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Columbia, MD  21045
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Personal Testimony: From Witchcraft to the Weirton Church

Story by Angelina Dickson
Published 11/29/2012

Doc Michaels, pastor of the Weirton (W.Va.) church gets ready to baptize an overjoyed Angelina Dickson.

As a young child, we were not permitted to have a Bible in our house. But, my mother had one hidden under the kitchen sink where she knew my dad would never find it, and when he would leave, (he was a truck driver) she would take it out and read it. Aunt Carol, my mom’s sister, was a Seventh-day Adventist, and I remember her talking to us about God and teaching us Bible stories and Christian songs.
When I was 14, I was like any other rebellious teenager who was experimenting with smoking, drinking and drugs. In that year, I was fortunate enough again to be invited to evangelistic meetings at the East Liverpool Seventh-day Adventist Church (Ohio) and after gaining a sense of God through those meetings, I decided to get baptized for my 15th birthday at the Wintersville (Ohio) church However, I saw hypocrisy in the church and left before I was 18.
I turned away from God and fell right into Satan’s lap. I started experimenting more with drugs and alcohol and got into witchcraft and Wicca. I spent many years learning the arts of witchcraft and convinced myself that I was doing nothing wrong. For approximately five years, I believed that God and Satan did not exist. It is so easy to do wrong things when you don't believe there is such a high price to pay.
I found myself eventually working at a newspaper where I was instructed to cover an event at the local Catholic Church. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of being in a church and I was deeply offended when people even prayed. The event was supposed to be a one-man-show to depict the life and lessons of Paul in honor of the year of St. Paul. During that time, the local Catholic Church was in the process of putting together a play called, “I, Paul.” I found out a good friend of mine was directing the play and so I decided to get involved. They prayed before every practice. I didn't pray with them. Then it got to the point that when they prayed to God, I prayed to my own gods. Eventually, I thought to myself, “When in Rome ...” and soon I began to pray with them.
While performing in the play, I slowly felt God’s transforming power come into my life. At first, I attended classes at the Catholic Church because I was already a pagan and felt at home with their practices. I thought I could have my cake and eat it too. I soon fell away from that as well and for months I debated and argued with Linda Jones, a member of the Mountain View Conference’s Weirton (W.Va.) church. I began having Bible study with my uncle again, and through Jones’ encouragement and the will of the Holy Spirit, I started attending the Weirton church.
It was not an easy road for me to walk. I was in and out of church—testing God and myself. 2011 was a difficult year for me. I tried for a year on my own to do all the things I thought I should be doing and struggled back and forth between the pieces of the Bible my uncle was teaching and all of the Bible’s teachings. I still continue to pray and study so I can pass along the truth of God’s Word.
It was not an easy road for me to walk. I was in and out of church—testing God and myself. I tried for a year on my own to do all the things I thought I should be doing and struggled. In December 2011, I went back to the Weirton church, and last January began Bible studies with Pastor Doc Michael and his wife, Yonnie. They were loving and understanding when I had questions and struggles. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they were able to get through to me, and I was baptized at the Weirton church last June.
The past year has not been easy but it has been rewarding. The choices I have made for Christ have put me in situations where I had to say goodbye to a job I loved, a significant other, friends and even family, but praise the Lord, He gave me a new family, new friends and a new job.
 The journey has not been an easy one. It took me a long time to realize that being a Christian is hard work that can be done only through Christ’s strength. I thank God for His mercy and grace and for sending His Son to die for me. I pray He will allow me, and all His children, to be witnesses for Him and help finish the Great Commission.

Angelina Dickson discovered that by surrendering to Christ, she could have a whole, new joyful life in Him.

COMMENTS POLICY: The Columbia Union Conference Visitor encourages quality conversation and welcomes your thoughtful comments. All comments are subject to approval but will not be edited. Please limit your comments to 500 words or less. Only one comment per person will be published.

Shari Turner
2012-12-02 3:08 AM

What an awesome testimony.  It was through the Weirton church that my husband and I came into Adventism, through a Revelation seminar which was initally held back in 1985 at the Holiday Inn.  I was baptized in that same pool by then Pastor Glen Farinola. It is so good to know that Weirton SDA is still working and leading souls to Christ.  We no longer live in the area, and I imagine that many or most of the ones that we knew are now peacefully sleeping and awaiting the resurection.  I can honestly say that the Weirton church was one of the warmest, most friendly SDA churches that I have ever attended, and I have nothing but fond memories and lots of love for it and its members.  It has been several years since we have been back in that area, but if we ever make it back there again, and it's a Sabbath, we will definitely try to attend service.