By John LaFontaine
The revival meeting was about to start on the West side of Madison, Wisconsin. This was one of the most difficult meetings I would preach, up until this point in my ministry. There was a couple of reasons for this struggle. First of all, I was a Church of God minister. I believed that God was three persons,“the blessed trinity,” but the church I was going to minister for, was a “oneness church.” In other words, the Church of God baptized in the titles of Father Son and Holy Ghost, (MATTHEW 28:19) while the oneness church baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). How were we going to baptize the converts from this revival?
The second challenge was that I needed to convince this gorgeous girl, (the greatest gift, outside my salvation), to join the Church of God, so I could marry her! I told her, “if you leave your church this week, and join mine, we’ll get married next week.” I tried to entice her by telling her that we could travel around the country together, “spreading the Gospel.”
The revival started and was going good. Souls were coming to the altar and giving their lives to the Lord Jesus. One week went by, then two weeks, and about the third week in, I found myself deep in study of the trinity and Godhead. The only way I was going to help this beautiful angel see that she was going to the wrong church, was to convince her, by the Scriptures.” For the next couple of weeks,I studied the Bible back and forth, on my quest to disprove the oneness of God.
As the meeting was drawing to a close, something happened, that I was not expecting. After intense study, God began to show me, that they were right and I was wrong. God opened my eyes of understanding to the oneness of the Godhead, and before the end of the revival, I was preaching this glorious truth. At the end of the meetings, we had a big baptismal service and, I, the evangelist that preached the revival, was the first one in the water to be Baptized.
I won the hearts of her church, won the heart of her family, but as for her, it wasn’t going to be that easy. I knew she was the right one for me, and that I loved her, but it would take me another year to convince her that she loved me too.
Many times, I would take a night of rest from my revivals, and would drive for hours to get to Madison to see her. And many times I would hear her say, “what are you doing here?” “Why have you driven all this way.” She was not making this easy on me, but, with every rejection, my resolve grew stronger.
We would write letters back and forth periodically, and she would say things like, “it will never work, were just too different.” Well my heart would be broken, but I knew she was the one, so, I just kept persisting until she began to soften.
Many years later she admitted that she could see the love and kindness that I had for, not only her, but also, her brothers and sisters, and that touched her heart.
I guest, I had chased her so hard, she finally caught me. We were married on June 4, 1965.
His servant and yours,