My father was the senior elder in our church for many years. When I was a boy, eleven years of age, an evangelist held a series of meetings in our church. One night he asked every Christian to come forward and also asked those who desired to confess Christ to come with them. My father, of course, went up, and, as I felt the call of God, I followed after him.
Just as he reached the front he turned around, and seeing me, said, “Johnnie, you go back; you are too young.” I obeyed him, as I had been taught to do, and at thirty-three I came again, but I did not know what I was coming for as clearly at thirty-three as I did at eleven. The church lost twenty-two years of service, while I lost twenty-two years of growth because my own father, an officer in the church, had said, “Go back.”