Pastor Troutman’s Testimony of Salvation
At the age of 5, with my father being deceased and my mother recently saved through the ministry of evangelist Oliver B. Greene, there was a need for better spiritual guidance than our family was receiving at the current church we were attending. By God’s grace someone contacted my mother about an independent Baptist church which was forming in our community of Myerstown. She soon became a member of this new church. Being exposed to the true gospel message for the first time, I became aware of my need for salvation in Jesus Christ. After a Sunday morning worship service in the winter of 1969/1970, at the age of 8, I approached Pastor Brian Sherman about my desire to be saved. He took me to the front of the church and opened the Bible to show me clearly the gospel plan of salvation. Understanding that Jesus died for me and that I needed His shed blood to cleanse me from my sin, I knelt before God, repented of my sin, and placed my faith in Jesus Christ for my eternal salvation. I shared this good news with friends and relatives. As God worked in my heart through the teaching and preaching of the Scriptures, I realized I needed to be immersed in the waters of baptism and did so on June 24, 1970. Our family being faithful to the church services and being involved in the church ministries allowed me to grow in the faith and comments were made about my becoming a preacher one day.
The church grew and obtained its own building a few years later but, sadly, the pastor left the ministry and several pastors assumed the pulpit in the following years. The church slowly declined and the congregation’s size began to decrease. Being a teenager at this point, I began to follow the carnal ways of other youth and eventually our family left the church. My mother did not want to get involved in another church so we basically grew spiritually cold. I continued to backslide until after graduation from high school when the Lord convicted me strongly about my hypocrisy and carnal condition. At this time I began to pray earnestly for direction to a solid, Bible preaching church and for His power to renew my personal walk with Him. Shortly thereafter, in August of 1982, my mother visited the Faith Baptist Church of Lebanon, PA, with one of her friends. When the church sent a young couple to follow-up her visit to the services, I happened to be home and greeted them at our door. I was asked about my spiritual condition and shamefully admitted to being a backslidden Christian. Before the couple left I gave my word that I would be in church with my mother the following Sunday, which I did. After visiting the church services the second time and upon hearing a powerful message from the book of Amos by Pastor Dave Burggraff, I walked the aisle during the invitation to commit myself to the Lord.
As an active member of the church, I attended a week of revival meetings in April 1983 with Dr. Neil Cadwell. On Friday evening I yielded to the Holy Spirit’s call to full-time ministry. While I did not know specifically what the Lord had for me, I freely submitted myself to His control and followed His leading to prepare for His service. To help with that preparation, I became a student at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatanna, MN, that fall.