When God Builds a Ramp
Before being saved, Jimmy McCall’s life was marked by personal turmoil and the horrors of war.
Originally from Abbey Hill, South Carolina, McCall was baptized at a young age and raised with a strong religious foundation. At 18, he married his wife, Joyce, and was subsequently drafted into the army, ultimately serving in the Vietnam War.
Exposed to the harsh realities of war, McCall began to question the existence of God. “When I come home from Vietnam, I told Joyce that there was no God. I said there couldn’t be a God to let that go on,” McCall said. For decades, Jimmy identified as an atheist.
A Turning Point
After suffering a stroke and a seizure, he found himself incapacitated and in need of assistance. His neighbor reached out to Hillcrest Baptist in Williamston, SC, and the lead pastor, Larry Baldwin, responded with an offer to build a ramp for McCall’s mobility needs. This simple act of generosity left McCall astounded. “No one had ever done anything like that in my life,” McCall said.
Moved by this gesture, Jimmy and his wife, Joyce, decided to attend Hillcrest. “Larry preached a sermon, and I felt like he was talking directly to me. And that day, I came up here, and I told him that I truly wanted God in my heart,” McCall said.
McCall confided in Larry about his past experiences, the horrors he had witnessed in Vietnam, and the doubts that had plagued him for years.
Baldwin asked McCall if he wanted to accept God into his heart, and he said yes. McCall’s faith was renewed, and he felt an indescribable sense of peace and purpose. “The power of the Gospel changed his heart and his life. He prayed and asked Jesus into his heart,” Baldwin said.
Despite having been baptized as a child, Jimmy chose to be baptized again as an affirmation of his newfound faith. “Even though I’m 73 years old, you’re never too old to put this into your heart,” McCall said.