My grandmother was and continues to be a source of inspiration to me. Although she only had a second grade education, she knew Jesus and followed Him and it's taken most of my life to figure this out because of my own pride.
I was blessed beyond measure when I received her testimony in a book one of her friends had written back in 1980. I pray this will be a blessing to you as well.
Called To Preach and The Good Ole Days
Sr. Pughs Testimony
This morning I fell like writing my testimony to glorify the Lord Jesus. He has been a wonderful, marvelous friend to me. I could never thank Him or praise His sweet holy name enough for all the good things He has done for me and for the way He has answered prayer so many times in so many ways. I can recommend Him to anyone to be the best friend they could ever have.
How well I remember about 25 years ago, one Saturday night at Dalesburg, Ky., in an old-fashioned fellowship revival with sister Opal preaching on the drawing power of the Lord, my husband and I were saved. We were both in a backslidden condition, had just given up completely. We didnt even go to church anymore. A good friend of ours, a minister of the gospel and pastor of the Dalesburg church at that time kept talking to us, trying to get us out to this revival. So one night we went and the drawing power of the Lord was so strong we just wanted to go back every night. We could hardly wait until the next night so we could go back. No man comes to Jesus except the Spirit draws him. I thank and praise the Lord for His drawing power. Jesus is the door and we must come in through and by the door, Jesus Christ. There is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved. On a Saturday night of this revival, we both went to the altar and the Lord took us both back. He wonderfully and sweetly saved us. Oh, praise His name forever! I was sanctified wholly in the same revival. It still holds good today. I can still report victory over sin and the devil. I am still pressing toward the mark of the high calling. Ive got a stronger determination to go all the way than ever before. I have loved ones who have gone on before I want to see again, but most of all I want to see Jesus, my blessed redeemer, the one who suffered and died on the cruel cross of Calvary. He shed His lifes blood for your sins and mine that we might have life and have it more abundantly. I am so glad I am a Christian. It is the only worthwhile way to live here in this present world.
Well, we didnt get in any too soon because about two years after this the Lord came one day and called my good husband to be with Him and I was left to fight this battle alone. Yet, Im not alone because Jesus is always with me. He said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. I will go with thee even unto the end of the world. Isnt that a wonderful promise? He is not slack concerning his promises but will more than fulfill them.
It wasnt long after my husband passed away, the voice of the Lord came to me and He spoke very clearly, Go preach My Word and help spread the Gospel to a lost and dying world. I didnt want to do this as all my life I had thought little of the women preacher. I had told my husband many times, A woman just has no business up in the pulpit preaching. That is a mans job. When we get saved the Lord will change our minds about a lot of things. I didnt know much about the Bible when I first got saved, but later I read in the Bible where He said in the last days, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy
And on my servants and on my handmaidens
and they shall all prophesy. So in the last days He has given the woman a right to preach.
He had called me to preach but I began to back up on the Lord. Being human and not wanting to preach, I tried to put it out of my mind. I tried hard to forget about it. In my heart I knew it was the voice of the Lord. I tried so hard to convince myself that it was my imagination. I said, I am just letting my imagination run away with me. Anybody knows that the Lord wouldnt call me to preach. I dont know anything about preaching. I will just put all of this out of my mind. Ill just forget all about this. Well, I tried hard to do this but in a day or so I heard the voice again. He gave to me the very same message. Go preach My Word and help spread the Gospel to a lost and dying world. This time it was so strong I had to accept that it was the voice of the Lord. So now I began to make excuses to keep from preaching. The Lord didnt argue with me but I did argue with Him. I reminded the Lord how little education I had and that there were words in the Bible I could not even pronounce. I told the Lord He had plenty of people who were qualified for the job. I said, Lord I know you have called me but surely you have a mistake. I just cant see myself a preacher, Lord, I dont know what to do about this.
Well, we all know the Lord just does not make mistakes. The Lord dealt with me so strongly about this that I got deeply worried about it. I had always been a person, since Jesus saved me, to jump up and testify for the Lord nearly every opportunity I had. All this was between me and the Lord and I got afraid I would up and testify to the fact that the Lord had called me to preach. I knew it might just automatically come out. I didnt want to tell it so I made up my mind to quit going to church and to Sunday School. I told the Lord I was going to quit going to church and to Sunday School because I didnt know what to do about this. It had me so bothered I talked to the Lord like this: I said, Lord you know all about me, more than I know about myself and I am glad you do. Lord, I know you picked up out of sin and wonderfully and sweetly saved my soul. I know I am not the same person that I was. I realize I am a born again Christian. I know I have passed from unto life and I refuse to give up and backslide. I am going to quit going to church and stay home but I will live the best I know how. I will not step out into sin in any way. I will read my Bible and pray every day. I will trust you for the rest of this. So I stayed here in this little house almost two years. All the joy of my life was gone. It was like I was locked up in prison. I prayed much and read my Bible. That is what held me. All my friends thought Sister Pugh had backslidden. Some came to talk to me about why I had quit going to church. I would them I still had the victory although I never told anyone I was called to preach. That was just between the Lord and me. Well, there comes a time when we have to settle the thing. With the Lord there is a time and a place for everything. We may be on the top of the fence but we must go over on one side or the other. Im glad I went over on the Lords side.
One Sunday morning I got up and went out in my little kitchen and as I stood there in the middle of the room, a great desire came over me to go to the house of the Lord. My, how I wanted to to Sunday school and church. All of a sudden, the devil came to me and was surely preaching me a sermon. He said, Dont you go to church, the Lord will make you preach and you know you cant. You just as well throw up your hands and quit. This is not for you, you have just made a big mess of it all. As I stood in wonder at what to do, the Lord appeared on the scene and there were three of us-the devil on my left, the Lord on my right, and me in the middle. Well, I am thankful for the scripture, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape., That is what the Lord did for me. He spoke to me again. What do you think he said this time? Yes, the very same words. Go preach My Word and help spread the Gospel to a lost and dying world. The Lord went a little further this time. He said, If you dont I will push you out of the way and put some one in that will. I looked down where I was standing and I saw that place called Hell. The Lord was shaking me right over the pits of Hell. He was showing I had to do His will and not want my own way. I became nervous and trembling. I was crying and began to pray. When we begin to pray and mean it, the devil will have to step back.
I prayed something like this: Lord, you know all about me. I am glad that you do. Lord dont do this to me, dont push me out the way. You know I want to serve You and I want to go to Heaven more than Ive ever wanted anything, it just that I dont know anything about preaching. Now Lord, right here I surrender, if preach I must in order to go to Heaven and you think you can take a little old girl like me and make me a preacher-my health has been shattered for years since I was 18, my hair started to turn silver-here I am Lord, send me. I will start going back to church and I will have enough of the grace of the Lord in me to tell the people I am called to preach.
So I came out of my little house preaching and I am still preaching. It has never been as hard as I thought it would be. The Lord wont put a hard job on us and walk away and leave us. The Lord has opened many doors to preach down through the years. There has always been a place for me to preach. I just love to preach. I would rather preach than anything I have ever done. The Lord has blessed me in preaching. Ive seen many souls born into the kingdom, many sanctified, backslider reclaimed, and sick people healed.
I hope Ive said something that might help some one along the way. I trust and pray that everyone who this will feel the power and the spirit of the Lord as I am writing it very prayerfully. As for me I am getting well along in years now. I am 78 years old have been preaching the gospel 20 years. I can say as the Apostle Paul said to young Timothy, For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. II Timothy 4:6-8.
Reverend Ruth Pugh