On December 7, 1974, four days after my twenty-second birthday, I sat in the home of Stan and Shirley Phillips in Oshawa, some 30 miles east of Toronto. I had never felt led to share with anyone the full story of my experiences, dreams, visions, and growing burden for lost souls, yet for three hours that afternoon, I poured out my heart to my friends.
Stanley finally stopped me and said, “Benny, tonight you must come to our church and share your heart.”
What happened next completely changed my life and lead me to this moment with you today!
As I shared my testimony on that fateful afternoon of December 7, 46 years ago, Stan Phillips asked me to speak to a fellowship called Shilo—a group of roughly 100 people who met Sunday evenings. They met at the Trinity Assembly of God in Oshawa.
When Stan introduced me, for the first time in my life, I stood behind a pulpit to preach.
I was a sight to see. I hadn’t dressed for church because the invitation was so unexpected. My hair tumbled down to my shoulders.
Thankfully no one in the audience could see what was going on in my mind. Thoughts raced through me as I wondered how in the world I would utter a sound in front of total strangers, much less give an entire testimony, since I had suffered from stuttering my whole life. Talking in front of people I didn’t know seemed like an embarrassing fate worse than death itself.
Then something truly miraculous happened!
The instant I opened my mouth to speak, I knew something was happening. God had touched my tongue.
I began to proclaim God’s Word with no speech impediment. None!
After I finished preaching, I gave an invitation to which several responded. Then, as I prayed for those dear people, they began falling under God’s anointing. Suddenly everyone in the building, it seemed, came forward for prayer.
People there who knew me were amazed, but none as surprised as myself that I had preached my first sermon, God had confirmed His Word with signs following, and my stuttering was healed, gone forever!
Afterward, Marilyn Stroud, a friend of mine from the Catacombs praise and worship team, walked up to me with awe written all over her face.
“Benny,” she began, “when you began to speak, my jaw dropped open. What I saw tonight was a miracle! I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes!”
At 22 years of age, I had much to celebrate that December 7, 1974. Not only had I survived a potentially agonizing service, but it was truly unforgettable.
The miracle I experienced lead to the salvation of my family and marked the beginning of a ministry that would eventually take me around the globe to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to millions—just as God had shown me in several previous visions!