It was a dark and stormy night ... well, actually, it wasn't stormy, but it was dark that night in January when I was born to Finus and Beverly Powers in Jackson, Tennessee. A few months after my fourth birthday, my family made the move from West Tennessee to Estill Springs, a sleepy little town in the southern portion of Middle Tennessee. How blessed I was to be born to such a loving couple.

I have many happy memories growing up in a Christian home with my brother and sister. What a warm, nurturing environment it was!

I was brought to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 12. After vacillating through my teenage years and wandering as a Prodigal into the far country, God began to earnestly deal with my heart and to tenderly draw me back. What love, kindness and grace God bestowed upon me when, at the age of 18, He imparted abundant forgiveness and a second opportunity to live for Him.

At this time, I began to attend Bethel Baptist Church in Tullahoma, Tennessee, where my mom's sister, Mary Neal, had been a member for several years. I had visited the church as a young teenager with my Aunt and God had put a love in my heart for its Pastor, Dr. Jim Rolen, and its youth group. I didn't realize it then, but God had performed a work of grace in my heart at Bethel in those early years that He would ultimately use to bring me back. How I bless His name for Bethel Baptist Church, its pastor and its people! 

After joining Bethel in August of 1993, God led me to become more actively involved in my church. Slowly, but surely, as I began to grow in the Word, God began to burden my heart to preach the gospel. I resisted at first, but I finally capitulated and surrendered to His blessed call on October 26, 1997. What a life-changing day!

Shortly before I returned to Bethel, a sweet girl named April Brannon had joined this wonderful church. April was saved at the age of 10 in children's church at Victory Baptist in Shelbyville, Tennessee. In 1991 April, along with her parents, Mike and Willetta, and brother, Justin began attending Bethel. I wonder at how God brings two people together. I knew April in high school and had always thought she was very cute. What a pleasant surprise to find we attended the same Church! It only took me two years to build up the courage to ask her to dinner, and then another three years to convince her that it was God's will for us to marry. So, settled in the will of God, in the spring of 1998 we graduated college and were finally married.

I often think of the sacrifice that April knowingly made when she voluntarily said "I do", married a preacher, and became Mrs. April Powers. It was a decision that illustrated and evidenced her love for me and her devotion to God, and a decision that causes me to love and admire her more and more with each passing day. She didn't have to. I surely didn't have much to offer her - only a life filled with uncertainty, difficulties, possible relocation, and of course, many spiritual trials. But in the midst of the burdens and battles, God has provided many wonderful and rich blessings!

Six years into our marital bliss - I still say we are on our honeymoon - God blessed our home with a little boy from Heaven. Braden Michael Powers was born on October 1, 2004, in Winchester, Tennessee. As much as April and I loved each other, we never dreamed that our love could so multiply and fill our home as it did when we brought "Brady" home from the hospital.

In the Fall of 2016, I was called by Raysville Baptist Church to become its pastor. This is a new experience for me, but one that is very rewarding. Sometimes it seems too good to be true. I look around at my family, my friends, my church, and the ministry that God has given us, and I think to myself, "All of this and Heaven, too!"

I marvel how God could burn a single verse into a heart as He did mine, but Acts 20:24 has become my very heartbeat. "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

Every life is a story worth telling, and every conversion is a story of grace worth hearing! Share yours with someone today.