My Christian journey began at the age of 14 years old. The Lord used many Godly people and some very difficult life circumstances to draw me to Himself. One night, as the Word of God was preached, I experienced the grace of God and was given the gifts of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone for my salvation. For the first time I realized that my only hope of being saved from my sins and the punishment of an eternity in Hell was through trusting completely in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. Since that night of spiritual new birth, I’ve been set on a new path in life.
At the age of 16, as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes president at my high school, I attended a large evangelistic event where I met my future wife for the first time. We were both chosen out of a crowd of about 500 to come up front for an illustration. There in front of everyone we were made to hold hands. Since that day she quickly became my sweetheart and partner in the gospel. Over time, she has proved to be the most wonderful wife and mother of our three beautiful daughters.
In the fall of 1997, during my freshman year at Mississippi College, a small church that I had been attending asked me to lead a bible study for three youth on Wednesday nights. I gladly accepted and in a few months time we had nearly 30 attending the bible study. The church soon believed God’s call was on my life to lead out as their part time youth pastor. I accepted their affirmation and continued teaching the bible to the youth on Wednesday nights.
Only the Lord knew that many years later I would become the Pastor of Cleary Baptist Church. It’s been one amazing journey so far. Glory to God Forever!
I went to church my entire life. When I was 13, I went to hear my uncle preach at a retreat. It was there that I realized I was a sinner destined for hell, repented of my sins and put my trust in Christ whose grace can truly save me. (Ephesians 2) This is not a one-time confession but a lifestyle through Jesus Christ.
Since that time it has been unique to see Christ mold me into what I need to be for His glory. Just like in Galatians 2:20, being crucified with Christ means by the grace of God my old self has been put to death. The life I live is not my own but everything belongs to Christ.
God has equipped me with these gifts and he has called me to step into a leadership role for His glory. In John 10 Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd. I believe that as an elder leading the flock it is necessary to lead the sheep as Jesus did. I love my fellow church members at Cleary and want to help you grow spiritually. It is through careful prayer that I believe God has led me to help lead the flock at Cleary.
Ken Holm, III
When I was growing up, my family periodically attended worship services; however, neither often nor regularly. I entered the US Marine Corps in July 1989 as a Korean Cryptolinguist. After serving honorably for six years, I exited the Marine Corps in 1995 and settled in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Shortly after arriving in Mississippi, I began to attend Cleary Baptist Church. Prior to this time, I was an unrepentant sinner with a demeanor and behavior to match.
In October 1995, Jesus Christ remade my heart, saving me, and beginning a transformative work that continues today. I repented of my sins, believed that Jesus Christ had indeed died for my sins, and was saved. I was baptized later that month. A few years later, God led me to the woman who would be my wife and we were married in Cleary Baptist Church in 2001.
I have been in leadership positions within and without the Church for many years. It is my desire to see Christ’s Church follow and glorify Him.
I was baptized at the age of seven during Bible School at this church many years ago. I was told that I never had to worry about my salvation again. When I was 16, I was at a revival here and I was convinced that if I were to die I would go straight to hell. I knew that I was a sinner and my whole life was full of sin and I had no conviction of it even though I knew that it was wrong. I prayed the prayer and was baptized again because I didn’t want to go to hell. As life went on, I found myself wrapped up in the things of this world. With the independence as a young adult, I was living my life all for myself and thinking He was Savior because of what I had done in a prayer and baptism. I was 34 years old when I began to read the Bible for myself for the first time and I realized that I didn’t know this God I was reading about. It was at this time that the Lord brought me from death to life and breathed His Spirit into me. I became a new creature and everything changed. I began to hunger for His Word. I understood the true Gospel and understood that it is impossible to have Him as Savior only and He not be the Lord of my life. At this point I realized everything I had ever done in my life was sin because it was not of faith and I loved the world and things of the world. I was an enemy of God. I realized that only the finished work of my Lord Jesus was the only thing that could save me and there was nothing I could do but trust in Him for everything. I have never been the same. I began to hate the things I used to love and to love the things I used to hate. I have been growing in a greater knowledge of Him so that I can know Him and make Him known.
I have served as a Sunday school teacher for 14 years. I have served on many committees such as nominating, budget/finance, graveyard, and pastor search committee in the past. I have also been involved in missions and travel on many mission trips including construction trips and evangelistic trips.
I love this church and the brothers and sisters that God has here and I would lay down my life for any of them in the service of the Lord.
Sinner saved by grace. I grew up in a strong Christian home with Godly parents and grandparents; but in my adult life, I found myself living separated from the Father and had he so decided, I was destined to hell. During our revival five years ago, Kempton Turner preached Isaiah chapter 6 and for the first time in my life the Lord revealed himself to me. I knew and fully understood my need for a Savior. He gave me a heart of flesh and made me a new creature. Even though I don’t deserve it, His grace abounds in my life and His mercies are made new each day. My hope is in Christ alone!
Since that day, the Lord has begun a work in me. Through the truth of His Word, He has made me a better husband and father. As I have grown in His Word, He has by His will provided me opportunities to work with the youth in our church, serve presently as a deacon and teach Sunday school. I also was given the opportunity to travel to foreign countries on mission trips.
About a year and a half ago, we also adopted a little girl and the Lord has used that experience to grow my wife and I with an even deeper understanding of how we are adopted into the family of God. The Lord has used our experiences as a family not only for my sanctification, but also that we may help other families with similar experiences.
As for being an elder to the faith family at Cleary, any qualification that I might have is purely the works of my Savior. I know that I’m a slave to Christ and if it is His will, I will serve Him and this family at Cleary to the best of my ability. My heart’s desire is for every member of this faith family to know Christ and to join us in advancing the kingdom so that all might know the love of Christ.
Growing up, I attended church and was somewhat involved in the youth group. However, as I entered into young adulthood in high school, I began to engage in behavior(s) that were entirely inconsistent with what the bible describes as the life of a truly born-again Christian. As an adult, I continued to dive further into immoral behavior rather than turn to Christ to find hope.
A woman whom I had known for years since grade school, entered my life and began sharing with me about her newly-found faith in Jesus Christ. She explained to me how the gospel had changed her life and I was surprised to see the dramatic change in who she was now from the girl I once knew. She began inviting me to attend church with her at Cleary Baptist, where I heard profound teaching and preaching, and I heard the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly articulated for perhaps the first time in my life. It was in that time that I repented from my lifestyle of sin and began following Jesus. Also, that woman is now my wife.
Very soon I noticed a strong desire to teach God’s Word and this was also affirmed by other Christians that I knew. The Lord began giving me opportunities to teach His Word in various settings. I began getting involved in ministry opportunities. In those times, the Lord allowed me to see peoples’ lives change as they began to understand the gospel and what it meant to follow Jesus. My own understanding of the doctrine of salvation increased greatly during those times.
As I began to mature in the faith, and the Spirit of Christ began to give me greater understanding of the truth of Scripture, I believe that it was affirmed that this is the role that God wants me to have in His church. Although I still fail and stumble, I have surely noticed God’s grace in my life in many ways. I truly love my church family and I am willing to serve God at Cleary Baptist Church in whatever capacity He should have me.