Robert Cochran’s story has been one of running from the Lord. Growing up, he can recall having a wonderful mother and father and a happy home. When he was about 12 years old, his father found Jesus and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That’s when life changed.
“As a young man, I can remember we would spend most of the day in church — Sabbath school, afternoon worship, and evening worship,” shares Robert. “My father was an excellent teacher. He taught the scriptures to [me], my brother and my sister. He trained us.”
But in high school, Robert departed from the things his father taught him, and didn’t give the
Lord a second thought. He played football in college, and nothing he did was about the Lord.
“There were certain morals that that I had accepted from my father,” he says. “I didn’t drink. I didn’t smoke. I didn’t use drugs. You know, I felt that I was a good person. But God was not in my life.”
Robert felt that something was missing. Eventually, he found his way back into church. But it wasn’t the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He started attending a Methodist church, but again there was something missing. Later, he walked away from that church and entered into business with his son.
One Sunday, Robert found Doug Batchelor on a TV program and realized that this man was saying the things that he had been taught early in life.
He continued to watch the Amazing Facts program every day, and continued to analyze what Batchelor was teaching. Then, the Salisbury Seventh-day Adventist Church sent Robert an
invitation to come see Doug Batchelor. “And I thought,” Robert concluded, “Doug Batchelor is going to be here in Salisbury?”
When he arrived, Robert learned it was a live downlink from Charlotte. He felt welcomed by the friendly church and continued to attend the meetings. Although he stopped coming to the church after the series ended, Robert continued to watch Amazing Facts on TV.
About a year later, he received another invitation from the church to an evangelistic outreach program presented by Pastor Scotty Deal. Robert and his wife did not miss a single program.
They decided to start attending on Sabbath. But even after coming to the church and being accepted with such warmth, there was still an empty spot in Robert’s heart.
“That spot was finally filled when I decided to be baptized and commit myself to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God,” he shares.
Since his baptism, Robert feels that God is beginning to use him, and is excited about his position as a deacon in the Salisbury church.
“As a member of this church and as a member of the Carolina conference,” Robert adds, “I would urge each and every one of you to continue the love that you expressed to me. Express that warmth and love to everyone who enters the church.”
—Rebecca Carpenter. Photos by Henrique Gomes.