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By: Charlotte Smith

The bleachers were almost full at the Elizabethtown Middle School Football Field last night for the “Pushing Back the Dark” event organized by the Bladen Baptist Association. Different Bladen County churches had tents set up offering food and goodies, the Four Points North band from Lumberton, and the Divine band, from Pembroke, kept the crowd moving and entertained to Christian music, while Pastor Ken Freeman brought a touching testimony.

After a fun game of “Simon Says” to get everyone’s attention, Pastor Ken Freeman started with the statement, “You’re always one choice away from a different life.”

Ken gave some statistics; 19 million kids in America have never seen their real dad, every six minutes someone is murdered, every seven minutes a woman is raped. Ken said, “You have to be careful who you look to, you have got to be careful who you listen to”.

The son of an alcoholic, abusive mother and a father who left his family when Ken was four, Ken suffered painful abuse and was neglected.  He was the oldest son of seven children. Most of his childhood, he and his sister; the two left in the home, were left for days alone while his mother would go out partying. 

Ken spoke about his nine step fathers and the abuse he would face at the hand of his mother and her significant others. According to Ken, one night his mother left him and his sister with a boyfriend who would physically and sexually abuse them both.  There were times he thought about suicide.  Other times he thought about murdering his mother. 

Despite a horrifying childhood, Ken defied all odds with one choice that would change his life forever. Ken said, because of a Christian by the name of Jeff that would not leave him alone, he made his decision to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior

After Ken’s decision of faith he still struggled with the pain of his past causing him to continue making destructive decisions. Then one of his Christian friends told him, “Until you’re willing to forgive your parents like God forgave you, you’ll never be free.”

Ken then shared a scripture that helped him understand how to change his life. Romans 6:16, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

After Ken shared his powerful testimony a group of about 60 people made a public profession of faith according to Brother Bruce Cannon, Director of the Bladen Baptist Association. Tonight, Saturday, at 7 o’clock pm, and Sunday morning, Ken will be preaching at Center Road Baptist Church. Then, Sunday night at 6 o’ clock, he will be at Elizabethtown Baptist Church. Everyone is asked to bring canned food items for the Odom Baptist Children’s Home in Pembroke, NC. Everyone is invited to attend.

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