Dr. Gerald Collingsworth
Dr. Gerald B. Collingsworth
Hyles-Anderson, B.S.
Crown College, M.Th.
Berean Baptist College, D.D.
As a young man, I heard of a new pastor coming into town by the name of Bob Phillips. I decided to go and hear what he had to say. From the moment he began to preach, I began to feel the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit, and for the first time in my life, I knew that I was lost and in need of a Saviour. I walked to the altar and knelt down. Pastor Phillips asked me, “Son, what did you come forward for?” I said, “To get saved.” He said, “Go ahead.” In a few moments he came back and asked, “Son, what did you do?” I said, “I just got saved.” 
The moment I received Christ, everything began to change. I saw everything clearly for the first time. I followed in believers Baptism because I knew it was in the Bible. The Bible, that made no sense to me before, was made abundantly clear. It was no longer what I did not understand that bothered me, but what I did understand. Church became the most important place for me to be. I did not just go to church, I loved going to church. Prayer became a must. At times, I would drop to my knees and pray and ask God’s forgiveness over having so much as a wrong thought. Concern for souls, and my family and friends salvation brought me to tears. I wanted them to be saved, to trust Christ as their personal Saviour. I was afraid for them. I had seen too many “professions of faith” and seen too many “so-called salvation’s” where absolutely nothing changed in the person’s life.
After accepting Christ as my Saviour, I began to feel the Holy Spirit calling me into the ministry. Almost every day after I was saved, God kept saying to me, “I want you to surrender to the ministry.” When I discussed this with my Pastor he said, “Son, come back to me in six months and ask me about it.” I went back after six months and my pastor said, “God is calling you into full-time service. You need to surrender.” I did.
I began by taking every correspondence course I could get my hands on. The Moody Bible courses, the Scofield Bible courses, and the courses from several other colleges on the Bible. It was as an associate pastor, who had made many mistakes listening to the wrong people, that I realized I needed a college education. However, I was being told by many that I did not need a Christian education. I was being told that even the “apostles were uneducated.” What they were forgetting was that the apostles were at the feet of Jesus for three years. They were trained by the greatest teacher the world has ever seen. Since the time of that decision I have received several degrees, including degrees from Hyles-Anderson College, Crown College, and Berean Baptist College. I have discovered that the more I study, the more I realize that there is so much more to learn.
Since the day I received Christ, I have been open and honest about my life, my sins, and my shortcomings. What I discovered about the ministry is that it is a spiritual warfare. Please don’t misunderstand, in life, you have your ups and your downs, victories and losses. You see, along the way I’ve had the privilege of leading hundreds to Christ, met and married the most wonderful Christian girl, and had three children: Jarrod, Joseph, and Jessica, all of whom are serving God with their life. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of being the Pastor of Heritage Baptist Church for 25 years. God has done some wonderful things! At the end of my life, when I reach my home in Heaven and stand face to face with my loving Saviour, I hope to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Dr. Gerald B. Collingsworth
Heritage Baptist Church
Mogadore, Ohio