Sister Terrie Lee’s Testimony
When I first came to Arizona, I had a lot of issues from things that happened in my life. I was from Virginia and grew up with the Baptist beliefs that once you are saved you are always saved. It is a false hope, but I didn’t know it at the time. I had two children, when I carried my first child I had complications at the time of her birth. The doctors back then may not have been as schooled as they are now, and they left me in labor too long; which put a lot of stress on me and the baby. They did nothing to help me and the baby stayed in the birth canal too long, which prevented her from getting oxygen to her brain and destroyed her Cochlear nerve; causing her to be deaf. I didn’t even know she was deaf when I took her home because back then they didn’t test for it. My mother noticed there was something wrong with Kimberly first, because she wasn’t responding to noises. She called me in the room and she stood behind Kimberly and banged pans together and the baby never turned her head to see what it was. Having a deaf child took all my time because I had to fight for our rights. I wanted the best for her and wanted to be able to communicate with her. I found a teacher that taught her oral, so she could read my lips and he also taught me cued speech, so we could communicate very well. This took up all our time, and at times it was very stressful. Then I had another child, a boy; I named him Howie. Life just rolled by but because of my issues, I was very unhappy, and I prayed for the Lord to help me. He heard my prayers, but I felt very alone. I went through a divorce and moved to AZ to start a new life. My oldest had just enrolled in college and the youngest stayed with his dad. When I got to AZ I was very lonely, and at the same time my daughter lost her financial aid; so, she moved to AZ to be with me. We were looking for a Baptist church that had an interpreter so that Kim could enjoy church with me. We went to a couple of churches and I started feeling like something just wasn’t right, then Sis Emmons showed up at our door inviting us to their church, she was an interpreter, so I was thinking about it. She came back several times and the last time she brought Brother Emmons with her. He was telling me that he was happy I was looking for a church because the world was so bad now that we really do need God in our lives. It was that reminder that I needed to hear, so we went to their church that Sunday. Sister Emmons came over several times and gave us a bible study, but I didn’t think they beliefs were any different than the Baptist way. My mind was blocked to it. The Apostolic ways of worship were very different than what I was used to, but we enjoyed it, so we kept coming. I kept listening to the preaching and I was reading my bible. It took a while to get the Baptist word out, so I could receive the truth. My daughter received the Holy Ghost before I did, and she confirmed to me that is was real. I remember hearing her speak in tongues and I wondered about it. Soon after she received it I began seeking the Holy Ghost. I had a tough time letting down the walls that I had built through the years of my troubled life. Finally, the time was just right and when the Holy Ghost fell on me, I was shocked, and I stopped praying for a minute because I was in awe that the Lord gave me his spirit. I was baptized in 2002 right after I received the Holy Ghost. I have never quit loving the truth and want to make it to heaven.
I thank God for a good pastor!
Sister Terrie Emmons
Sis Emmons’ Testimony
I was not raised in the truth, I didn’t even know there was a “truth.” I was raised in Redding CA. and as a child I attended off and on to an Assembly of God church with my grandmother Rachel; who was my mother’s mom. I remember praying for the Holy Ghost at the alter over and over without receiving it. One time while praying, the pastor came to me and stopped me from praying and told me that I was already saved and that I needed to claim that. He said that the Holy Ghost was just a gift from God, and that He gave it to whomever he chose but that I shouldn’t worry about it. It had nothing to do with my salvation. So, with this, I tried to bolster my confidence and went home and told my dad that I got saved today! He looked at me and said, “how do you know you are saved?” I was devastated because I had no answer, I went to my room and shut the door and cried. My dad’s family was in the truth but because my dad didn’t live for God we didn’t live near them and rarely saw them. He was very private about his life and we never discussed God. His mother died when he was six years old, but she had planted scriptures in him. One time when he had been drinking, he came home late at night; he threw open the door and hollered out “I am the Alpha & Omega, the first and the last the Great I AM, then he added… I am the only Potentate.” It scared me so bad that I ran to my room and didn’t come out. I had chills but had no idea any of the words were from the bible. Years later I ended up in Las Vegas, NV. I was married with two little babies and soon divorced. I went through a lot of turmoil in my life and was very unhappy & empty in my soul. I was very fortunate that my dad’s nephew, Bro Dallas Mefford, started a church in Las Vegas years before I arrived there. Although I really didn’t know them, I knew they were very different than anyone I knew. I didn’t seek them out. When I got serious about finding Jesus, I began reading the bible and the Lord showed Jesus Name baptism to me very clearly, I told the Lord that I would do it just as he wrote it to prove that I wanted Him in my life. My kids will tell you that I drug them from church to church looking for someone that would baptize me the bible way. I had no happiness in my life; it seemed that my life kept getting so tangled up that I really began crying out for Jesus to help me. I smoked cigarettes constantly and drank a little to calm my nerves, but nothing helped. My little girl, Rachele was only seven and she came to me one of the times that I had a drink in my hand and said, “mommy I wish you didn’t drink.” Later when I asked her if she remembered saying that, she said she didn’t remember. I think God speaks to you in many different ways when he is tugging at your heart, it is like that scripture in Isaiah 1:18, “come now, let us reason together… One time while consoling myself, I said to myself that I wasn’t too bad of a person; at least I wasn’t like my mom and dad going to bars and drinking too much; when a quiet voice spoke to me, yes you are just like your mom and dad only not as far down the road as they are. I believe that was the real turning point for me when I realized that it didn’t matter what anyone else had or hadn’t done but that I needed to be concerned about myself and change how I was living. I prayed and prayed and read my bible; wondering if God even heard me. He heard every word. Later I was reading all the miracles Jesus did in the book of Luke and I got hold of a little faith. I told the Lord that I really wanted to quit smoking but couldn’t do it. I said to Him, “if you did all those miracles for all those people in the bible then you should be able to help me to quit smoking.” I got out my carton of cigarettes out of the frig and began tearing them up one by one, crying all the while. My little boy came out of the bedroom and asked me what I was doing, and I said, “I’m tearing up my cigarettes to see if God will help me to quit smoking Raymond.” He laughed and said, “mommy you are crazy, and you will be asking me to get you one from the neighbors tomorrow.” He was a smart little guy and he had seen me do just that in my attempts to quit on my own before. This time I had connected to a power that was able! The next morning, I had no desire whatsoever to light up another cigarette, in fact I went outside and ran up a hill and back and never even coughed. My lungs felt clear and I felt as though I had never smoked before! God did it! I was so grateful, I realized that God had been listening to all my prayers. I thought about my Aunt Jewell Mefford and searched for her phone number. I thought to myself, I hope they are not the ones that are right. I said that because I didn’t think I could live like them, I wasn’t near good enough. I called her and asked, aunt Jewell, does your church baptize in Jesus name and she let out a loud shout and began to speak in other tongues; at the same time, I started trembling under the power of the Holy Ghost and got stammering lips. I realized that this was what I had been searching for. I had no idea that she had been praying for me for a long time. She gave me brother Mefford’s phone number and I called him to see when I could get baptized. He said he wanted to talk to me first, so he and sister Mefford took me to lunch and he asked me a lot of questions. He first asked if I knew that I had to quit living a life of sin. I told him that I had already quit smoking and drinking. I had no idea what else I had to do. He said, “you won’t be going to dances anymore or to the movies.” I said. “ok, that’s fine it doesn’t matter to me, I just want the Holy Ghost.” Then he went on with other things in his list and to each one I would reply that is fine it doesn’t matter to me, I just want the Holy Ghost. Then he said, “I don’t want you to pluck your eyebrows any more either.” I almost stumbled over this small thing because at the time, I had thick black eyebrows, I plucked them in a thin line highly arched, and I couldn’t imagine what difference it would make to God! I tried to convince brother Mefford that I really needed to do it or I would look so foolish, but he wasn’t budging in his feeling about it. He said, “I think they look worldly, and I don’t want that surprised look.” It made no sense to me, but I finally said yes to this last request. I don’t know if he had ever requested that of anyone else; maybe it was God searching my heart. Brother Mefford was very in tune to God’s voice. I finally complied but stated again that I was going to look horrible. I wanted the Holy Ghost so badly that I would have done anything to get it. March 1st, 1979, I received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, it was so real that I knew for a fact that God had done this thing in me. I was the happiest I had ever been in my entire life! Bro Mefford baptized me in the name of Jesus, and when I came up out of the water I spoke in tongues again, I felt so clean and the empty place that I had in my soul was filled. I felt so good and my whole way of thinking was changed, and my life was finally worth living. My children both received the Holy Ghost in the Las Vegas church as well. I made a lot of promises to the Lord and was so happy. The devil did all he could do to destroy my happiness, six months after I was born again, I lost my mother. I was grieved beyond words. Many other mega trials followed that one, I guess the devil knew that I wanted to tell the world about what Jesus had done for me; we had an agreement. I hated the devil and he hated me. In a few years, I lost my brother, my only sibling. We were so close that it rocked me to the core. I moved back to California to be near my dad, I was afraid he would die from sorrow. I couldn’t find a job, so I went to the bay area to still be close enough to see my dad on weekends. I was so discouraged, and I didn’t think any of the churches were as good as Brother Mefford’s church; of course, it was the devil that brought this lie, he was trying again to steal my soul back. He knocked me to the ground and I thought to myself, if God loved me he wouldn’t have allowed my brother and my mom to be taken from me. When you are not in the house of God you start thinking off balance and the devil can cloud your thinking. I was so discouraged that I quit gong to church. While I was in this state I met Bro Emmons, even though I was not doing very well I still held on to the truth and began testifying to brother Emmons; he was not happy and didn’t know much about God. The Lord worked things out for me even though I was stumbling along and in a very sad state of mind. I prayed to the Lord and told him I didn’t think I could make it, that I needed help because I was so grieved I couldn’t make it without His help. Maybe He was waiting for me to realize how much I needed Him. He came to my rescue again. I’m thankful that I didn’t die in that state; God had mercy on me. Bro Emmons got the Holy Ghost in Vallejo CA. and was delivered of everything in one instant. He really got everything he needed! Somehow even through my blunders, God blessed me with a really good man that fell in love with the truth and with me. When he made up his mind that I would say yes to his proposal he got me fired from one of the best jobs I had ever had, I’ll tell you about it someday! I learned more and more about God and His ways. I finally learned to lean on Him. This didn’t come overnight, in fact at times, I still have to battle that self-will thing. As long as we are in the flesh there will be battles. I’ve heard that if you are not battling the flesh, that you are not even in the race. It was through years of good preaching and a God that loved me and sent good preachers in my life that had patience with me that made me who I am today. My life was in God’s hands and if you will hang on to Jesus you will make it, he knows how to work your life out, all you must do is trust Him and follow His ways and he will make your life beautiful. If the enemy of your soul tries to knock you out of the race, just keep getting up and stay on the path; it will be worth it all someday. Brother Emmons and I have been married over 30 years now and he has been a wonderful husband and my best friend. The Lord blessed my life more than I could have imagined.
Gina Cavasos’s Testimony
I started going to church as a young child, I was about nine or ten years old. An Apostolic church bus came to get me, none of my family came to church with me.I received the Holy Ghost shortly after and was baptized in Jesus name at the Royer’s church in Rio Linda.
I left the church as a teenager, I wanted to explore; as the world calls it. I bounced around from house to house with no stability for several years. I was living in sin with a boyfriend that introduced me to crystal meth, I was then in my late twenties. He said here try this, it will help you to lose weight. He made it sound like I was really missing out, so I started using for the first time in my life. We lived in a double wide mobile on his parent’s property, when his parents found out what we were doing; we became homeless.
That is when my life took a downhill spiral. My boyfriend broke into an abandon building, so that we would have a roof over our head. He made this sound as though we were not doing anything wrong. I didn’t realize how much him and the devil began to control my life.
Not long after this my boyfriend became mean and very controlling. We began to fight all the time and all the feelings that we had for each other had totally changed. I was always so scared and felt so alone, and I began thinking of how it was when I was young and serving the Lord; so I began talking to Him again. I was asking God for safety and help in my situation.
I held a sign on the street corners saying, “homeless and hungry, anything helps.” It was an awful time in my life, never did I imagine that my life would be like this.
My boyfriend was daily calling me every name in the book, it was so degrading that I began thinking that I was like that person he perceived me as. I wanted to commit suicide, I thought to myself that if I had to spend the rest of my life like this, that I didn’t feel it would be worth living. Time went on and I wanted so bad to get out of this life that I applied for a job at Walmart and to my surprise they hired me. I loved it! It was my escape from the way I was living. My working hours were the happiest part of my life. One day, we were arguing, and I don’t even remember what it was about, but suddenly he put his hands on my throat and began to choke me. I knew then that I must find a way to get away. I began to cry out in night to God to make a way of escape for me and keep me safe. He heard my prayer. I saw a man in parking lot of Walmart; who was having problems with his truck; it had broken down and he was stuck there for a couple of months. God put it in this man’s heart to befriend me; even knowing that I was a homeless person. My boyfriend most time walked me to work so that I couldn’t have contact with anyone, but one day on the way to Walmart, we were fighting, and he became abusive; my new friend saw this and stepped in. He told him to stop and he threatened to call the police to protect me. Later when he saw me alone he talked to me about how I needed to get away from this relationship, that he was not even a decent person. He asked me why was I staying with someone like this and letting him control me and be a danger to me? It brought me to my senses. He offered me a place to live with him and his wife; to start over in the state of Nevada. I kept it in my heart but made no decision at that time however, I was still talking to God at night to help me through my fears.
The abuse became more violent as time went on. My new friend that I had made was at the hotel with his wife; they had been texting me checking up on my situation and again told me if I decided to leave they would help me. I know God put it in their hearts to care about me because I had nothing to offer them and they hardly knew me. While they were at the hotel; I heard a voice in my head tell me, “if you don’t leave now you will surely die!” I believe this was voice of God, it was as clear as day that the Lord was warning me. Sure enough, my boyfriend exploded in anger that very day and scared me with his violence and I told him that I was leaving. He instantly grabbed me by my shoulders and started shaking me as though he had lost his mind. He said you cannot leave me and if you try I am going to kill you! Fear grasped me and I heard God’s words of warning to me in my head again. A man that was passing and saw my boyfriend hurting me; yelled out “stop, let her go right now or I will call the police!” It distracted him for a moment and he began screaming back at him and I took this opportunity to run. I ran and ran not looking back. He was chasing me; all I can remember was I must get to the hotel where my new friends were. I was able to escape him, and they let me in. The two men were arguing and before the police arrived my boyfriend ran away. He began calling my phone over and over with threats and filthy language until I was terrified. My new friends said just turn off your phone, you are safe. They asked me if I was ready to come to Sparks NV with them and I answered, “YES.”
I moved to Sparks, NV. I stayed with my friends for a couple of weeks, during that time I got a job off USA parkway, within a week of being there. I moved into a weekly rental in Sparks. After about a month of being on the job, I made a friend at work, he was homeless; so I related to him. I felt sorry for him, so I let him stay with me for a brief time. This caused me to relapse into the drug scene again. He asked me if I had ever shot up? I told him no, and he said,” you have to try this, it is amazing!” He put the needle in my arm and all I remember was I had to lay down, my head was spinning, and I couldn’t even walk. I had no control over my body at all. I think I was overdosed and close to death on what the devil told me would be a fun trip. I lived through it but, I was very ill and very weak for four or five days. I told the Lord, “NO MORE DRUGS, I HAD ENOUGH OF THE DEVILS LIES TO ME!” I began praying seriously to the Lord that I wanted to live for Him as I did when I was a child; asking Him to please help me find an Apostolic Church and let me change my life. Immediately God started working on my behalf; the guy that shot me full of drugs was picked up by the police and I threw all his stuff out in the trash. My co-worker that I had been carpooling with; without warning had been kicked out of the weekly motel that we were both staying at. He decided to move to Fernley; which would leave me without a way to work. I had no vehicle and have never driven. Another co-worker heard about my situation and moved me to Fernley to a weekly motel there, so I could connect with others for a ride to work. I was having anxiety attacks and my prayers became more and more desperate for a church. As I was talking to God and walking around to find my way in the new town I was in; I noticed a Chinese restaurant and they had a bulletin board in front. I stopped to read the ads, and there was a flyer about an Apostolic church. My heart was pounding, and I felt such joy just to read those words! The church was right across the street from where I was living. I knew God led me right where I needed to be! I can’t tell you how happy I was to know that God had planned my path when I was seriously repenting. He has been so good to me. I was waiting at the church when the Emmons drove up. I prayed through on the first service and the tears I shed this time were the tears of joy! I testified that I was going to put God first in my life no matter what this time for the rest of my life. After my testimony, the owner of the hotel came to me and offered a smaller room for half the price and the same week my boss gave me a big raise in pay. In just a few weeks I was offered a temporary job at Tesla. The devil came at me again with another temptation; the supervisor came to me and said that I wouldn’t be able to wear skirts on the job because of liability. I will admit that fear grasped me because I needed this job bad, but I had made up my mind to leave if they didn’t let me wear skirts. I had promised to put God first and I was determined to keep my promise after all I had been through. The pastor wrote me a letter explaining our beliefs and they read it and made an exception; which showed me that if you keep your promises to God that he will always make a way for you. I kept my promises to God this time and now after three months Tesla offered me a permanent position with their company which helped me to become stable. Every day has been a blessing and now I have gained more confidence and no longer have any temptations to go back to the world. I don’t even want a relationship again until the Lord hand picks a man for me.