On July 28, 1985, I attended an evangelistic crusade at a football stadium in Wilmington, N.C. I walked in to that stadium an angry, confused, miserable young man who had no knowledge of God and no desire to know anything about Him. I walked out that night and my life was changed for all eternity.
The only explanation for my attendance to that crusade was God. I was invited by a stranger who placed a book in my hand called “All My Friends Are Dead” by an evangelist named Freddie Gage. I was lost, separated from my wife, addicted to alcohol and drugs and I really did not care to hear about God. But…I read that book. And, I attended the crusade.
The stadium was packed with people. I felt so out of place but I sat there waiting to see what would happen next.
The service began with music and then the evangelist, Freddie Gage walked out on stage. I remember thinking how short he was but as he began to speak, I realized he was a tough man with a past similar to mine. He shared about being in a gang, fighting, drinking and getting into all kind of trouble. Then he shared how he found Jesus. God knew that this was the kind of man to reach me and I was hanging on every word that he shared.
I got saved that night after listening to Freddie Gage. And that was the beginning of our relationship. We became friends and he treated me like a son. He taught me to love souls and to reach lost people.
Freddie passed away two weeks ago. Today, Vickie and I will attend his funeral. And yes, I am sad, but at the same time, I can’t help but rejoice as I imagine what awaited him in Heaven.
Millions of people were saved through Freddie Gage’s ministry so I’m sure many of them were waiting to tell him thanks. And I’m sure Jesus had a few things to say to Freddie about all of his labor on earth!
Freddie Gage was used by God to change my life. I was never the same after July 28, 1985. Not perfect but never the same!
Freddie was a loyal friend to me. Not just in the prosperous, growing times of my ministry but in those dark times when friends grew very scarce. Not Freddie…he was right there through the good and the bad. He made me feel as if he loved me no matter what. Freddie cared for those who were wounded and hurting as much as he cared for the lost.
He loved my wife, Vickie and she dearly loved him. He loved my kids and always showed such interest in what they were doing. I was always so proud to share their soul winning stories with him. He acted like a proud grandfather.
I will miss Freddie. I called him monthly to check on him and catch up. I have called him every year on July 28th since 1985. Just to tell him ‘thanks’ and just to let him know that he made a difference in my life.
Freddie Gage…thank you for sharing the gospel so faithfully and devoting your life to seeing people changed. Thank you for being my friend and loving me no matter what. Thank you for loving my family. Thank you for teaching me and leading by example. Thank you for being a hero of the faith.
I will see you again my friend.