Charlie’s Born Again in 1977

This week’s blog shares my short testimony of coming to Jesus in 1977.  More extended versions are in my book “Always Be Ready to Give an Answer!  A Former Atheist’s Personal Christian Evangelism Plan.”

I grew up in the small town of Amityville on Long Island. My parents took my two sisters and me to a large, mainline, liberal church almost every Sunday. At sixteen years old, I became acutely aware of the hypocrisy of the church members. So, I mentally shut off anything the church had to say.  By the time I was twenty-four and approaching completion of my BS in chemistry, I had become a staunch Atheist.  Living in New Jersey and met my future wife, Terry, through one of my roommates, her cousin. We married, had our first child, and moved to Rockland County, NY.  Although marriage had brought some changes, I was falling more and more into sinful practices. We had our second child, and my company moved us to Greensboro, NC. By this time, I was viewing pornography and well on the way to becoming an alcoholic. Terry and I talked seriously about divorce. My life was coming apart, and there seemed to be nothing I could do about it.  We had lost all Sunday family gatherings when we moved to NC so, Sunday became a barren time. In Greensboro, most of our neighbors and fellow workers went to church, so we began to attend an Episcopal church. It was the right place for Terry, the ex-Catholic, and Charlie, the ex-Methodist. Nothing came from the pulpit that challenged either one of us, but there were three families in that church whose lives were very different. I couldn’t explain how, but I knew they were different. We did a Bible study with them called “Edge of Adventure,” and our marriage relationship improved for a short time. The study was over, and we went back to the way it was: bad! Later that year one of the men from that group suggested I attend a men’s weekend retreat in Asheville. Terry encouraged me to go. After all, it was a chance to get away from all my problems.

At the beginning of the weekend, on Thursday, we gave up our watches so we would not be concerned about time. On Friday morning, after breakfast, the first speaker asked three questions. “What is your purpose in life? Where are you going? What does it all mean?” As I sat there, I realized I had no real answers. Yes, I had a wife, two children, a house, and two cars, but I knew that was not the answer. These questions bothered me all weekend. After many talks I hardly remember, I went into the chapel alone on Saturday night because I was so troubled by these issues. I knelt and began to think and remember.

I remembered sitting in the apartment in New Jersey, before I met Terry, with my other roommates, drinking beer and watching Billy Graham on TV. We made great fun of his telling; we were lost sinners and needed Jesus. I remembered a high school friend, Frank, that had witnessed to me when I was working on my MBA.  But now those things suddenly seemed real. I said in my mind, God, if you’re real (and I wasn’t sure if he was), you can have my life because it is an awful mess. (God, true to his word, took it.)

In the next moments, there was someone in the room with me that I could not see, but I felt his presence. Something strange had happened, and I did not know yet what it was.  When I came back home to Greensboro, I came down into the den where Terry was watching TV. Her first reaction was “What happened to you. Did you see God?” There was a change in my countenance that I couldn’t explain. I wasn’t sure, but I too knew something had happened. Going back to my daily routine, I immediately developed an adamant desire to read the Bible. I asked the friend who had invited me to the retreat where I should start. He said the Gospel of John. When I got to John, Chapter 3, where Nicodemus encounters Jesus, I read about being born again. That’s what happened to me! I called my friend, and he confirmed it. Yes, I was born again.

Charlie is the author of three books and seven short stories published on Amazon, Kindle.

Three Books: 1) “Always Be Ready to Give an Answer!  A Former Atheist’s Personal Christian Evangelism Plan.”  2) ANSWERS For “The Hope That Is in You.  Direct, Simple Answers to the World’s “Hard” Questions” Both at  3) “Without 3 Miracles Darwin’s Dead!  Science Proves Atheistic Evolution is IMPOSSIBLE.”  Available at

Amazon/Kindle short stories written by Charlie Liebert: 1) The Memory Tree. A Christmas Story.  2) Helene at Mama Henney’s Boarding School for Girls.  3) Lost in Yellowstone: Sarah Johanson disappears without a trace.  4) Yellowstone’s Child: “Who am I? Sarah Johanson, Sally Graham, Sally Johnson or Detective Elaine Scott.”   NO! She’s Yellowstone’s Child.  5) One Android, 399 lives: 59th Street Terrorist Attack Kills 399. 6) Rosemarie, Kristallnacht Transformation. How my twice Jewish Aunt survived the Holocaust 7) The Curse of the Witch of Zahlendorf.  Der Fluch der Hexe von Zahlendorf.

Twitter name: @CreationCharlie

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Contact or 336-337-4975 (call or text).

One thought on “Charlie’s Born Again in 1977

  1. I’m spent 3/4 of my life on Long Island. I grew up in Floral Park and then bought a house in Farmingdale before moving out to the Midwest.

    I don’t find it surprising that you returned to the fold. I grew up in a Catholic family and attended many church functions. While I am atheist, later on in life I kind of missed that “community” feel and found a “Liberal” church that seemed to fill that need for a time. I’m neither for a Liberal or Conservative church. I do like the fact that I am open to learn about a multitude of world religions and extract from them the philosophies that work for me.

    Good Luck and it’s nice to see a fellow former Long Island blogger 🙂


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