My Calling By John LaFontaine
It was a cool winter night in February, the year was 1962. I was in the Air Force, stationed in Goldsboro, North Carolina and was attending the local Church of God. It was a Wednesday night,the service had ended and many had gathered around the altar, praying. I slipped out of the auditorium and went up the stairs, into a Sunday school room on the second floor and closed the door. I knelt down in the dark and began to pray. I was questioning the Lord as to whether He was calling me into the ministry.
Perhaps I should back up a little. As a teenager, my whole life was baseball. My grandfather played professionally, and it was my desire to follow in his footsteps. I loved the game and was good enough to turn the heads of scouts when the opportunity came.
One Sunday morning, I was sitting in Wadhams Baptist Church, near my home town of Port Huron, Michigan when I felt God tug on my heart. I went to the altar, confessed my sins and asked Jesus into my heart. From that moment, everything changed.
Baseball was no longer my first love. I wanted to be in church every time the door was open. I wanted God more than anything else. I attended every service I could, went on trips with the youth group and attended many outreach and street meetings. By the time I was seventeen, I was known by my peers as a “true Christian.”
Right after graduation, in June of 1961, I joined the Air Force and was sent to Goldsboro, North Carolina. The Vietnam war was in full swing and so was the draft so many young men, including myself, volunteered so that we would have a choice which branch of the military that we would serve in.
I met a couple of guys on the base that attend a local Church of God nearby and started attending the services with them whenever I could.
It was the second floor of that Church where I was kneeling and praying. I opened my eyes for a moment and saw a bright light come into the room, then a voice spoke to me and said, “I have called thee to do the work of an evangelist, go and I will go with thee.” I shouted for a while, cried for a while, and thanked Him for answering my prayer.
Two weeks later the pastor asked me to speak for our youth meeting. I will never forget that night because I had another supernatural experience.
While I was preaching to the young people, I had an “out of body” experience. I remember stepping backwards, out of my body. I was literally, standing behind myself, watching me preach! I remember, thinking, “is this really me, am I saying those things?” After a short time, I stepped forward, into my body and continued preaching. That was the beginning of my ministry. God had not only called me, He also had allowed me to witness my ministry in action.
Since then, this gift that God placed within me, would take me to most of the United States and Canada, as well as a few other countries. I have preached in almost every kind of church because I rarely turned down an invitation to preach the Gospel. After more than 50 years since He called me, by His grace, He is still using that gift, in me.
I remain His servant and yours
Bro. John LaFontaine