My name is Julie Harrell and I am 22 years old and live in St. Louis, Missouri. I am going to
share a short testimony with you. I was raised by a atheist stepfather and a not so sure what
she believed mother. I did not grow up with Christian values at all.
My stepfather thinks people use religion as an excuse to get by with things. My parents were
loving, but never gave me the Christian influences I needed. Luckily, my grandmother and a
few caring neighbors took us kids to church with them on a regular basis starting when I was
about eight. Before that, I had not heard much about God, but for some reason I always
knew He was there. I couldn't believe that there was just no such thing as God.
When I was 11 years old my family and I moved half-way across the country from Oklahoma
to North Carolina. There I met my friend Cindy and her mom who were good Christians and
took me to church with them. I had never felt more at home or welcome by people than I did
at that little Baptist Church at that time. I attended the church regularly for about three years.
At that time, I thought the key to Heaven was going to church every Sunday. I didn't
understand about being born again.
When I got to high school there was an organization called Fellowship of Christen Athletes at
my school. I started going to that every week. And in April of 1993 I finally realized what I had
to do to receive salvation and I accepted Jesus into my heart. I was really excited. A year after
that my twin brother accepted Jesus too. I was a devoted Christian all through high school, but
after high school I got involved with some bad people and strayed away from God. I got i
nvolved in sex, drinking, and lots of other sin. Then I moved from North Carolina to St. Louis to
escape all my temptations and try to get back right with God again, but when I moved here I
ended up finding some wrong crowds again and continued to backslide. I did this for close to
three years. I didn't attend church or anything. Then in April of 1999 I started going to church
with a friend and started to realize how much I missed God.
I felt ashamed at the things I had done. I started getting back into church and in October of 1999
at the Billy Graham Crusade, I completely rededicated my life back to Jesus. I was baptized in
December because I had never been baptized as a teenager. Now I am once again a servant to
God. I have stopped all of my sinful things and am trying to live the life God wants for me. It is
the greatest thing. I believe now that I am stronger in my faith than ever before.