Reach | Testimony #1
Gareth Volz | Senior (55+) Director
My salvation experience is not very exciting compared to that of people who God delivered from a life of “horrific” sin. God granted me the privilege to be born into a household where both my parents were Christians who loved the Lord. My earliest memories are of my mother and father reading me Bible stories and praying with me daily.
Until the age of six, my family lived on the first level of my grandparents’ house in Detroit, and my grandparents lived on the upper level. My grandparents loved the Lord, and I adored them. On Easter Sunday in 1953 after lunch, I was upstairs spending time with them, and my grandmother asked me what I learned in Sunday school that day. I related to her the flannel graph lesson we had been taught about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. She asked me if I understood why Jesus died on the cross, and I said it was to save people who had sinned. When she explained that I was a sinner, I was shocked (I was five at the time). That Sunday afternoon in 1953, I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and be my Savior. For the next few years, I had a real hunger for the Lord. I memorized Scripture, went to every church youth event I could, and had a real desire to serve the Lord. I was baptized at the age of 12.
But when I went to college, I began to drift away from the Lord. I still went to church, I even taught a children’s Sunday School class, but my friends, sports, girls, and having fun diminished the time I spent with the Lord. Like the children of Israel, I got my focus off the Lord, spent less time in prayer and the Word, and in effect, wandered in the wilderness of the world. But even in my unfaithfulness, Jesus did not leave me to myself. He needed to humble me so that I would realize again that He was what I needed. The Christian girl I was engaged to broke it off, and I was devastated. I came running back to the Lord, and I asked Him to help me. I told Him I was sorry for putting other things before Him and asked His forgiveness. I also asked Him to direct my life and let me serve Him. Three years later I met the most beautiful girl in the world, who has been my wife for 44 years. God also opened the door for me to leave public education and serve Him in Christian schools for 28 years, as well as in different church ministries. I have been a blessed man, and my desire to serve and live for Jesus grows each day as I walk with Him.