The Personal Testimony of Bro. Phillip Lawson

Psalms 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

   Born March 30th 1974 to Pat and Lena Lawson in Cincinnati Ohio, Phillip Patrick Lawson came into the world without notice to it. It didn’t make the papers nor did kings, dignitaries, and presidents make an appearance at Bethesda Hospital in down town Cincinnati that day. As a matter of fact the only one that showed up was God when he visited Cincinnati with a number of tornadoes. Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. I guess you can say I came into the world with a big to do!

   My mom and dad were separated when I was about three years old. I had no real relationship with him from that point on. Only time to time when we would find him and I would go see him about once every few years. Mom did the best should could being a single mom in the 70’s and 80’s without support from my dad or anyone else for that matter. She worked two jobs most of the time, working the sowing factories during the day and bar tending at night. The earliest memories I have are living in Queen City Avenue in Cincinnati walking late at night down to Queen City Tavern about two or three block from where we lived. As a young boy, I knew the pleasures of sin right off the bat. I would go into that bar with all the drunks and poor my own tap and drink it lighting a straw for a cigarette like the rest of the bar patrons. I would sit on that bar stool and curse like them and be the start of the night.

   Without a father figure in my life I turned to my two older brothers for leadership. Of course, as most brothers do, they turn to me for a punching bag. They would say, “it will make him tougher!” I don’t know about all that, I guess what does not kill you makes you stronger. Now, they all look up to me at six feet three inches tall. I am still there “little” brother. Both of my brothers were caught up in drugs and alcohol from a very young age. Both spent time in juvenile detention and eventually prison. I learned by there example that drugs lead you know where! Too bad I didn’t believe alcohol had the same effect on a person too.

   While mom worked her two jobs, I would run the streets, doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to whomever I wanted. I was captivated by alcohol. It was always available to me and I would take advantage every chance I got without my mother knowledge. As a young boy, I could drink with anyone. Oh thank God for his mercy. I know I could have easily drunk myself into an addiction but all I can say is it must have been his mercy because that was the path I was following. I do not blame my mom for anything. She wasn’t in church, she didn’t know better, and I believe she did the best she could with what she had.

   At the age of thirteen, we moved to Tennessee. There I went to McMinn High School. As a senior, I met a lost church member by the name of Teresa. We would go to church on Sunday mornings to spend as much time together as possible. We would go out on Friday and Saturday nights but Sundays were for church. There, I began to fall under conviction. For the first time in my life I heard a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I heard that Jesus died for my sins and was buried, and on the third day, rose again for my justification. Still, I loved sin and would reject Christ’s call. Then, after graduation, me and Teresa were married. It didn’t take long before I began to drink and run around with former friends from school. It came to a point, not long after my first boy was born, I was leaving my wife. I wanted the single life with all its frills and false hopes. As I watch this young girl holding my young son crying, pulling her hair out wandering what she was going to do now that I was leaving, that pricked my wicked sin cursed heart! Once again, the mercies of God stepped in. I took her in my arms and we stayed together! PRAISE GOD! I was never unfaithful to her, but I lost her trust for a very long time. We knew we needed to get back into church.

   In 1995, we started back to the church we went to when we were in high school. There, once again, under the sound of the preaching of the gospel of Christ, I fell under conviction. I had my last drink New Years Eve night 1995 and on a faithful Sunday morning April the 14th 1996 I started drinking again but from a different fountain. I went to church that Sunday morning lost in my sins without hope in the world. The preacher was preaching and I couldn’t tell you what it was because there was another preacher preaching in my heart. He told me if I were to leave that day, and die, would I go to heaven or hell. For the first time in my life, I came to a point that a decision had to be made. God was speaking; He asked me a question that I did not have an answer for. I said to my self, “I DON’T KNOW, BUT I SURE WANT TO KNOW!” I got up from my pew, flew down to an alter of prayer, fell on my face before God and asked him to take complete and total control of my life, that I knew Jesus died for my sins and that I was not living for him. There, I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ to get me to heaven, and from that day forward, I was NEVER THE SAME. I was made a new creature in Christ Jesus my Lord. I was Saved Sunday Morning, April the 14th, 1996 by the Grace of God!

   With a new life in hand, we began to faithfully serve God at New Fellowship Baptist Church in Charleston Tennessee. After about two years of sitting under the preaching and teaching of the word of God, I felt God dealing with me about preaching. I ran. I started teaching Sunday school thinking that would alleviate this feeling to no avail. I went to a camp meeting down in Ringgold Georgia. A preacher preached on keeping the gospel fire burning. Without question, I knew God was calling me to preach but I put it off and put it off till finally, my pastor preached on Procrastination. I rose up once again and at about the same spot I was saved, I surrendered to the call to preach. It wasn’t long after I started preaching, that God once again was calling me into a different direction. At another camp meeting in northern Indiana, I surrendered to God’s call to do a work in Cincinnati. For almost three years now we have been serving here in Cincinnati Ohio. We came up with the thought of starting a church but the door was not open. God did open the door to pastor a small, struggling church just west of Cincinnati. We pastor there for almost two years when God told me I was though there. We struggled for a few months on what to do now. We have now surrendered into full time evangelism. We will be holding tent revivals in Cincinnati as well as a street preaching mission along with holding revivals anywhere the door may open. Please pray that God’s will be done for me and my family. God bless.