Bro. Lawrence D.

I was born (1975) and raised in Oakland, California in a neighborhood called Sobrante Park. I am currently married to a wonderful woman named Rikisha and we have 4 beautiful children: Keyshawn, Patience, Amari and Jaylen. 

As a child my parents took me to Pentecostal House of Prayer, All Nations Pentecostal Church, Perry Temple COGIC and Perfect Praise COGIC. I officially joined (meaning by choice) Perry Temple COGIC (Oakland) at the age of 12 and was a member there until my late father (who died 2004) started Perfect Praise COGIC in 1991 (in Oakland until he moved the church to Manteca in 2001). In 2003, as a member of Perfect Praise COGIC, I officially became an ordained elder. I was a member there until 2006 when my studies and other events led me to leave. I fellowshipped at Grace Community COGIC for nine months after I left Perfect Praise but had to leave there for similar reasons. I currently worship in my home with a group of believers from my last church. 

I have conversion stories from age 12, 16, 18 and 21. I truly don’t believe that I actually heard the voice of Christ until age 21. In the other cases I sought God for selfish reasons. But on July 20, 1997 everything changed. I went to my father’s church that night in order to get a ride home. In the previous year or two, Christ had been reaching out to me through many “words from the Lord” spoken by mostly female preachers. (Just being honest) That night my sister-in-law was about to bring a sermon when she suddenly felt compelled to address a “word” to me. That night she said something like “in your heart you are already saved but you’re running from the Lord and you don’t have as much time as you think”. As normal I brushed it off and waited around to get that ride. In my mind I had much more drinking and whoremongering to do and getting saved would just get in the way. God would wait until I was ready. Well, after I got home and was laying in the bed I heard another voice speaking to me but it was different. He spoke with authority and as One who knew me through and through. I was powerless to think about anything other than what He was saying, “Lawrence, you have a decision to make and you don’t have much time!” and again, “Lawrence, you have a decision to make and you don’t have much time!”. I immediately did the only thing I knew to do. I began to lift my hands and just cry out to God for mercy, confessing my sins and begging for forgiveness. I don’t know how long it lasted but I eventually fell to sleep. I immediately got up in the morning and threw away all my alchohol and beedies (Indian cigarettes). I began to distance myself from some friends (all the females) and witness to others. I asked my parents if I could move back home. I felt that I couldn’t withstand temptation in that bachelor pad all alone. 

Well, to be honest, part of the reason for this blog is the journey since that day. I would honestly say that I’ve resembled what would be called the “back-slidden condition” in the Pentecostal circles, several times during these 11 years. I’ve also resembled the Pharasaic legalist on several occasions as well. At no time during that period, except within the last three years, did I have the proper biblical training, support or counsel to guide me. Despite being a member of a church, I might as well had been a “lone wolf” Christian. My goal now is to make my calling and election sure. I desire to go to heaven when I die, not hell! I am willing to “agonize” over it in an honest and, herein, public manner. Hopefully, you can be of a help to me or if you feel the same, perhaps you can get the help that you need. Whatever the outcome, to God be the glory!


  1. your story sounds similar to mine except for the leaving COGIC part….I dont participate in the district and state dog and pony shows anymore…but i dont feel like its time for me to move from my local church….reading you and others on Pulpit-Pimps exposed me to a lot of things about Christianity that I had never heard of before…i will agonize right along with you,lol

  2. Bro. Djenk23,

    Hey bro, once upon a time I’d have told you to run from the COGIC. But now I realize that was my course of action to take but not everyone’s. I wasn’t mature enough to stay and be salt and light and it may be that one day God will direct me to return to be just that. So stay prayerful about it and I’ll agonize along side of you. Love you bro! Blessings!

  3. I would like to talk to you about my wife’s and my experience with the COGIC. We were members of different churches for a number of years during my time in the US Army. I did an interview for Pastor John Coleman that is archived on his intotheword website that you might want to listen to. I don’t think that we will agree on every point, but I do think that we will agree that the COGIC can be blamed for alot of the madness that is going on in the Black and White Protestant churches today. My number is 336-682-5210. God Bless.

  4. I love you guys in this village called blogging. You guys are the voice of the people. May we continue to speak truth to power and show off the glory of God in our lives.

  5. Brother LD,

    I am in the same boat…I am currently serving in a COGIC church. I am a seminary trained brotha; thus, I am not well received by some members of the local leadership. I have been wrestling with God about leaving; however, I believe that I can be more effective within the tradition, rather than without. I would love to know more about your testimony and transition out of COGIC. Would you be willing to share?

  6. Brother K,

    Of course I’m willing to share with you my brother! Hit me at ASAP.

  7. My young brother, I understand your pain. I have been there as a christian. I have been saved 22 years and it is a journey of peaks and valleys. I went through a wilderness period in my christinaity from 1995-2005. Since then, I rededicated my life to Christ, still has not been easy but alot more focused on doing His will, ministry, taking care of myself & my son. A divorce will open your eyes & get you refocused on Christ. I pray that you will not go through it.

Leave a Reply to Leonard O. Lyles, Jr. Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: