The Word of our Testimony: Jerry Altieri

In tandem with our sermon series on the Book of Acts, we thought it would be helpful if the leadership of the church each shared their testimony. Testimonies are powerful. They’re personal stories of what God has done in our lives. Along with the blood of Jesus, Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the Enemy by the “word of our testimony.” Our hope is that through this series of articles, your faith will be strengthened, you’ll get to know all of us better, and you’ll see that Jesus can and does redeem all kinds of people in all kinds of ways.

I’ve always been amazed at the testimonies where the person giving them had turned away from a dramatic life seized by drugs, alcohol, crime or hardened disbelief. In fact, there were times where I almost wished I had a story like that to share. But, looking back, I see that the Lord, in all of his wisdom, goodness and mercy, was there for a little boy living with a single mom and his grandmother in a quieter, less visible, but just as amazing way.

I recall my mom working about all the time and spending time primarily with my grandmother. We did not attend church, but my mom and grandmother read Bible stories to me and regularly talked about Jesus and His love for me. Although I did not have a Dad, I recall regularly talking to Jesus about all sorts of things… not in some deep or formal prayer… just talking…. like to a friend or to a Dad. Although some of the other families in the neighborhood would invite me to do things with them, I never recall any of them talking to me about the Lord or inviting us to church. What I knew about the Lord came from the mouths of my mom and grandmother… and Bible stories.

When I was about 7, my uncle and aunt took me to vacation bible school. One of the projects over the week was a craft of Jesus’ face using glue and small colored stones. I recall that when I finished it and was looking at the face and eyes, Jesus was looking directly at me just the same as if I was looking at someone else in the class. During the service that followed, I responded to the Alter Call, went down front and gave my life to Jesus. (Amazing that God has blessed me with a poor memory… but, I can recall that experience as vivid today as then!)

When my mom remarried, our family started attending St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, where I actually considered becoming a Priest. Obviously, that did not happen. But, conversation and prayer with the Lord, as well as a commitment to Him, have been a regular part of my life. The Lord has blessed Pam and me with great pastors and Christian friends over the years who have taught and shown us the value of giving and receiving the love of Christ. I am so thankful that I had a mom and grandmother who shared Christ’s love with me.

Jerry Altieri