Chapter 4 — “And then I met…”
In 1964 I graduated from high school and headed to college. I decided to major in music and entered the University of Kentucky for four exciting, challenging years. I studied hard, lived on campus, and planned to be a band director and professional classical saxophonist. During the summer of 1965, I was able to attend Interlochen National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. There I enjoyed private lessons from Don Sinta, a college professor and classical saxophonist. It was a wonderful, exhilarating experience for a young musician, and I found myself drawn more than ever to this consuming life of music. That summer at Interlochen, I knew I wanted more. I would pursue my master’s degree and become a professional classical saxophonist. And then I met the Lord.
Everything was going great. I had the world by the tail. Late one night in 1966, I was studying in the lobby of the dorm. Another student joined me at about 3 a.m. and we began to chat. One thing led to another, and before she left, she invited me to join her at the Campus Crusade for Christ meeting the following night. I’d never been asked to a Christian meeting, and my uninformed mind conjured up men with black suits and slicked back hair and women with long dresses, no makeup, and their hair pulled tightly back in a bun. Out of curiosity as much as anything else, I agreed to go to the meeting.
I arrived late and walked downstairs to join the Campus Crusade group. To my astonishment, I saw not the weirdoes I had come to belittle, but more than 100 beautiful and handsome college students, sharp and full of life. The students were stylishly dressed and probably well-to-do. But what really impressed me was what I saw in their eyes. Something sparkled from deep within, something they had down in their souls, and their eyes told me so. I knew I wanted what they had, whatever it was. I continued to attend their meetings, soaking up teachings and spiritual truths as well as warm Christian fellowship. I found out that these people were “born again” and that they knew Jesus Christ personally. This longing for “what they had” continued to grow in my heart — I just couldn’t shake it.
Finally, in 1967, I was ready. More than anything else, I wanted to enter into this relationship with the Lord. I approached one of the Campus Crusade staff members, Kathy Rice Narramore, and she prayed with me. Nothing earthshaking happened — no bright lights, no fireworks, no handwriting on the wall. But we prayed, and I asked Christ to come into my life in a real and personal way. I kept going to the meetings and also kept studying to be a saxophonist. My idea of a Christian was a person who went to church, led a good life, prayed, read the Bible, and was basically good. I had no idea that God wanted to direct my future, to take me by the hand and lead me the way he wanted me to go. Boy, was I in for a surprise!