| Introduction and
Pastor and writer Rev. C.W. Wood had a justification experience with the Lord Jesus Christ in June of 1964. In the following story he gives his own testimony of how the great merciful God reached down his hand to an unsaved , hard boiled, police officer and lifted the heavy burden of sin from his shoulders.
Since the life changing events in his Mother-in-law's home that June night the Lord has added Sanctification and the Holy Ghost himself to the experience of justification. These three experiences came within eleven months of each other.
Then in 1967 still more grace was extended to him as the Lord introduced him to the glorious Message of the hour as preached by Brother William Branham.
Having already felt a call to preach the Gospel he now undertook a serious study of Bro. Branham's sermons. In 1970 from Hobbs, New Mexico he moved back to his home town of De witt, Arkansas where he proceeded to tell what God has done in our day by way of sending the Prophet of Malachi 4:5.
From his witnessing and preaching, a body of believers was formed who met in their homes for a number of years. As much as he knew at that time, Bro. Wood introduced them to the Message of the Hour as preached by Bro. William Branham .
In 1981 the group rented a building that had been a Museum on Highway # 1 in De Witt, Ark. The group still gathers there. Over the years many people have passed through the church investigating the doctrine and teachings. But with only a few exceptions they have all departed looking for a message that is far more popular. When all the believers are gathered together they only number thirteen souls, but they still press against the tide of unbelief by witnessing through the local newspaper, by word of mouth in the market places, and on the city streets to proclaim to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the shroud of spiritual blindness grows more dense, the burden increases to find one more grain of wheat that may have been left in the corner of a field.
Our motto is, "We must work while it is day, for the night cometh when no man can work." A part of this work is now being presented on the Internet as Brother Woods believes he is answering a call from the Lord to dig into some of the mysteries that the Prophet of Rev. 10:7 revealed.
It is not his intention that his sermons should in any way replace the study of the Bible and the Prophets sermons, but instead to be used as aid in the study of both. Neither does he claim that the teaching is infallible, but rather stands ready to be corrected if need be. And so it is with a deep sense of the responsibility involved in attempting to teach the Bride of Christ that these sermons are set forth, always praying for the Holy Ghost to guide the pen and quicken the mind of the reader.
A PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF BROTHER C.W. WOOD
It was 7:30 P.M. on a Sunday Night in June of 1964, I was sitting on a church pew in Dewitt, Arkansas listening to the congregation sing old time Gospel songs. The church service had started some thirty minutes before but the singing seemed to go on and on. I was thirty eight years old and had been in police work since 1955 when I had gone to work for the New Mexico State Police. At six foot four inches tall and weighing two hundred pounds I considered myself fully capable of handling any situation. As the singing continued it seemed that the Spirit Anointing those old songs was settling down around me. I was aware of a deep stirring in my inner being. I had never seen such a long song service. Why didn't they stop singing?. Then to my complete dismay, tears started down my face. Hurriedly, ducking my head, I wiped at them with my sleeve; only women and sissies cried. Had anyone seen the tears?. I looked around and found the people absorbed in the singing. My wife, setting beside me, had not seemed to notice either, but I was fast losing control of the situation.
It had all started some months earlier while I was at home in New Mexico. I had began to notice, that when under stressful circumstances, I would sometimes find myself in tears. When questioned by my wife, I had no reasonable explanation. I did not understand how the Spirit of the Lord comes to convict the heart of lost sinners. I only knew, that of late, I had become very dissatisfied with life in general, and I was becoming more and more restless, Nothing seemed to satisfy. There was a void in my heart that I could not fill. In years past the excitement of working criminal cases had totally filled my life, but now something had changed, and I didn't know what it was.
That June. I was able to take some time off, and the family wanted to vacation in Arkansas. Chris and I had been born and raised in Arkansas and it was always an exciting thing for our three desert born girls to return to visit there. After a long trip we arrived in De Witt and unloaded the car in front of my wife's mother and stepfathers home, Mr. and Mrs. Pete Ruffin.
Her mother , Reba, had been a Christian for many years, and it was always her habit to invite us to attend church with her. Sure enough, when Sunday morning arrived, we received our usual invitation, Not wanting anything to do with church, I had already formed my excuse. I defiantly announced that I would stay home and wash the car; how flimsy can be the excuses of a lost person running from God. Neither Chris nor I were Christians, and I didn't know there was a supernatural experience that changed a person's heart and attitude toward sin. I had been raised in a church that stressed church joining and water baptism, and I had been left with the impression that once having complied with this, all was well. Truly, all had seemed well in my life until a few months before, when the dissatisfaction and restlessness had overtaken me. The worst thing were the tears that would roll down my cheeks unbidden. It was very humiliating to say the least.
I had noticed the disappointment on my mother-in-laws face when I had announced that I would wash the car rather than go to church. There seemed to be someone reasoning with me about her request I thought to myself, she has been so good to me, keeping my three girls while Chris and I went our way and had our fun. My conscience was smiting me, and I was having second thoughts about being such a rebel.
Sunday evening came, and my mother-in-law once again asked if I wanted to go to church. To my surprise I heard myself agreeing to go to the night service. I was now setting in church hearing the anointed singing struggling to hold back the tears. In my heart; I new I needed what those people had. I felt that at any moment I might burst into tears, and to avoid such an embarrassing thing, I rose to my feet and practically ran out the back door of the church.
I walked the six blocks to my mother-in-laws house then continued to walk through the dark streets of the neighborhood where I had played as a child. I was born across the street from her place in a little white house that is still there today. With tears in my eyes I thought of my years of being so against Christianity and Christians. The longer I walked the worse I felt. I seemed to be hurting all over but couldn't put my finger on any one place. I walked until I was convinced walking was not helping my problem, By that time the family was home from church and upon entering the house I went directly to our bedroom and laid across the bed with my clothes still on.
My wife saw me come in and came to sit on the bed beside me. She asked if I was sick and I replied " no, but I certainly don't feel good". "My soul was sick from sin and I didn't even realize what the problem was". Having had more teaching about the things of God than I, she said "honey you stay right where you are, I want Mom to talk to you". Upon entering the room my mother-in-law said "William the Lord wants to save your soul; He wants to make a Christian out of you, if you will kneel by the side of the bed I'll pray for you". Talk of soul saving was strange to me. I had always supposed that when you became a Christian you just joined the church, turned over a new leaf, and did the best you could.
Nevertheless it was very clear to me that I needed some kind of help. I considered kneeling as she had asked, but it felt as though I was strapped to a four by four post, unable to bend. At first my false pride would not allow me to bend my knees. I had not knelt to pray since the days my Mother had taught my Brother and I to say," now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep". The aching on the inside increased as I finally did kneel. Mother Reba prayed a short simple prayer. I didn't pray because I didn't know how. As she prayed I must have been agreeing in my heart, because I felt a change taking place in me. It seemed as though a heavy load I had been carrying all my life, was lifted from my shoulders. I sensed this dark cloud that had always been around me had departed. The room seemed to be lighter. To describe it another way, I felt as if I had been scrubbed out on the inside with a bar of the P & G soap Mom had used on us as boys.
Standing on my feet I realized that my desires for the old way's of life were gone, and wonder of wonders, I wanted to go back to church. I thought, how strange this is, when a short time ago I had ran away from the church. But it was past midnight and church would have to wait. I walked outside into the warm night air. The street light on the corner seemed to be brighter than before. I looked at the green grass, the trees and the star filled sky, and I had never seen them so beautiful. I had been an outdoors person all my life but I had never noticed God's creation as I was seeing it now. I stood amazed as the beauty of that June night flooded into my soul. Somehow I knew that all was well between my Maker and me. I was not the same person I had been just a few minutes before.
Over thirty four years have passed since that miraculous night in the bedroom. For twenty nine of those years I have preached the Gospel of Him who so graciously brought me from darkness into the light. At times I have stumbled in the way, but the hand that lifted the weight from my shoulders that night has always carried me back to that grand old highway.
From State Trooper to Minister of the Gospel is no small change, but then neither is our Lord a small God. I now know that the one who changed me can do anything, and that he habitually does things that are impossible with men. He filled the void in my life that nothing else could fill. He is my everything. I owe my life to Him. Amen.
Pastor C.W. Wood
103 West 6th
DeWitt, AR 72042-2609