But, I would have to say that the column in which I shared my experience with Christ garnered the most responses from you. And with that, I want to share an amazing story that happened many years ago.
There was a couple that lived close to us in the Keithsburg Community named Roy and Pauline Hicks. For reasons I really don’t know, Mr. Hicks was always referred to as “Shy” Hicks. I can only assume that nickname came from the obvious.
Mrs. Hicks was a church-going woman. She always was as far as I can remember. She was a member of Chalcedonia Baptist Church, which was the centerpiece of our community. But Shy was another story.
Over the years, there were many people that tried to get Shy to come to church and find salvation. But he wouldn’t budge no matter who did the asking.
None of this is to say that Shy was a bad man. Anyone I have ever spoken to about him had nothing but wonderful things to say. He was a family man and a good one.
I know the church prayed many prayers throughout the years that one day Shy Hicks would walk through the doors to seek that only God can give.
In December of 1982, it happened. The prayers that so many had prayed were answered. Shy Hicks came to church on a cold Sunday dressed in his overalls. Monroe Gunter was the pastor of Chalcedonia during this time.
After the message was delivered, Shy stood up and slowly walked to the front of the church to talk to God. This seventy-two-year-old man that so many had prayed for was seeking salvation. It didn’t matter that he was in his overalls. That is all he ever wore. People tend to judge others sometimes by how they dress. But I think it is safe to say that the Lord looks a little deeper than we do.
Shy Hicks received salvation on this cold day in December. And he told Monroe that he wanted to be baptized. Baptisms are usually reserved for the Sunday after summer revival. But Monroe asks him when he wanted to be baptized. Shy told him that he wanted to be baptized the next Sunday.
Shy wasn’t physically well and according to Monroe, the doctors advised against it. You see, the baptizing pool was outside and the weather was cold. But Shy told Monroe that the Lord had showed him that he would not be alive for the summer baptisms.
So after Monroe discussed it with the Deacons, the baptizing pool was filled with water for the baptism of Shy Hicks.
The Sunday of the baptism was brutally cold with temperatures dipping below the freezing mark. The deacons of the church fill fifty-five gallon drums with water and lit fires under them. When the water was good and hot, they poured it into the cold pool to help knock off the shock factor as Monroe and Shy went down into the water.
And into the water they went. Monroe in his suit and Shy in his overalls. After a few words, Monroe lifted his hand toward heaven and said, “Through the obedience and command of our Heavenly Father, and upon your profession of faith in Him, I baptize thee my brother Shy in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” He then lowered Shy under water and lifted him back up. It was done.
Shy Hicks nor Pastor Monroe got sick from participating in this baptizing. But on February 28, 1983, just two short months after being saved, Shy was buried in the ground not too far from where he was baptized. I guess it’s safe to say that when God tells you something it pays to listen.
Monroe Gunter had the privilege of preaching at the funeral for Shy. And just think how different the message might have been had Shy chose to ignore the voice of God. But he didn’t.
You see, we pray in our time. But God answers in His!
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of