I was 20 years old, working in a local restaurant in my hometown of Brookneal when the Lord started to lead me in life. The only thing was I did not realize it until years later the Divine hand of my Lord. A co-worker was going to the unemployment office to put in for a job in the city of Lynchburg and asked me to ride along with him. While I was at the unemployment office the lady behind the counter said that the local company of Babcock and Wilcox was hiring, and that I should put in for one of their jobs. I had no intention of applying for any job and politely told the lady I had no chance of getting a job there because I had no college degree. She insisted and told me I would need to submit a resume. I did not have a copy on me and I quickly called my mom to tell me what was on my resume so I could write it up while I was there. Even then my hopes were pretty low and did not expect a call from them. Surprisingly, after a couple of months I was called to take a work keys test to see how high my skill level was for B&W. I was completely shocked and even my dad said it was a miracle because so many people put in for jobs at this company. I took the test and prayed for the best. A month or two passed by and I got a call from the human resource department offering me a job as a utility worker. I immediately jumped on it and accepted the position. Oddly enough they called me back and told me about another job that paid a lot more. I told them I was interested and they told me unlike the last job I would have to interview for it. Well, it turned it out they offered me the job and I started my career at B&W at the ripe age of 21.
I do not have to tell you what a 21 year old in the world does but the sad thing was I thought I was a Christian. I had not gone to church since I was in my early teens, and making good money at my age, I thought I had the world by the tail. Looking back nine years ago when I started my job, I know now why God blessed me with that job. While working third shift I hung around all the guys and obviously fit right in. There were two men that worked third shift as well, but they stayed to themselves all night. They did not break with us and rarely came down our way even though we all worked in the same area. Soon these two men would play a big role in bringing me the Gospel and the Message of the Hour. I called them weirdo number one and weirdo number two. Weirdo number one was Byron “BJ” Gordon and weirdo number two was Sam Smith. While working on the job one night, Sam asked me, “If I would die tonight, would I go to heaven or would I go to hell?” To be very honest, I was slightly offended, but that question shook me and I started to question my life. I tried convincing myself that I was not so bad and only cussed, smoked, and drank. There were many times I was almost moved to another area but every time God provided a way for me to stay with these brethren. On two or three occasions God worked it out for all three of us to remain together to complete His plan.
Over time I got to train with Sam and BJ and they started asking me how I was baptized and things about my life. I remembered that I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. They told me the error in the trinity baptism and showed me the scripture of Acts 2:38. Honestly, I could not disagree with the Bible and recognized that I had done it wrong. Shortly after that, the Lord revealed to Sam that he was to start a church and Sam asked me to come to his first service. I did and really enjoyed the service; mainly because it seemed to have life in it. As a child I had been to mainly Baptist churches so this hell, fire, and brimstone ministry was something different for me. I continued to go to the local Baptist church in my community until the Lord showed me some things that really bothered me. I decided to leave that church and to go to Sam’s church, the House of Christ, in Lynchburg. I continued going there for a few months and I will never forget the Sunday the Lord came to that back pew where I was sitting. My heart was pounding a thousand times a minute and the Voice of God was telling me to get baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of the service, I ran up to Brother Sam and grabbed him by his jacket and told him I needed to be baptized that day. It was such a relief to go down in His name and to fulfill the scripture of Acts 2:38. I remember immediately after being baptized that I started seeking the Holy Ghost. I cannot say exactly when I was filled, but I know that God has preserved me until the day of my redemption and to know what it means to be born again. Everything in my life changed since that blessed day. The way I talked, how I dressed, the music I listened to, and the television shows I watched. Over time nothing was the same about me and I started fitting in with the weirdos rather than the world.
Today, I attend church at Greater Hope Tabernacle, pastored by Michael Covington. I take it serious when I sing, “where you lead me I will follow.” Especially driving an hour and a half to church one way, but to know you are in His will is a rest for His children. I look back on how God opened doors and shut doors for me to be where I am now. He created a job for me to allow me the privilege of where I am now. He created a job for me to allow me the privilege of meeting two believers that would share the gospel with me and even directing me on where He wants me in His body. He’s not only my Savior, but my Lord as well. Now being born again, I remember at least three to four times where God preserved my life when I should have died. Before I thought I was just lucky, but now understanding that I was predestinated before the foundation of the world in the mind of God! I once was blind but now I see! I thank the Lord for His grace and mercy and for his disciples carrying this Truth. Many times, we do not know why certain things happen or why they happen to us; I am convinced that all things work for our good and His Glory. I am glad I can testify that today and to encourage you to press on in these trying times because our Lord is still doing great things. Praise the Lord, I guess I am now weirdo number three.
Brother Matthew Woosley