Hi, I’m Eric. I grew up in the projects in Spanish Harlem (Le Barrio). As a child I’d heard “Jesus saves, Jesus saves,” but never really understood what that meant. So, I lived my life as I wanted to, doing what I wanted to do. I got into a gang about the age of ten or so. I was in the fifth or sixth grade hanging out with the wrong crowd. I got into drugs and alcohol all though my youth, teens, and my adulthood.
In 1980, during my late teens, I went into the military volunteering for the US army. Joining the army, I wanted to go and actually kill for a living. But for some reason I was never sent to a war that we had no business to do with. I got into alcohol even more than ever. After doing my time in the service, I went back to the streets where I got into crime and more drugs. I had training to kill and I felt no one could stop me.
I started stealing and stripping cars to make money and did pretty good at it until my luck started running out. I spent some time in and out of jail for a few years. In 1994 the judge was going to sentence me to one to four years for steeling a car, but for some reason they didn’t have enough evidence to convict me. I was with my wife at that time (we were dating). She mentioned to me if I was convicted she would not wait for me. It was at that time that I promised her I wouldn’t take another car.
In that year I met pastor Marty Silverberg (a born again Christian Jew) in a small church he was starting with another brother. For some reason I drew close to him. He talked to me about the God that died for me, named Jesus Christ, and why he died for me. I listened to what he had to say. He said that I was a sinner and that there was nothing I could do (good) to enter into the kingdom of heaven, except to accept Christ as Lord and Savior (trusting and believing in Him). It was at that time I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior of my life. I didn’t trust in Him the way I should have and as a result I wandered from Him for about ten, long years.
It was the summer of July 2006, when I looked over my life and where it was leading me. I started thinking of all that God was saying to me in His Word when I served Him. I thought about how I was disobedient, how Christ took my place on the cross for my sins, and how I did everything to disobey Him. I thought about all the blessings that he had given me when I was with Him. I knew I was not trusting him like I should. I wasn’t taking all my pain and worrying, and the mess going on in my life, I wasn’t putting it all at His feet. I saw my life moving away from Him. I felt he was saying. “Come home.” I felt the Lord was calling me. His word came so clear to me more than ever. I knew without Christ my life would amount to nothing. I couldn’t let the cross go in vain.
I saw that without the cross my sins would not have been paid for. I saw that not listening to Christ would lead me far from God the Father. I got on my knees and told the Lord that I was wrong in everything He had commanded and said to me in His Word. I rededicated my life to him and put my total trust in Him once again. I asked Him, “PLEASE, FORGIVE ME of all my sins against you and to please come back into my life. I will live for YOU and follow YOU all the days of my life.” And now, I can say that I am a child of God.
It was at Commonwealth Community Baptist Church where I received a loving and godly welcome. I made them my home church because the Word of God is faithfully preached and taught here. I know that the Bible is taught in a way that doesn’t contradict what God’s Word says. There are a lot of faiths out there that don’t correspond to what God says. God is love, God is Peace, and God is truth. Only though Jesus Christ are we purchased and redeemed by His blood from our sins. It is only by accepting Christ and what He has done for us we are saved. I thank the Lord for leading me to Commonwealth Community Baptist Church. “Jesus saves, Jesus saves”