The Testimonies of Eric South, is about the growth and changes God has made in my life, since joining Gifts of the Spirit Ministries Fellowship.
I prayed the sinner’s prayer on Jan. 24th, 1993, I remember that date because, it is 1 week to the day from my physical birthday so, it was a special birthday present from God. From then on, I bounced from church to church, never really finding a good fit for me. In 2013, I was invited to see Thurman Scrivner, I hadn’t been to any kind of church in years, and I was reluctant to go, but I went anyway and I took my mother with me. 3 hours with Thurman changed everything. Thurman was reading the same Bible, that I had read for years. What he was reading I had never heard before. At that time, I found out, that GSMF taught like Thurman. So, I thought maybe this is what I have been looking for so, I started attending. I was working at an overnight job, at the time, there were a lot of times I was too tired to go, and the body of Christ, were very understanding. There was no “well you should be here no matter what”, like I have received, at other churches. When I went to see Thurman, I was on 11 different medications, for Acid reflux, sleep disorder, asthma, and allergies. Within 6 months of seeing Thurman, I was down to just a rescue inhaler. As of the writing of this testimony, it has been 2 years since I have even used any of the medications. PRAISE BE TO GOD!
Not long after I started attending GSMF, I was able to get a job that was Monday thru Friday 7-3, that meant, I was able to start going more often. As I kept regular attendance, I noticed that I was changing, I was a more of a pleasant person and I was happier. People started to like, being around me, and I started to like being around others as well. Because of a joke, that someone at the fellowship said, I sat down and wrote a sermon and I gave it the Pastor to read. After he had read it, the Pastor looked at me and said to me, “you give it”. I was shocked!! At that time, I hadn’t been at the fellowship all that long, I wasn’t ordained or anything like that, and the Pastor wanted me to get up in front of the fellowship and preach! In the end, I did and the sermon was very well received. That was the shot in the arm I needed to feel I was able to participate in church, I wasn’t just a place holder and I had things to contribute to the body of Christ. As the years went by, Pastor started a ministry called Open Mic on Saturday nights. This was a time, that anyone could get up and share what God had laid on their hearts. Well, I ended up getting up and sharing about 12 times in 2 years. This coming from someone, who just a couple of years earlier, didn’t even attend a church regularly. What a testimony to how God can work, when you let him.
As I kept attending, there were things about me I didn’t like, but I didn’t know what to do about it. A Pastor, at a sister church, dealt in deliverance so, I went to see her. After a couple meetings with her, I could really feel a difference in me and so could my family. Now, I did have some rough spots now and then, but overall, my spirit life was going in the right direction. As I kept attending, I noticed that there were still parts of my personality that were not lining up with the Word of God. A couple of Sundays after I realized, Pastor gave a teaching about using what God had already given you. The next day a co-worker said a name, that God used, to get me really thinking about what else I needed to deal with and I, up to that point, had not really thought about it. As God lead me through an internet search, I found out that what he said, was a revelation of part, of the things I still needed to work on. So, with Gods direction, I prayed a prayer of deliverance, as Pastor said, to use what you already know. After I was finished praying, I knew something had changed. About 5 minutes after the prayer, I was physically ill, and at that time, I had remembered, of what a prophet once said, as you get filled with the Holy Spirit, you will get rid of the junk and so, I knew I was on the right track. Over the next several weeks, God kept bringing things to my mind that, I would search out and one search was on gluttony. I was wondering if that was the cause of my weight gain, and what I found out really surprised me. One week, I sat down and started typing, 4 hours later, I had a sermon, that I felt compelled to share. Now, this wasn’t one of my usual Open Mic teachings, but I felt this was something different so, I asked Pastor to review it before I got up to share. After he read it, he said it was fine, and he would have me give it later because he was in the middle of something else. Then, the next week, Pastor came to me and asked, if I could give it the following Sunday.
When I shared what God was doing in me, and how it was making me take a hard look at myself in a new way, the response was not what I expected at all, but it was received in a very good way.
The reason, I included this in a testimony is, because all of the times I have gotten up to speak, God has been preparing me for the next season, He has for me. So, even the things that seem insignificant, can be God getting you ready for what comes next, and through all of this, I have found out, what I am passionate about. Several people at GSMF have said, that my passion is a calling, and God is showing me where He wants me to do His work.
I can truly say without reservation, that I do not know where I would be, if God had not brought me to GSMF. May this testimony be uplifting to you, convict you and bless you. Thank you for reading, and remember
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” KJV
My name is Jeff B. and I have been coming here since 2012, April. My father was an alcoholic, died of Sclerosis of the liver. If you don’t know this, if your going to treatment, or rehab, you have a 99.9 percent chance of being an alcoholic, and I was. I would only drink once a week and but I would only drink a 5th and I could do that in 4 hours. There are only 26 shots in a 5th or you could go like 12 hours, maybe. One of the last guys I use to drink with, we could keep up with each other, if you owned a bar, you would like to see us come in there, because that just made your day. The bottom line was, this goes back about 18 years or so, I got an invitation from another friend, and I went with him, and after the service he says, let’s go get prayer for your drinking, and we went up the Pastor and he turned beat red and said, I don’t know if I can do anything for you, but I’ll pray. Then I thought, he is turning beat red, he’s going to have a heart attack, you know, but those are my experience’s in church. One April day, when Elaine had finally got me over to meet Pastor Keith and Debbie Ver Steegh, it was like a, wow. The first thing we did was, Debbie read from that book about prayers that rout demons, and I agreed with all of that, and I quit smoking cigarettes and quit drinking. He who, the son of God set free, is free indeed. And I used to think, some of my friends heard I quit smoking and asked me, what’s it like? Oh, it is still killing you, oh, this is great news and I don’t have cravings for any of that crap, and I feel pretty good about that, and it is because these two (Pastor Keith and Debbie) cared enough. One of the first times, I was at their living room, I had to thank Debbie for caring, and she said, she broke my heart when she said, somebody brought me to Christ too. Glory to God. My grandfather, on my mother’s side, was a worshipful master in the masonic lodge, normally when you go through those first 3 degrees, then you can become the master of the lodge, and you go through chairs, and then they go down to the Scottish Rite building downtown and, whatever they call it, but anyway, you got York Rite or Scottish Rite, he went both and he died at the age of 56. He was a tool and of diemaker. and his son died young too. That was my uncle and he was a tool and diemaker too. My uncle’s son is a homosexual, and all I had to do was to pray about it, and it all worked out. I got a letter of demit from the Masonic Lodge, which means I quit. Glory to God!