Bevans Welder’s Testimony
readability, this is the condensed version of my testimony. I
have found long testimonies can be boring, as you are probably
aware. So, I’ll spare you the boredom.
I was raised
Roman Catholic; we went to church as a family faithfully every
Sunday. I went to parochial schools under the continuous
influence of nuns and the Brothers of Mary. I was also an altar
boy. By the time I entered the eighth grade, I had become
interested in the priesthood and enrolled in St. Anthony’s
Seminary in San Antonio, for my freshman year of high school.
St. Anthony’s is an Oblate seminary.
One night in
May of that year, an upper classman and I snuck off campus for a
double date with two girls we met at a debate competition. We
attended a drama called the “Fantastics.” The kiss my date gave
me convinced me that the priesthood was not for me. No way was
I going to spend the rest of my life as a celibate!! So, I left
San Antonio to attend McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee,
for the remainder of high school.
McCallie, I ran track and cross country. Rocky Young, the
chaplain of the school, invited me to a Fellowship of Christian
Athletes meeting and I was happy to go. I was an athlete and I
considered myself a Christian. This was also a chance for a
good meal at the Read House Hotel and a few hours off campus!
meeting, I heard a young man give his personal testimony about
his relationship to Jesus Christ. I knew immediately that there
was a vast difference between his relationship to Jesus and my
relationship to Jesus. He and Jesus were friends, but Jesus was
more like the school principal to me. The only time I went to
him is when I was in trouble. You can only imagine the feelings
of guilt and shame, if you have never been through this
I told Rocky
that I wanted what that young man had. So, Rocky took me back
to the campus and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to me all
the way “home.” When we arrived on campus, I asked Rocky when I
could get saved. I was thinking there must be a particular
Sunday in the year when you could do that or a particular church
which you had to attend.
He said, “If
you want to get saved, you can get saved right here and right
now.” So, he and I got on our knees in the parking lot outside
of the Chapel and I received Jesus Christ as my personal
Savior! Man that was way better than the priesthood. Jesus and
I were now friends; I had been reconciled to God through the
death of his Son! For the first time in my life, I enjoyed the
Lord and I enjoyed praying.
forward a bit. I attended Rice University in Houston, Texas,
and while there I joined First Baptist Church. Pastor John
Bisagno was a great preacher and he helped me get through
college with his encouraging sermons. My roommate, who still
faithfully serves the Lord, was also a great influence in my
graduated from college, though, and started my banking career
with Capital National Bank in Houston, I began to socialize a
lot and in time strayed from the church and the Lord. I never
had been a Bible reader and so I had no light to guide me. The
darkness of the world closed in and I found myself backslidden
and away from God.
It was in
this condition that I met my lovely wife, Anne. She had been
raised Presbyterian. She and I assumed that her confirmation as
a 12 year old was the same as my conversion as a 15 year old,
and so, in May of 1980, we were married. And here is the
strangest thing, as a backslidden Christian, I asked her for a
King James Bible as a wedding present. Somehow, the Lord had
enough influence in my life to make sure that I had his words in
my hand for a day down the road when he would use them mightily
in my life.
after we married, we moved to Beeville, Texas, where I became
president of the First National Bank of Beeville. We attended
the Methodist Church in those days and under Pastor Buddy
Johnston, I was asked to teach the adult Sunday school class.
That was funny looking back because I really had no business
teaching anybody anything about the Bible. I was regurgitating
Dr. Ed Young’s Corinthians tapes and teaching out of an NASV.
in September of 1986, I said to the Lord, “I really ought to be
reading at least one chapter of the Bible each day if I am going
to be teaching Sunday school.” Oddly, when I went to get my
Bible, I didn’t reach for the NASV, I picked up that King James
Bible my wife had given me several years before. I silently
said to the Lord, “Wherever it falls open is where I am going to
read.” It opened to Ps 119. I couldn’t believe it, 176
verses!! I looked up to the ceiling and said, “You’ve got to be
take the Lord 10 verses to get my attention. I was out of that
chair and on my knees. I read every word of every verse after
verse 9 on my knees. I was bawling like a little child as the
Lord showed me my life from his perspective and I was
horrified. I confessed every sin that I could think of. It
sounds strange now, but I didn’t think that I would live through
the night; I was so weighed down with the burden of my sin.
Through all of the godly sorrow, I eventually prayed this
prayer, “Lord if I wake up in the morning, my hands are off the
reins. From now on, we are going your way, not mine.”
really changed after that. The transformation was so drastic
and so complete that I honestly doubted whether I had even been
saved when I was 15. I was voraciously reading my King James
Bible and the Lord was guiding my life. Because we weren’t
getting fed, we left the Methodist Church and joined First
Baptist Church. Three weeks later, my wife received Jesus
Christ. We started witnessing to all of our friends and I was
“preaching” to all of my customers.
years, I had been called to preach. In 1989, I resigned the
bank to go into the ministry full time. Shortly thereafter, we
moved to Pensacola, Florida, where I enrolled in Pensacola Bible
Institute for Bible College. Man what a change!
August of 2017, I will have been in the pastorate full-time for
25 years, preaching and teaching the King James Bible. It still
seems like yesterday that I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my
Savior. As they say, “time flies.” And truthfully, with the
abundant life of Christ, time dissolves into eternity. It just
gets better every day!!
If you are
not saved, I highly recommend Jesus Christ to you. Watch the
Christ’s Plan of Salvation and I’ll show you from
the Bible just how easy it is to get saved. Jesus is the only
worthy Savior. That’s because HE is the ONLY Savior. Won’t you