Hemlington Baptist Church

Pointing people to Christ

Changed lives

Thousands of people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ every single day around the world.    Here are some of the testimonies of how some of our people came to know Jesus Christ personally.  


Picture of Ray

When I came out of the Army after 10 years service, I was 26 and living at home in Stockton with my wife. Having already attended Sunday School and Bible Class as a youngster, I already knew God was holy, good and just. I also knew that – having lived in the Army for ten years – I was not in any condition to meet Him; in fact, it filled me with dread. This was despite the fact that when I was 15 or so I “asked Jesus into my heart”. I was happy to have Jesus as my Saviour, but not as my Lord.

So, sitting beside Carol in our front room, I felt the weight of my sinful life bearing down upon me and had to go upstairs to settle matters with God (Matt 11:28). I knelt by our bed in prayer and it was as if I was at the foot of the Cross of Jesus, God’s Son. I knew in my heart that the reason He was crucified was to be my sin-bearer (Heb. 9:28), even though He was sin-less. I knew at that moment that God loved ME and sent His Son to bring me into a right relationship with Him.

I confessed all my sins and turned to Jesus Christ, who not only died but rose again on the third day to show His sacrifice on my behalf was acceptable to God the Father (Rom. 1:4). I made Him Lord of my life and He came to live in my heart by His Spirit. At that point I knew that my sins were forgiven and I had a deep, inner peace that God had forgiven me and my burden of sin was taken away (Rom.5:1).

I found I had a desire to know God and His Son more (2 Pet. 3:18). His Holy Spirit gave me a hunger for God’s Word, the Bible, and I read and meditated on it daily. Prayer was something that I looked forward to because I spent my time in the Lord’s wonderful presence.

Worshipping with the Lord’s people on a Sunday and going to Bible Study were times of great blessing, and telling others of the greatness and kindness of God in sending Jesus Christ into the world to save me was something I wanted to share with others. That was 39 years ago, and all of these things are still true.

There is no greater privilege than to be His child and I have sought to love, worship and serve my Saviour in my personal life, my work life and my church life.

Sometimes life has been hard. Carol and I have been through ‘many dangers, toils and snares’ but I have never regretted the day He called me and I answered. I have always had His deep abiding peace and joy in every circumstance I have found myself in. Once I was lost in sin and on the way to Hell. But now, through God’s grace – my sins have been taken by Christ on the Cross and I am no longer under God’s condemnation (Rom. 8:1). There is nothing in this life more wonderful than being reconciled to God, and nothing more fulfilling than being one of His children, and serving Him as Lord. When I had my heart attack a couple of years ago I had no fear of dying or death because in Christ I have One who will never leave me or forsake me (Heb. 13:5) and I live each day with a sure and certain hope in this life, and glory waits for me when I die.

We now consider Hemlington our spiritual home and worship the Lord with them on Sunday morning and evening, as well as at the Prayer and Bible Study meeting on Wednesday. Come along and meet with us and the Lord will make His Presence known to you if you humbly seek Him (Jer 29:13).



Some conversions happen quickly, others over months and years... some even over decades! I’m in that last camp.

I was brought up going to church, but all this meant to me was I couldn’t play football for the local Sunday league team. I had no personal interest in going to church. But despite my lack of interest, God had other ideas, and I have felt his presence many times in my life. 

However, I couldn't break free from my sin and therefore doubted not only if there was a God, but whether saving faith was something I could attain. As such, I’ve spent many years struggling with the difference between actual faith, and assurance of faith; wanting undeniable proof I was saved, and not believing I could be. 

So how did I ultimately find assurance of faith:


1. Observable evidences.
Many years have been spent going down the wrong path - trying to prove God. 
I have read many books on apologetics (the study and arguments for a rational basis for the Christian faith). But logical proof doesn’t help you get a personal relationship with Jesus. Proving someone exists doesn’t help you know them. Despite this being a blind alley to some degree, I have found assurance in the archaeological evidences demonstrating the bibles truth. I have also been amazed at predictive prophecy and the archaeological findings that demonstrate the truth of the bible.

I’ve heard it said that, “facts lead to faith and faith leads to feeling of God’s presence when acted upon.” This has been true for me.

2. A greater understanding of faith and assurance
How do you know you are first saved? Well this question I struggled with for many years. However, I came across a sermon that pointed me to the book of 1 John 2 v 3 which says ‘And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.’ This is not “did you pray to God and ask him into your life”, even if that was sincere. It is talking about you know you are saved if you keep his commandments. Now this does not mean a sinless, doubt free life, but a style of life that seeks to follow Jesus Christ.


I had been doing this for many years, and the trajectory of my life was one of reliance on God, despite my doubts, fears, and repeated failings. Other passages also support this, one of these is the last few verses of Matthew, known as the great commission. Here, the disciples are gathered together, and it says some worshipped him, and some doubted. Yet it is these people who had experienced so much and saw so many miracles who still had periods of doubt.

So, based on scripture, it is possible to be saved but also to have doubts and fears. Since I realised this, the great thing is that my doubts are getting smaller and my faith is getting stronger.

3. A better understanding of me!

The people who knew me best believed I was saved and just didn't know it! In this final period of coming to an assured faith, God graciously provided further help in the form of a bible believing girlfriend, who, despite my flaws and insecurities at the time, saw in me a Christian man who she could fall in love with, and for my part, I was quickly head over heels too. However, I realised that despite my love and longing to marry Jen, I still had doubts as to whether she was the girl for me and whether everything would work out in the long run. Don't misunderstand me, I love Jen and was delighted when she agreed to marry me. It just made me realise I was someone who doubted more than most!

4. What I’d describe as a shove!
As the wedding approached I felt more and more uneasy, regarding not obeying the command of baptism and verbally acknowledging Christ as my saviour. I felt increasingly uneasy at the prospect of standing at the front of the church, before God and taking the marriage vows without first acknowledging him through baptism.

Then our Pastor preached about the need to obey the biblical commands we liked, as well as those we didn’t. Since baptism was very much on my mind, this was the final encouragement I needed to make a stand for Christ and be baptised.

Well, that is my story, my testimony. When was I converted? I couldn't really tell you. The exact timing is not a fundamental issue, the key question in life is whether you, and I, have a personal relationship with Christ. After many years of heartache and struggle, as a consequence of the grace of God, I can now answer that question with an affirmed YES.

The story of course continues; my faith in Christ continues to grow. There is still a battle with the old self and sin, but there is also a growing peace and joy in Christ.