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From Cowboy To Christ


of Dr. D. Paul Tuck Sr. 
(October 8th 1956) 

I dedicate this pamphlet to the two men who most influenced me for Christ. My father, W. Roy Tuck 
and an S.I.M. missionary physically unable to return to Africa, Rev. Bruce Brillinger. 

It was 6:00 AM that Saturday morning, April 3rd 1937. The sun was just rising over Lake Ontario,
at Port Nelson, now part of Burlington, Ontario, Canada. The first of 6 children to be born to Roy 
and Doris Tuck. My maternal grandparents were of Empire Loyalist stock; my paternal grandparents
emigrated from England while young children. 

My father, was a staunch Bible believer who when converted left the United Church because of the
liberal theology. My mother was raised in the Baptist Church in Burlington. Dad was a lay preacher, 
a graduate of Toronto Bible College in 1934. For many years he was a deacon in Calvary Baptist 
Church, Burlington. 

Almost from birth, I was bundled up and carried or dragged in a sleigh in winter, the mile or more across
town to Church services. In those days, it was morning and evening services with Sunday school in the 
afternoon. I learned that route well, as I walked it week after week on into my teens. 

Those were the days of strict adherence to an almost legalistic form of practice. It seemed to me that 
"Baptists" were to be known more by what they did not do, than what they did. Among many things, 
no smoking, no dancing, no movies, no swearing, and a strict adherence to a Sunday Sabbath etc. etc.
Although I heard the gospel of the grace of God preached every Sunday, and my father read to us from
the Bible every evening after supper, I saw nothing in religion, which gave me any cause for excitement.
It was all right for old folk, but me; I would rather do sports or spend Sunday in a sailboat on Lake Ontario. 

Many were the battles with my father over my skipping Sunday School to go sailing. At this point (15 yrs.), 
I was interested in the navy and had joined the Sea Cadets. An older boy had introduced me to my first 
cigarette, a habit that stuck with me to my conversion (although I never smoked at home or in the presence
of my parents). 

Entering high school was not an exciting event for me. I had very little interest in any of the subjects, being 
more interested in sports and boats. Gangs were a big thing for teenagers, and being somewhat of a leader,
this led us to encounters with other gangs. In nearby Hamilton, my ability to get in with others got us to be 
friends with the at that time well known "Inchbury Gang". I believe most of them ended up in reform school
and or Penitentiary. I soon became known as "Mr. Tough Guy" (or so I thought). Loud talk, cuss words 
in every sentence. Saturday nights were "beer party time", which was not hard to get, even for those under age. 

At the age of sixteen, I became less interested in boats and more interested in horses. It was then that I found
a horse ranch back in the country at Carlisle, where they raised Palominos. For the next almost 3 yrs. I worked
there where I learned to ride, break and work with horses. My life's dream was now to be a "Cowboy". I had
a desire to go west and work on a real ranch. Part of this scenario was the drinking, cussing, and dirty jokes. 
Although I had a steady girlfriend, I kept to my plan to "go west young man, go west". We did not make much
money on farms and ranches. In 1954 my cousin Ken and I worked a winter on neighboring dairy farms near 
Caledonia, Ontario. We had answered an advertisement in a farm magazine for ranch hands in Alberta. In
April we boarded a Greyhound bus for Tilley, Alberta, via Chicago and Minnesota. 

I will never forget that year in Alberta. I was to find out that it was not quite what the movies made it out to be.
Up at 4 AM and riding all day in the round up. Wrestling with heavy calves, who were branded, inoculated, 
castrated or had their ear clipped in one operation. I loved working with cattle, but this was the third largest 
ranch in Canada. I never saw so many whitefaces, but I did not care for the 6000 sheep. Weekends were 
beer-guzzling events, as we went to the hotels in town and covered the tables with empty glasses as we told 
our tales, and dirty jokes. Bit by bit this life style got hold of me. I often mixed the beer with a bottle of whisky,
which I prided myself in drinking straight. (After all I was a tough guy, a cowboy). I never could figure out 
how anyone could have a good time that they could not remember, which left them with a headache. 

I remember that morning, (October 8th 1956) the hangover, the miserable feeling, the emptiness. I looked back
over my life and as I saw myself and I did not like what I saw. I became miserable. It was here, on the prairie, 
miles from town, I remembered the verse I learned as a child (John 3:16). Was it true that there was real love? 
Did God really love me personally? Did Jesus die for my sins? I saw myself as a hell deserving sinner. Right 
there, I began to literally cry out to God. Lord I accept your offer, just take away my guilt, my sin, my burden. 
I want the life you offer. Believe? Yes I believe, and receive your Son Jesus as my personal Savior. I will serve
you the rest of my life. (See John 1:11-12; 3:3-16). That moment, a great burden was lifted from my shoulders.
A real peace came to my soul. A joy that I had never known entered my heart. The change began, I was born 
again! No good deeds, no work on my part, saved by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9). 

You too dear reader can have this change, if you will receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. 

To learn more about salvation, write--- 

48 Cobbler Crescent 
North York, Ontario Canada 
M3N 2Y7 
E-mail: bpulpit@netcom.ca


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