Marc Silliman (Deacon)
A story of God’s intervention into the life of Marc Silliman
As a young man I was introduced to the religion of golf by a life long acquaintance. Soon after that I found work in the business of golf for the privilege of playing golf without paying a daily fee. Over time I excelled, gained membership in the PGA of America as a club level Director of Golf, and received two prestigious awards from my colleagues in the Southwest Section of the PGA. Along with my work of gaining professional acumen, I was proficient at several of the vices that are prevalent in the game of golf. My favorite was the consumption of alcohol during and after a round of golf regardless of whether I had played or not. My practice of overindulging alcohol rendered me an ineffective husband and father by the time I went home.
While I knew my lifestyle was wrong, I held to the prideful idea that I would not fall to complete submission to alcoholism like many in my family had done. I was above that enjoying the worldly prominence as a successful golf professional. However, I remember that in 1995 immediately after receiving the top award of “Golf Professional of the Year” from the local PGA section, I was convicted of my unworthiness for such an honorable award. I decided then to try to change my ways. With little or no measurable success of my own over the next year, I strangely found myself hearing a message of truth from an evangelist/illusionist after a magic show at a church in Show Low, AZ. That evening I responded to God’s invitation that He brought through Felix Snipes and the Saints at Calvary Baptist Church and received His gift of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
While my salvation was complete, I reacted similar to many of the U.S. slaves following the enactment of the emancipation proclamation of 1863. I knew my former master and knew not how to live free from the bondage of sin so I returned to my comfortable digs at the golf course and continued to practice my favorite sin for a time. I am so grateful for the Saints at CBC and the Pastor-Teacher that God gave us as they persisted in arranging a follow-up meeting to invite me to their new believers’ class so that I could grow in my restored relationship with God.
Our gracious God exposed my sin against He and my family and gave me the faith to trust Him enough to repent of my most egregious sin of neglecting my beautiful children and most precious gift of a wife by practicing alcoholism. I further learned of my privilege to love my wife as Jesus loves the church and somehow I knew that I couldn’t do it alone. I prayed to God that if that was His design for my life, to love Cindy in such a way, I would need His help to make it happen. God has been so faithful to His promise to equip me to do just that. Please know that I am not all the way there yet. He is still teaching me. But I know the difference He has made as I never knew I could enjoy the gift of a person as I do today. Cindy and I love to spend time together, whether at work, at leisure, or even at play on the former 18 hole church. With Jesus in the middle of our lives we have a true love and respect for one another that we pray brings glory and honor to God for his transforming power.
God wonderfully used His church in 1996, and continues to use MBC and Pastor Steve, to teach me the things of God in obedience to the Great Commission.
Jeff Bevers (Deacon)
As a young boy of 9, I attended a crusade in El Paso, TX where I accepted Christ as my Savior. I lived my life for Christ for many years as a kid. Other kids in school would call me Jesus freak and other things but I was on fire for the Lord. and I didn’t let that bother me. Growing up in a Christian home was a true blessing. We attended church every week and I went to MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) every week and was mentored by some very special people. But when I was about 16, I started following the world instead of the Lord and fell away from my walk for around 22 years. I went through a divorce and after that started to go back to church and searching for the passion I once had for Christ. Audrey and I fell in love with the Lord and each other and committed our lives to the Lord and to each other in 2001. We have a wonderful marriage with God at the center. He is now our focus. I strive every day to grow closer to the Lord.