Kokomo Missionary Baptist Church

Dan Willis

Brother Dan Willis

My name is Brother Dan Willis and this is my testimony from nature to grace. My family started attending Kokomo Missionary Baptist Church in 1969. My aunt Jane Willis had invited my mom to church to hear Brother Paul Bryson preach one Sunday morning. That was the first time we had attended church together as a family. My mom fell under heavy conviction that Sunday morning and got saved. We continued to come to Kokomo MBC from that time on… My dad had been saved in Virginia as a little boy, so he had attended church, but my older brother and sister, and I had never attended church until this time. Mom and Dad brought us to Sunday school and I ended up in Sister Lassie Kidwell’s class. Sister Lassie started teaching me about God and his son, Jesus. When she would speak about the Lord, she would get excited and often times emotional. She could hardly contain herself. What a great love she had for the Lord! I quickly realized that Sister Lassie had something within her that I wanted.
Throughout the next year or so, we continued to attend church. I enjoyed Sunday school, but the preaching was pretty boring to me! I would normally sit and doodle with a pen and paper that my mom gave me to keep me occupied. Then one day, something happened. The preaching was no longer boring to me. It began to really bother me to the point that I didn’t want to hear it. God, through His Holy Spirit, had revealed to me that I was lost and separated from Him. I knew from everything Sister Lassie tried to teach me and had such a love for, that I needed to be saved if I was going to go and be with God someday. I had become fully convinced by the preaching of God’s word and by the Holy Spirit dealing with me, that I desperately needed salvation more than anything. I got to the point where I didn’t want to go to church anymore. But I didn’t have a choice on Sunday morning. I just knew that we were going to church. Throughout the next few months, the conviction grew deeper and I guess I wasn’t very good at hiding it. People from the church started coming to me during the service (no doubt led by the leadership of the Holy Spirit) to ask me it I wanted to go to the alter to pray. I would always tell them, “No”. I just wanted to run and hide from those people.
One Friday night during the fall revival at Kokomo MBC, I couldn’t run anymore. Brother Rick Huskins was the Pastor of the church at that time, and Brother Lewis Holland was the helper in that revival. Brother Holland was preaching that night and I felt like he was preaching right to me. Again, I wanted to run away and hide. I became a real mess that night, and I told myself (just as I had several times before) that if I could just get past the preaching, I would straighten up and be alright. Well, Brother Holland finished preaching and made an alter call. I told myself once again, “You’ve almost made it! You’ve almost made it!” Then, all of the sudden, my sister Gina goes up to the alter and starts praying. I sat there knowing in my heart that I needed to do the same thing, but I was still unwilling to give in to the Lord’s calling me to Him for salvation. Then I saw my mom come up off the alter where she had been praying with my sister, and started down the aisle toward me. She didn’t make it. I couldn’t take it any longer. I was ready to surrender. I think I almost ran my mom over going to the alter. I wasn’t up there long when I heard people shouting! My sister Gina had gotten saved! That made me want it so much more! I must have gotten more serious with the Lord because it wasn’t long until that sin sickness left me and a peace came over me that I still can’t describe to the very day!! I knew without a doubt that the Lord had saved me! The church greatly rejoiced that night over two lost souls being saved! The first thing I wanted to do was go tell my Uncle Paul Willis (Jane’s husband). Paul wasn’t at church that night because he worked 3rd shift and was at home in bed. We went over to his house, and Jane told me to go back to the bedroom and wake him up. My sister and I both went to him and when we had told him that the Lord had saved us, his face lit up with joy!
That all happened on October 16, 1971. I was 10 years old. Thirty six years have come and gone since that night, but it seems like it was only yesterday. It truly does get sweeter and sweeter every day!

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