Today, we’ve got a special treat! Here is a beautiful word of testimony from Brother Ken Staley on his 50th spiritual birthday.
Fifty years ago today, Sunday, June 11, 1967, in a humble, stone building known as the Glassport Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ (“The Pure and Unadulterated Restored Gospel,” as the sign in front of that church building says), my life was changed forever as I rose upon my feet and proclaimed, “I want to be baptized.”
At 13 years old, there was not a lot about this world that I really knew. As a side note, my entire family, my father, mother, and siblings were all out of town that day, visiting family in Erie, Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, I was baptized within 30 minutes of my request, without anyone ever having contacted my parents. Surprisingly, they were both fine with that!
As Brother Rocco Biscotti, a visiting Apostle from Ohio, preached in broken English the words of everlasting life, what I felt at that moment beckoned me to come to Christ. It was inviting me to a life that I never could have imagined at the time … and I am so glad that I accepted that invitation! Oh, how sweet a life it has been!
The Gospel message came to my home through my mother, Elizabeth Staley (Suds), by way of her parents, Anthony and Fraolina DiBattista. I recall my grandfather often saying to my grandmother, “Mrs., oh what a life!” And that life was laid out for us on a silver platter … an inheritance without measure or price!
I resided in the Glassport Branch for another five or so years before my life journey led me through five other states, from the far west to the deep south, allowing for Church membership in 10 other branches and missions of the church over the years, namely San Fernando Valley, CA; Aliquippa and Clairton, PA; Hollywood, Tampa, Forest Hills, and Cape Coral, FL; Atlanta, GA; Middle Tennessee, TN; and Mesa, AZ.
Thinking back on the marvelous and tender way in which the Lord equally yoked my wife and I together with each other and with Him as teenagers — we met at the 1968 GMBA Campout in Nauvoo, IL where Sharon surrendered her life to Christ — thinking back over the spiritual experiences we witnessed and received over the years, and reminiscing about the life-long friendships that we forged with our brothers, sisters and friends in Christ … we are so blessed!
God granted us two believing sons, Cameron and Jameson, and two believing daughters, our son’s spouses, Jennifer and Chelsea. Not only has the Lord enhanced our lives and the lives of our children with His Son and His Church, but now, He is enhancing the lives of our grandchildren!
Were the Lord to call me home, I could honestly say I have found complete joy in and through Jesus Christ!
Lest I give you the impression that our lives have been a bed of roses, let me assure you that, like any other family, we have suffered tragedy, loss, heartache, and turmoil amidst our joys, blessings, miracles, and peace. From the death of a parent while vacationing at our home in Florida to the tragic and sudden losses of my 40-year-old brother and Sharon’s 21-year-old nephew to a life-threatening car accident in Georgia, and through two job losses while in Tennessee … the one constant has been the Love of God, and it has saved us! Oh, what a love it has been!
The love of the brothers and sisters throughout the church, regardless of where we lived, the love of the church’s saints from around the world — we had the pleasure of visiting mission fields in Guatemala, the Philippines, and Nepal — but most of all, the love of a faithful God and His Son, Jesus Christ, who not only redeemed us from our sins, but also filled our lives with glory… my dear brothers, sisters and friends, there simply are no words!
I can still here those Glassport saints — especially Brother Alfred “Pitchy” Nolfi — singing an old, familiar favorite, No. 142 in “The Saints Hymnal,”
“How can I ever sufficiently praise him
For the great things He has done for my soul?
While I have breath I will praise and adore Him,
And while the years of eternity role”
Thank you, Lord, for a blessed life in your Son Jesus Christ. In His name I offer this praise!
Share Your Milestone Spiritual Birthday With Us!
Milestone anniversaries of the day you were baptized are a wonderful time to reflect on what the Lord has done in your life since coming out of the water. If you recently celebrated or will celebrate a milestone spiritual birthday, whether it’s your first or 50th, we’d love to hear your word of praise and testimony. Click here to share.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.