salvation. But, as Romans 10:9 states, I do confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, so I know that I know that I am saved.
As a child, I was raised in the United Methodist Church, and I was baptized as a baby according to the decision of my parents. I was raised to think that this was the correct way to do things and never really questioned this idea. When I was 11 I was at the age where United Methodist kids go through what is called Confirmation Class. Most kids join the church at the end of this several week class, which in the Methodist Church is viewed as being saved.
I always attended VBS at every church in town in the summers, so I had been exposed to a more Biblical account of the gospel than this at the Baptist church in town, and I had been feeling convicted to deepen my relationship with Jesus, but didn’t really understand the feelings I was having. Thankfully, the Methodist preacher we had at the time was an old-school guy and he truly explained the gospel during our confirmation classes and told us that at the end of the class time, he did not want us to join the church if we had not had a salvation experience. At the end of my confirmation classes, I had a better understanding of the Lord, and when I professed Him in front of the church, I meant the words I said. I know my Savior is faithful, and even though I was an infant of the faith in my understanding, He saved me just the same because I asked him to. I did, however, at the time, accept my infant baptism as my baptism.
When I attended college I became actively involved in a non-denominational student ministry that really opened my eyes to other doctrinal beliefs and practices, and I experienced a whole new, more contemporary style of worship, and I fell more in love with the Lord. During this time of my life, I really started to read the Bible on my own and develop a more personal relationship with the Lord. I met my husband in 2001. He was raised as the son of a Baptist preacher, and even though we attended the Methodist Church together, I began to be a little more open to learning about his views on baptism. Allen and I became very active in music ministry in the church we were attending and we started to do a lot of musical leadership at various revivals in our area.
I was working in Atlanta, Texas at the time as a physical therapist, and I became very close friends with two old school Baptist pastors in that area. We had many meaningful conversations, and we attended many services at their churches. I was really starting to feel convicted that baptism is supposed to be after salvation and is to include being immersed, and I was feeling that I needed to make that decision for myself since my baptism as a baby was before salvation and not my choice. I really began to pray about this. At the same time, through a friend who was dating a lady that attended our Methodist church, I ended up being asked to come to Ridgeway Baptist Church in view of becoming a piano player for their services. I was already feeling the conviction to be baptized, but I didn’t want to feel like I was doing it just to join this new church, so I asked my preacher friend in Atlanta to baptize me at his church.
When I followed the Lord in obedience and was scripturally baptized, it was like God removed the scales from my eyes. I was truly convicted of things in my life that were not honoring to God that I had never questioned before. It really changed the music I listened to, the movies I watched, and the books I read. I became more sensitive than ever to the things that just didn’t seem to be Godly all around me. God blessed our family with several fruitful years at Ridgeway in His service before we moved to Northeast Arkansas.
My faith, like everyone’s has been tested over the years, and I am a much more faithful servant to the Lord in some seasons of my life than in others, but no matter what, I am firm in my faith that Jesus saved me from my sin. He is God’s Son. He came to save me from my sins, which I have asked Him and trusted in Him to do. He is the only way that I can ever have a relationship with the Father and the only hope I have in this life and in the life to come. He is the only way to the Father and to a life in Heaven with Him for all eternity. Nothing I could ever say or do could save my soul because my best is nothing
but filthy rags in light of His marvelous glory. I am not worthy of the grace He bestows on me, but I am ever so very grateful that He loves me so much in spite of the ways that I fail every day. I so want to show Him to others around me. He is my hope. He is my peace. Because hope and peace exist only in and through Him!