My family came to Redeemer in 1970. I was a wandering, sick and hurt soul even though I had spent 31
years in the heart of the church. I had been in church all my
life since my father, my grandfather and my husband were
Pentecostal ministers. You might say....”I cut my teeth on the
back of the church pews”
The Charismatic Movement was not a stranger to me. My
grandparents were involved the the beginnings of the pentecostal
movement in early 1906. I was a Christian and received the
baptism of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit might be what you call it
now.) at the age of 10-11 years old.
However, my soul was in turmoil. I called my sister, Janice
Manley and cried my heart out to her. She and her husband, Grady
Manley had become involved in the fellowship of Church of
Redeemer. Janice talked to Father Graham about my turmoil. He
felt the call to come to Jackson, California where we were
pastoring a church. Fr Graham, Bill Farra, Mimi and another
woman I have long forgotten her name, made the trip to a little
church and family in the foothills north of Stockton,
California. The group spent several days with us, counseled us
and ministered in our church. What a blessing they were to us.
In s few months with a few belongings in an 8 foot trailer, we
resigned our church after 6 years pastoring, we arrive at my
mother and father’s home in the 4400 block of Polk with two
children in tow. Just a block away from the church. The next
Sunday....we were on the second pew ready to immerse ourselves
in the the worship and fellowship of Church of Redeemer. I had
never attended a liturgical mass. When the choir began to
proceed down the aisle, I started crying and I cried all through
the mass. This continued for several weeks. I thought I had gone
to heaven and the angels were singing to me. Every part of the
mass; from the Gloria, the Eucharist, the singing in the spirit
to the dismissal was the most glorious experience in my entire
life. The sacrifices of the God’s people, the households, the
communion (as we called it) every day and Sunday, too. Finally,
I was seeing in action all the scriptures I had heard, read and
taught all my life. For the first time...it all made sense.
We immersed ourselves in the body of Christ in every way we
could. Morning Bible Studies with Marilyn Mazak and Susan Abbot.
Bob Morris had just arrived and was in the class with me. Noon
Mass was a must. We rented a house close by and enjoyed the
ministry and worship of the parish. In about a year, we sought
the elders about becoming a member of a household. Jim & Jane
Clowe’s were just opening up their home for household ministry.
We move and lived in the garage apartment with our two children
and their six? children living out our life together. I
volunteered at Lantrip in Nan Pagano’s 6th grade class; Diane’s
Special ED class for all day; wrote the song and play for
Lantrip’s May Pole; and and helped Nan Pagano create the Dove
Nest. What a life!!! God worked miracle in our midst at Lantrip
and the Dove Nest..
During the ensuing years, I received many hours of counseling
from various people within the church committed to love God’s
people in this way. I have much love and gratitude to Fr Jeff ,
Andy Austin, the deliverance ministry and many other dedicated
members for loving me, taking me by the hand and leading to a
better fuller life. I had so much hurt, anger and bitterness I
had accumulated over the years with my father & mother,
different hurtful experiences from those that “had done me
wrong.” The tapes played how my daddy and mother were always
working for the Lord; too busy for me; very strict with me;
leaving me for a couple of months at the age of 8 or 9 all alone
in a small trailer taking care of my 10 month sister while my
mother worked. Why? My Daddy and older sister were traveling
around ministering for the Lord.
So many other stories I could tell but the point of my sharing
is how God was so good to have a dedicated group of God’s people
to share and pray with me and for me at the Deliverance house
from morning to night for about three days . I hated my mother
for working and never having time for me. I hated my Daddy for
preaching all the time; moving frequently, lots of different
schools and my mother needing to work. They were always working
for the Lord. Now how could I, a little girl... fight this
mighty God who could send me to hell. For 2 days I went over all
my life with story after story of how I was mistreated,
neglected and hurt.
These loving people loved me through this “pity party” until I
was able to unload all that baggage. When I was ready to hear
some dear one said to me, “Carolyn, you know who you hate. It is
not your father nor your mother you hate. All that hate is
toward God. You are blaming God for all the things that happened
to you. “
Wow!!! It hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh no..I couldn’t hate
God. I love God. I have worked for him all my life. When I
prayed and ask God for forgiveness for the anger and hated I had
for him, a new freedom and light came into my soul. I came to
know the true love of God. I really came to know how much he
loved me, a sinner. It is not what I have done...good or bad.
His love for me is constant and immeasurable.
All this came to me by imperfect people that God loved just like
he did an imperfect me. It took several years to complete this
healing but I have never doubted God’s love for me. My time at
Redeemer made a lasting impression upon me, help me to grow up,
strengthen my spirit and made me strong. For 20 years, I now
attend a Catholic church in Houston called “Prince of Peace
Community.” Redeemer shared with Prince of Peace in the early
70’s. My priest, Fr John Keller was assistant pastor during this
time of the spirit’s outpouring in our community.
Doesn’t God have a sense of humor....from Pentecostal to
brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think
about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or
heard from me, or seen in me-- put it into practice. And the God
of peace will be with you.”.
We are to be careful of what we meditate on because it forms our
character and our character determines our actions.
Wendy E. Mims-Rivas Thank
you for sharing your testimony of your time at Redeemer. I love
that you see the blessings that came from the Lord through
imperfect people and all ; )
Elaine Carr What
a wonderful testimony. Thank you.
Lucy Cook Deliganis thank
you so much! Your story is such a blessing : -)
Daphne Hazel Rank All
this came to me by imperfect people that God loved just like he
did an imperfect me.....I LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing! Bless
Diane Andrew Carolyn,
thanks for sharing this. I agree with Daphne.
Gene C Antill
Cherie Binns Loved
it. So many familiar names that 35 year away have dimmed. Oh, I
went from Prebyterian to Catholic with Redeemer being a stepping
stone along the way. God is so good to have a place for each of
use where we can best hear and be fed and use our gifts.
Carolyn, You made my day with your story. Thanks. I am going
to my second chemo treatment tomorrow I am taking a print
out of your e mail with me. From one Catholic to another.
Carolyn Lister Owens Wright
am sorry to hear you are having to go through Chemo. I will
be praying for you tomorrow. Keep the faith! My mother had
lung cancer and she lived 20 years after having a portion of
her lung removed. Keep in touch.
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