John 11:25 “…I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
I was born in Queens New York City, New York. My parents met during WWII when my father was in the Army Air Corp and was sent to Salina, Kansas where he met my mother. He then was sent to India and then China. They were married when he was discharged from the Army Air Corp after WWII. My father took my Mom to New York where they lived in a cold water flat in the basement of a small house in Richmond Hill Queens, NY. When I was two years old my parents bought a Levitt house in Westbury, NY where I grew up. My Dad was an aircraft mechanic with American Airlines and my Mom worked in the kitchen at one of the schools in the school district where I went to school. I was an only child. From eight years on I was a latch key kid. My mother had to be at work at 6 am so I had to get myself up, get my breakfast and walk about a mile to school. My mother came home after I got home from school.
I did not get in trouble in school but I had difficulty with academics because I had Attention Deficit Disorder; although they did not know about it in the 1950’s. My mom thought I was being lazy and she used to berate me and become upset when I would bring home a bad report card. My self-esteem was destroyed, which made it even more difficult to do well in school. My mother compared me to my friend across the street who was an A student and later went on to Medical School and became a doctor.
I was not good in athletics and therefore was not respected in school and I was bullied constantly. My guidance counselor in the 7th grade told me I would never get into a four-year college. I graduated near the bottom of my class in high school.
My graduation was during the height of the Vietnam War. I was not in college and while my friends went to college and got student deferments I got my 1A draft classification, which meant I would be going into the Army. Since I was not athletic, I would not do well in the Army. My Dad was home when I got my draft classification. He said you’re going to go down right now and enlist in the Air Force. I said why? He said we had clean sheets and decent food and we had the Army to protect us. The Army had a tough time of it and many of them were killed. So I enlisted in the Air Force. I am probably alive today because I listened to my Dad.
In basic training I had a tough time because I had difficulty keeping up with the others. I was bullied there as well. One African American guy hated white people. He went into my room and backed me to a wall. His friend guarded the door. He was a boxer and I was not a fighter. I was extremely frightened and afraid he was going to beat me up. I kept my hands at my sides because I knew that I could not defend myself. He slammed his fist into the locker next to my head and laughed at me. I guess he did not want to get into trouble, but he laughed because he was able to humiliate me.
After basic and my medics training I was sent to McGuire AFB, NJ. Because it was only 100 miles from my home I was able to go home on my weekends off. I was driving at night around my neighborhood and I was listening to the car radio and changing the channels to find something to listen to. All of a sudden I heard Billy Graham speak about the Prince of Peace. I knew that was something I did not have. That was the first time I even thought about God seriously even though my mother brought to me to church. In the fall of 1969 I went to the base theater as I often did. I saw that it was “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. I almost turned back, but went anyway. When it got to the raising of Lazarus I really was struck by it. Also John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he be dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” This verse made a great impression on me.
Right after this my orders were cut for the Philippines. There I took care of battle casualties from Vietnam. Also there were many born again Christians in the medic’s squadron. I was with this one guy in his room. He had Bibles and commentaries on his shelf. I said, “you read the Bible?” He said, “Yes, do you want to hear about it.” I said, “I’ve got nothing better to do.” He explained the way of salvation. I came to know the Lord that night.
My whole life changed. I was able to get into college to become a nurse. From barely graduating high school, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Adelphi University with my BSN. I met my wife Eileen at Dean Street Chapel. I began preaching the Word in 1973. I became an Elder at Village Lane Bible Chapel in 1985. I worked as a director of a dialysis program in a major medical center in NY. I got my Masters in health care administration from Long Island University and my Doctorate in nursing from Case Western Reserve University.
My wife and I ministered to the homeless at the McCauley Water Street Mission in the Bowery section of Manhattan for 20 years. We ministered to the elderly in the Sunset Manor Nursing Home in Brentwood, NY for 20 years. We organized a ministry on Great South Bay, Long Island where we rented a 250 passenger boat and had a speaker, music and food, which we did for15 years. We organized the Bible School at Dean Street Chapel in Freeport, NY and then at Village Lane Bible Chapel in Hauppauge, NY. I also served as Sunday-School superintendent for seven years.
I have six children and almost sixteen grandchildren. My 1st wife passed from cancer in 2013; however, the Lord gave me another wonderful wife Beth (Widener) Luna in August 2015. She and I fellowship at Monterey Chapel in Leola, PA.
Life has had its difficulties but the Lord has been with me. I went from a discouraged young man to a child of The King. Praise the Lord!