Growing up, I knew of God and believed in him, but I was not living for God. I was living for myself – having knowledge of the Word, but never really hearing it or understanding it. Going to church when I was younger just kept me out of trouble in the inner city until I was 8 years old.

Then my family moved to the suburbs. I did not go to church for about five years after the move. At age 13, I started smoking pot and learned how to steal with friends. I got kicked out of my mom’s and moved back into the city with my dad.

For about two years my dad made me study as a Jehovah’s witness. All the while, drugs and alcohol were starting to consume my life. After a while I started to feel bad. I was knocking on the doors and preaching, but feeling hypocritical. I ran away and was trying to make it on my own.

When I was 22 years old, I got engaged and moved in with my fiance. One day we got into a car accident, and she ended up with brain damage and was put on life support. Her parents took her off after two days. I went off the deep end and was trying to kill myself with bad behavior and drugs. This went on for about two years until I went into rehab in 1988.

Since then, God has put my wife into my life, who has been my best friend to this day. We got married in 1991. We have come a long way together. We had together daughters together. After about five years of marriage, old habits started to creep in again. I thought I was fine, and I started my own business in 2007 after my wife got out of nursing school.

Fast forward to December 2017. We went to cut our annual Christmas tree. God touched my spirit while cutting the tree. Something came over me and I no longer could cut the tree. It was as if a part of me had died as I was making the final cut. From that point on, I have been seeking God and his will for me. In that moment he broke me. He used the tree cutting to open my eyes and my heart to his Word and his will, and I quit all of the bad habits that once were taking over my life.

Since then my wife and I have attending Grace Community Church, and I’ve been blessed with Christian community. Pastor Jim Crocker was a high school classmate, colleague and has been my spiritual brother. He is the best man of God I know. He truly has been an inspiration to my faith in God. I also joined a men’s group at Grace, and brother K has been very inspirational in his words of encouragement.

Since coming into following Christ, I believe I am a more loving father, husband, grandfather, and more compassionate to others in general. I believe due to my faith in Christ other people around me are looking at their lives differently. My business is more abundant lately. All praise be to God, he is definitely breaking yokes in my life. My marriage is stronger than ever.

I am getting baptized because I believe that this is my next step. I am ready to declare that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.

— Douglas Anderson, Baptized March 2018
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