Dedicated to the memory of  Michelle H. Fox.

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MY BACKGROUND & BELIEFS

My Beliefs

• I believe God inspired all scripture as man wrote it. It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16)


• I believe in one God, made known to us as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is Spirit and all that follow him must do so in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)


• I believe that Jesus was God in human form, who died for mankind on the cross so that our sins would be taken from us and remembered no more. (Hebrews 9:14-28) He was fully God and fully man, born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. He died, was buried, and rose again. Jesus ascended into heaven and will one day return. (I Timothy 3:16) He is the only mediator between God and man. (I Timothy 2:5, Ephesians 2:18) There is salvation in no other name. (Acts 4:10-12)


• I believe that any person professing to be a Christian should be water baptized, as were all believers in the New Testament. The biblical example of baptism is by full water immersion. I do not believe that the act of baptism takes away sins, neither do I believe that baptism in the titles invalidates a believer’s baptism. What matters is the heart of the one being water baptized and not the words spoken over the believer by someone else.


• I believe that God still bestows gifts to believers as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 12-14. I believe that speaking in other languages (tongues) is simply one of several gifts that a believer may or may not receive from God. It is not the "initial evidence" of being filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit. In addition, I do not believe in the teaching of a subsequent baptism of the Holy Spirit after salvation, again "evidenced" by speaking in tongues, as is taught by traditional Pentecostal churches. I do not believe speaking in tongues is a requirement for salvation, neither should it ever be used as a measuring stick of spirituality. If used in a gathering of believers, Paul taught that there should be an interpretation or the person should not speak. (1 Corinthians 14:26-27) In addition, tongues should be an actual language and not the babbling or repeating of a few words or sounds that is often seen today. I believe much today is learned behavior as compared to the gift seen in the Bible.


• I believe that a person is saved by grace through faith and that no act of righteousness on our part can ever make us right or holy in the sight of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) When a person comes to God in faith and repents (acknowledging and turning away from acts that are wrong and turning toward Christ), they are forgiven of any and all sins and are now a believer. From here we are to continue to follow God and grow in our knowledge of him and the Bible, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit and putting off the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-25)   




My Background

My name is Lois Gibson. I am in my early 60's and was born and raised in New Jersey. There was very little religious training growing up. I vaguely remember attending Sunday School as a young child, probably not often. I do not recall my family regularly attending any church.


When I was older, before and perhaps during Junior High School (grades 7-8), I would on occasion attend Sunday School at a local Baptist church with a friend. I never joined, nor was I baptized. She had to go and since we hung out together at times, I would join her. I recall going to an Assembly of God church for one service as a boy I dated went there. During High School I went to a service or two at a Methodist church when a local youth group made a trip to Kentucky for the Ichthus Festival.


In the fall of 1980, friends in upstate New York shared with me their experience with God. Formerly associated with the United Pentecostal Church International, their church had left this organization due to differences in beliefs, which may have been in part over the use of television (they adhered to other standards such as dress). Their testimony and witness greatly affected me and I returned home doing much soul searching and Bible reading. I repented at home that same year.


My friends asked their pastor if there were similar churches in my area and he referred me to the only local United Pentecostal Church congregation at the time. A meeting was set up with the pastor in early 1981. I attended the next service on February 26 and was water baptized as I had seen this in my Bible reading. Later that year I spoke in tongues after many times praying at the altar and at home.


I became active in the church from the start and over time participated in teaching Sunday School, was instrumental in having the ladies prayer meetings started again and I led meetings for awhile. I also directed and participated in the Sunday School Outreach program, conducted monthly youth services, participated in fund raising and the Ladies Auxiliary. In addition, I was on bulletin board, advertising and tract committees, published a church newsletter, and led a nursing home outreach. I helped clean the church, painted, was the secretary for awhile, worked the tape ministry and radio broadcast, and helped at times with church services in our nearby outreach. This is not a complete list of activities during almost thirteen years there, but is given to show the depth of my involvement. Quite active through the years, I was not someone who simply attended and left after awhile because I became disgruntled or didn’t like the color they painted a Sunday School room.


In 1988, feeling a call on my life to the ministry, I started preaching officially on June 12, 1988. Later appearing before the District Board, I was approved and granted a local license. While UPC headquarters dropped my license for non-payment of dues, prior to this in late September 1991, I had written a letter to the District Superintendent, voluntarily resigning. I did preach again after this resignation but never applied for another license with the UPC. I did later hold license with Global Network but let that drop. (Note: Personal information has been blocked out on the linked images.)


In 1993 I became involved in the church operated day care center as a teacher. Events, which happened during my employment, led to my voluntary resignation from the day care and later were part of my reason for withdrawing as a church member. The day care position was resigned after the summer and in December 1993 after much prayer and searching, the pastor was informed that I would no longer be a member of the church. There is some additional information about my exit here.