This is a brief testimony of how the Lord saved Jesse and led him to plant the church Grace Life Dallas. In the next few weeks, more of my interview with him will be uploaded.
Jesse: I was raised, by God’s grace, in a Christian home. My father read the Bible to me daily, and sacrificed a lot to give me a Christian education – kindergarten through college. I went to Bible college. And so I had a lot of knowledge about the Lord and the things of the Lord. We regularly attended a church, and we were faithful in attendance there. And at a young age – maybe 7, I made a profession of faith, was baptized. And I prided myself at that time that I did not participate in things like drinking or drugs. But as I look back, I saw that I just lived openly in so many other sins. I went away to college. I met my wife. She was in the exact same place I was spiritually. We were married the week after college. We moved to Dallas for business and started attending a church in Dallas. We were faithful there. And it was shortly after that that one day I picked up my Bible, which was not common, and began to read. And I read 1 John 2. “If you love the world or the things in the world, the love of the Father is not in you.” And I was so confronted with the reality that I loved so many other things than God. I was convicted of my sin. I didn’t have a lot of good doctrine. I was more introduced to things like the sinner’s prayer. And I didn’t know what to do at that moment, but I knew this for sure – I was lost. And I cried out to God for mercy. And He saved me. And as the Scriptures say, at that moment everything became new. I was a new creation. And there was a turning of my affections from the world to the things of the Lord, and by His grace, that has continued to this day.
James: What led you to ultimately pastor? How were you called to the ministry?
Jesse: It was not a traditional calling. The Lord works in unique ways. After conversion, I was in a profession where I had hours free every day. I could finish my work, and then I had to wait for people to come in. It was a retail environment. And so I had five to six hours a day often by myself, which I look back now, it was the grace of the Lord. And that went on for ten years. So for that long time, I would just read the Bible. And I read the Bible over and over and over. And I began to share the truths of the gospel with people around me. I was so excited about the truths that I was seeing. And God in His grace began to save people. And they came back to me after they were saved, and said, “Well, where should we go to church?” And brother, I didn’t know what to tell them because the church that I was in at the time was a shallow view of the gospel, more entertainment based, and so what we began doing is meeting in my home for Bible studies. And this is further along after I was converted and a number of years in the faith. And we met in our home for years. Prayer meetings, Bible studies, fellowship, to go evangelize. And that became where we’re at today, which is the church that we meet with. So not a traditional path, to say the least, but the Lord has blessed it and graced us and worked through it for His glory.