Juanita Dukes

"Child of God by Faith" 
Hi, my name is Juanita Dukes and I would like to start my Personal Testimony by saying we did not go to church very much when I was growing up because we did not have sufficient clothes to wear, not only to church but to school or anywhere else for that matter. However, the day did come when we were able to attend church but not until I was in my early teen years and it was at this time I was showing interest in boys. My mother thought it was time for me to join church, so during the summer at a week of Revival Meetings I went through the motions of becoming a Christian. I said all the right words but nothing took place in my heart and I knew it. 

Later on I met and married my husband. We had three sons early in our marriage, and we would take them to church on special occasions, such as Easter and Mother’s Day. I thought we had a perfect marriage but things began to fall apart, in more ways than I could imagine. I soon got tired of trying to keep up with my husband and realized that we were headed no place if we continued on the road we were traveling on. I began staying home with my sons because I did not want them to grow up seeing the bad examples we were giving them as parents. In spite of my attempts to keep things together, they just continued to get worse. 

I fell into a deep state of depression which caused suicidal thinking. Part of me wanted to live and part of me wanted to die; then for the first time in my life I began to think of God seriously and wanting to be right with Him, but did not know how. All I could do was fall on my knees and ask God to take control of my life and forgive me for living my life without Him. Although I had been a member of a local church and serving in the choir, I never experienced the peace of God before, and had a great desire to know Jesus in a personal way. I did not even own a Bible so I immediately went to a Christian Book Store and bought my first Bible and began to read it. 

I would read every day even though there was little I understood and the more I did not understand, the more I wanted to know. I began going to Bible Classes at the church where I was a member but I was not satisfied because it was not a Bible Class but just a discussion on different subjects, this went on for the next five years. 

Then on my way to work one morning I was turning the dial on my radio, trying to find something spiritual on, and I heard this strange talking man. He was teaching the Word of God in a way I had never heard before, this man was Dr. J. Vernon McGee, of the “Through the Bible Radio Program.” I knew this was what I needed to help me understand what had taken place back in April of 1970. One of the first verses the Lord gave me was Romans 3:23 which states, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”, then I learned Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Also it states in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” I was so excited about what I was learning from the Word of God. My faith began to grow more and more. 

I soon learned that God wanted me to be at a church where I could be taught His Word, so I left and started visiting other churches and then one day at work I ran into an old friend of mine who had accepted Jesus as his Personal Saviour and we began sharing our testimonies with each other and he invited me to a Bible Study at his church and upon my first visit I was impressed with the way the Word of God was taught and knew that this was where I could grow in the Lord so I continued Bible Study and then started to attend Sunday services which went on for a number of Sundays because I wanted to be sure that this was where God wanted me. 

I responded to the invitation for membership and after six weeks of membership classes which reinforced what I had learned concerning the plan of salvation and the assurance of salvation, I was baptized and accepted into this Godly church family. This seemed to be the missing piece of the puzzle in my life. I now had answers to the most important question in my life which produces much joy and peace just knowing that I was a child of God by Faith in Jesus Christ. 

Since that time I have continued to walk in the faith God has given me. There have been many, many struggles in my life and I am thankful for each of them because it is through these times I focus upon the lord with few distractions and He has my full attention. 

I am presently a member of the choir, a nursery worker, Sunday School teacher, a member of the Board of Education and a member of “Women Working for Christ.” 

I am thankful to God for what He is doing in my life and I am committed to serving Him with my whole heart.