Phil Bradberry

My life before I knew Christ consisted of being taken to church from birth. I do not know of a time I was not attending church. What I knew about Christ came from my Sunday School teachers using Flannel-graph pictures to tell me the Bible stories. I listened intently to the sermons but could not understand everything. All in all, I was a good little boy.

I attended church and knew all the church answers (JESUS), but I did not know Christ. There came a time when I would ask my mom if I could go forward during the invitations. She would shake her head, no, and I would wait. Since my pastor had two boys of his own around my age, my mom arranged for me to be invited to their home after church one Sunday for dinner and play till evening services. It was before the evening service that my pastor sat down with me and discussed what it meant to be a Christian. It was either that night or the next Sunday that I went forward and was baptized shortly after that. However, nothing really changed: I was still a good little boy and still attended church every Sunday.

About a year or so later, with a different pastor, I began to feel the pull of something. I did not know for sure if it was God or the Enemy, but I could not get invitation songs out of my head. I could not get to sleep at night wondering if I were truly saved. My sin had become more real and I felt more remorse about it. So, one night, in my bed, I asked the Lord to save my soul and He did. Now, I felt different and knew beyond any doubt that I was a child of the King and would spend eternity with HIM.

I had all of Jesus there was to have at 12 years old. Not that I became a saint, but the Bible became real to me and I loved worship and wanted more of Him. I became a Youth worship leader and followed Christ all thru high school and college.

Spent college years attending Troy State University majoring in Business Management and joined the US Air Force ROTC. Upon graduation, I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and began what I thought would be a full 20 year career in the Air Force. At my different assignments I would find a house and a church to live and worship in. My new wife and I would become very active in the local church and I thought life was grand.

This rocked along until my third assignment to Headquarters, Air force in San Antonio, Texas. It was there with two children and a wife, that I became prideful of my Christianity and my position in life. I was teaching my wife all about the church and what she should be doing. As I let my guard down, I became enamored with a new person and the final results were two divorces and two broken homes.

Tricia and I got married and tried to blend our two sets of children into a new family. That was terribly difficult and as we moved to Alaska, we had to leave without custody of either set. Although the Lord did bless us with two children of our own, the circumstances of our failure have caused us all great pain over the last 27 years. While in Alaska, thru the compassion and love of a new pastor form First Baptist, North Pole, the Lord restored Tricia and me to himself and forgave all our sin. We re-committed our lives to Him and have not looked back.

The Lord has continued to bless us through the good times and the bad. We spent three years in Alaska, separated from the Air force and moved to Mobile, Alabama as I took a job with a financial organization developing financial plans for military families. That worked for about 3 years when the Lord provided a way for us to move to Fort Worth and become members of Wedgwood. It has been here at Wedgwood that Tricia and I have really blossomed in our walk with Him and in our opportunities to lead. She became the leader of the GA girls and I, the RA boys. Currently, Trish is a leader in Grief Share meeting on Monday nights and I am the director of the Bridge Sunday school class. We are both very involved in Heart of Texas Tres Dias and other mission opportunities. Our children have all left the nest now, but grandchildren are coming along and the cycle begins again. We thank the lord for His forgiveness and persistence to guide us along our walk and always be there for us as we abide in Him.

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