Soon after I was touched by God and born again in August of 1969 I was filled with a restlessness that manifested itself in gigantic plans to change the world. I was young (16 years old) and the fire of youth burned in my soul along with the overwhelming gratitude for all God had done for me. I was called a dreamer, a visionary and crazy by my friends. All I knew was that I wanted to DO something for my God who had delivered my life from oblivion.
I spent countless hours developing something I called “LSA” (Love Society of America). Everything I knew about God at that time in my life revolved around His love. Everything I spoke and wrote about had the love of God at its center. I just wanted to share God’s amazing love with everyone I met. I presented my plan to our youth minister who told me to put it in a box and concentrate on the present needs in our youth group. That was the end of LSA.
In the spring of 1970 I organized a city-wide sunrise service with the sole intent of bringing the black and white communities together under the banner of God’s love. At the time the racial tension in our city (and the whole country) was very tense. I visited countless ministers, appeared on television one morning and did everything a 17 year old could think of to promote my idea. The end result was ok but not one single minority came to the service so in my mind I had failed.
After I took a class on the Bible and understood it was to be our only rule for faith and practice, I took it upon myself to get everyone I knew to take that class. I had clandestine meetings at our youth group’s retreat to teach them all I had learned. Afterward I was hauled into the youth minister’s office and told if I ever did that again I would be asked to leave the group.
Later that year (1971), I was filled with boldness and confronted the youth minister over errors in doctrine I felt he was promoting. After a very intense meeting, he informed me that I was officially “excommunicated” from not only the group but also the church. I left and took a good number of other kids with me. We never looked back but only forward to what God had in store for us.
In the summer of 1971 I started a fellowship in the basement of my parent’s home. The second meeting there were nearly 70 people crammed in there. Most of them used to be a part of the group I was kicked out of.
One of the benefits of being young is to have boundless energy and fearlessness. I pray those who have this energy now will rise up and go, stand and speak the Word of God fearlessly as many of us did in our youth.