My Testimony By Robert J. Anderson
In January of 1974, I was at the age of 6. Our family was attending the Methodist church in the small town we lived in. I was forced to attend and was also guided in the virtuous duties of the local choir. At this age, I wasn't sure what being a Christian meant. I was a child and it was what was done. Monday through Friday, it was live as you see others doing. But on Sunday's, you had to live a perfect church lifestyle. I believed this the whole time I was growing up. I went through my life doing as I wanted, not what Christ was teaching. For 12 years, I was living a life of a perverse person. I was drinking and doing drugs. I was an abusive husband and I was into sexual immorality. I was stealing and lying to my parents. I was really lying to myself. I was taking credit for the things that God was providing me. I looked at things as I did this, and I did that. I never gave God the credit. I blamed Him when things went wrong, though. Then one day, I found myself in a place I never had intended to be. I was sitting in a jail cell looking at the possibility of staying there. As I sat there a few days, the truth began to set in. My life had finally caught up with the things I was doing. It took 24 years to ruin my life and I was beginning to see that Christ was the only person who could help me. We had a chaplain in the County Jail, and every Sunday a volunteer chaplain would come in and give us a message. He would read from a book that I had looked at a few times, but had never really read it. For about 6 Sundays, I would sit in my cell trying to listen, but I was too far away from the services. I could only make out the songs. I wanted more. So I asked the Officers if I could attend a service? I was an inmate with a very severe case and I wasn't permitted to attend with other inmates. It was arranged that I had a Bible. The chaplain of the jail came and explained what the book was. I had known about this book growing up in the Methodist church. I knew it was God's word, but I had never given Him much of my time after high school. When I left home, the Bible stayed in my folk's house. Now after 12 years of being a total failure, I found myself wanting a way out of this pain I was going through. About 6 months went by in the County Jail and I was moved to a 6-man tank, where I was allowed to hear the services. I was hearing about a man who had dies for my salvation. I wanted to hear more of this man. My folks had come to visit and I asked them for a copy of the bible. They sent one. Now I had a way to know Christ. I read the Book from cover to cover. I had even memorized key verses. I thought I was getting the message. I went to the trial and stayed in the County Jail for 19 months. I was learning and wanted to know as much as I could. My transfer assignment date came and I was brought to TDCJ-ID. I was given the standard assignment and number. I was assigned to a wing and put into a cell. I had access to a TV and could listen to the radio. I had the Bible and now I could attend the service of my choice. For the next 6 months, I attended every service that I could. Then I went before the review committee and was told that I could go to the program. I was in a cell with a man who didn't know the Lord and I soon found myself losing interest. I quit attending church and I was quickly falling into the worldly things; sex shows and all the things that went with being in prison. Things were not going well for me. I had made a few enemies, not by my doing, but because of the case I had arrived here on. I was scared and I soon found myself running back to lock down. I was letting the row and the people on it get to me. While on lock down, I started attending a few meetings and the chaplain would check on me when I would miss a service. I was back in touch with the church. I was talking to a guy in the group who was a preacher. He had gotten ordained while behind his cell. On June 14, 1994, I received the Lord as my personal savior. He has given me peace and has saved me from a death in the depths of hell. I try each day to serve him and spread his message of salvation for all. It took me coming to prison on a charge of capitol murder, and the loss of my freedom, to gain peace. I hope that whoever listens to this or reads it won't have to be behind bars before they accept Him as your savior. I thank God every day for his love and forgiveness. May you avoid this place. Accept Him now and you won't have to end up here.