Friday, September 29, 2006

Pastor John Norris

My phone has been out AGAIN! That of course is nothing new, but it has prevented me from posting.
This past week I had an answer to prayer that thrilled me. I was saved at the age of 12 at the First Baptist Church of North Ridgeville, Ohio. The pastor who led me to the Lord was John Norris. I have not seen or heard from him since 1983/1984. While on deputation I desired to find him. I wanted to let him know that a 12 year old boy he led to the Lord was now a preacher. I wanted to thank him for his faithfulness and sharing the gospel with me. I know he would not even know who I was if I found him, but none the less, I had a strong desire to make contact with him.

I contacted people who were members of the church when he was pastor there. I asked them if they knew where he was. A few people gave me some leads, but none panned out. One person told me he was in south Florida, so I called all the John Norris’s in south Florida. There were plenty to call, but none of them turned out to be him. After that, I simply quit trying to find him. I was too busy with deputation and preparing for the field.

Last month during one of my prayer times, I began thinking about him again. I prayed and asked the Lord to allow me to find him. Then last Saturday (Friday U.S.) I received the following email:

Dear Brother Terry,
I was doing some research on my message over the internet when I came across your blog and website with all the pictures. It looks like you are doing a great work in Papua New Guinea.

I noticed in your testimony that you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior in 1982 in a Baptist Church in North Ridgeville, Ohio. And then in one of your blogs, you stated that the pastor was John Norris. If that was First Baptist Church of North Ridgeville, on Sugar Ridge Road, then I was that pastor. I am currently the pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Decatur, Illinois. You can visit our church website at

May the Lord continue to use you and bless your work and your family.
Pastor John Norris

As I read the email, my heart filled with joy. The Lord had heard and answered my prayer! I was amazed at how he just “happened” to find my blog. This was all of the Lord’s providence! I emailed him back and told him how I had been praying the Lord will allow me to find him. I did not even know he was still a pastor. It had been over 20 years since I last talked with him.

It still amazes me how the Lord answers our prayers. Think about it: The God of the universe hears our prayers and delights to answer them! Amen!

Pastor John, if you read this, I just want to say thank you again!


Kate said...

Oh Brother Terry, I have tears in my eyes! I rejoice with you that you found your "spiritual father"!!! What a blessing that is. I love the way the Lord brought him to you! What a kind, sweet and precious God we serve!! He gives us the desires of our heart!!

Jerry Bouey said...

That's really neat, Terry. No coincidences with the Lord!

BobinNC said...

Hi Terry, sorry I haven't looked at your blog in a couple of weeks and just read your finding Pastor Norris, or rather him finding you. That is terrific news! I sent him an email. I remember you thinking you found him and we had talked about driving from Mom's to his house, but it wasn't him. Glad I am catching up now. Talk to you soon.