Growing up in a conservative, Southern Baptist home, the local church was an integral part of my life: Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday evening Bible study, Sunday night worship, Wednesday night prayer meeting, choir, Royal Ambassadors (the Southern Baptist equivalent of the Boy Scouts) and Vacation Bible School every summer. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior at the age of seven and was allowed to join the church after being thoroughly quizzed to make sure that I knew what I wanted. On Youth Sundays I taught Sunday school, played the piano and organ, and even preached once. My days were passed in a prayerful attitude and God was with me.
When I was 14 I had a single dream that should have told me I was somehow different. But based on the advice in the latest teen psychology books, I assured myself that any feelings that I was beginning to experience were a normal phase of male adolescence. That worked until I was 16 and came face to face with a real, live homosexual. My world turned upside down.