Saturday, June 20, 2020
I start this testimony with an immense amount of gratitude to Gwen and Joe Lara, and Gwen’s amazing adult children, Michael (and Elle) and Elizabeth (and Brandon). God allowed my parents to hear His Truth coming through Gwen, and we have witnessed an amazingly grounded family that lives what they teach, with complete humility and love, and it has made all the difference for my family.
I have been a member of Remnant Fellowship Church since birth, and when I was 15 months old, my family moved from Oklahoma to Tennessee because of their love for the Church and wanting to raise their family around other families who were seeking God. From this influence, I did have an early understanding of the basics of love, authority, and respect for God and others.
Reading from the Bible, having devotionals, and talking about pleasing God was daily and normal in our home. I always enjoyed reading about Bible characters like David and Samson. I quickly made many friendships from a young age in the Church, which have continued to develop as the years have gone by and I have grown into being a young adult in love with God. My friends have been key to helping me stay grounded in God, as they would continue to convict me year after year, even to this day.
My relationship with Halley has undoubtedly been the greatest blessing I’ve received in all my life. She is a very gentle spirit. I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t tell you that Halley is one of the sweetest people they’ve ever met. She loves to serve and is always thinking of me and others... Halley has been an amazing Godly friend, girlfriend, and fiancée, and I have no doubt she will be an amazing wife as well! I feel incredibly blessed! - Philip
I have had many great role models growing up, including my father, Kent Smith, and my older brother, Joshua Smith. These are the two most righteous, upright men I know, and they have always been an example to me and to my younger brother.
Once I was confirmed at age 13, I started to really stop and consider what I could do to grow my personal relationship with God by finding ways to serve the Church. I realized the decisions I made from that point forward would affect the adult I would become, either helping or hindering my spiritual growth. Having this realization helped me follow the lead given by my authorities whenever any big life decisions were presented. This mindset has led to a multitude of blessings, including graduating high school and college early, obtaining a new job right out of college, and meeting the love of my life. All of this came totally from God, and I take zero credit for each of these amazing blessings.
I met Halley three summers ago before she had moved to Tennessee and quickly became friends with her. There was no romantic interest at the time, but I could tell she was a sweet and humble girl that everyone loved to be around - including myself. Halley moved to Tennessee a year later, and we became even closer friends through carpooling to college, enjoying fun game nights, and spending time together at other fellowship opportunities at the Church. A few months later, Halley’s quiet and delightful personality caught my eye, and I started to develop feelings for her. I did not want to rush or grab for anything, so I started praying for a sign that I should reach out to Halley. It wasn’t long after I started praying that my parents noticed Halley’s Christ-like character, and asked how I felt about her. This was exactly the sign I had been praying for, so I reached out to Halley the next day.
My relationship with Halley has undoubtedly been the greatest blessing I’ve received in all my years of life. She is a very gentle spirit. I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t tell you that Halley is one of the sweetest people they’ve ever met. She loves to serve and is always thinking of me and others - from bringing me a “good morning” bagel (my favorite!), to writing the sweetest letters, etc.
Halley has been an amazing Godly friend, girlfriend, and fiancée, and I have no doubt she will be an amazing wife as well, always looking for the needs of others and serving at a moment’s opportunity! I feel incredibly blessed, and I thank God every day for such an amazing life I’ve been given!
I was introduced to Remnant Fellowship in 2015 by my dear mother, after her life had been completely changed by this message of total love and obedience to God! Prior to finding Remnant, my family spent several years switching from one church to another, always searching for the truth. By the time my mom started webcasting the Church services at our home in Minnesota, I was 15 years old and already very stubborn and set in my own ways. I was self-focused, angry, full of pride, and always thought I had a better idea than any of my coaches, teachers, and especially my parents.
For three years, I watched these amazing Church services every Wednesday and Saturday, but I am sad to say that I didn’t make any effort to change or seek out a relationship with God until May of 2018. It was then that I made the decision to move to Tennessee after high school, in order to focus on God and be closer to His Church and the Saints. I was highly tested and it was a difficult decision, but I have no doubt in my mind that this was the right choice. Since then, my life has completely changed for the better, and I don’t want to ever go back! In this Church, I have been taught how to have a true relationship with God, and the blessings that have come from that are too many to count. By far, my biggest and most favorite blessing has been my relationship with Philip Smith!
It has been the biggest honor to have a relationship with someone as kind, humble, and loving as Philip Smith! He makes every day more fun, he has the sweetest heart, and he is so selfless and always thinking of my needs and others’ needs before his own. Philip loves God wholeheartedly and puts God first in every situation. I am so excited to become Philip’s wife and to see how he will lead our marriage to serve the Church and make God look good!- Halley
What immediately drew me to Philip was his outgoing and encouraging nature. He is instantly best friends with everyone he meets! Philip is the most fun person to be around, and it wasn’t long before I was interested in him. Before we started dating, I was tested to see if I would wait on God and not grab for my own wants and desires. God knew the desires of my heart, and after months of praying to God for this relationship, I gave up all expectations and was just truly happy with being where He wanted me to be. Well, it was the VERY next day that Philip reached out to me and our relationship began! It was just as it says in Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God’s timing could not have been more perfect, and all of that waiting only made me more thankful and fall more in love with God!
It has been the biggest honor to have a relationship with someone as kind, humble, and loving as Philip Smith! He makes every day more fun, he has the sweetest heart, and he is so selfless and always thinking of my needs and others’ needs before his own. Philip loves God wholeheartedly and puts God first in every situation. He follows his parents’ authority and walks out how to live a Godly and righteous life. I am so excited to become Philip’s wife and to see how he will lead our marriage to serve the Church and make God look good!
I feel completely undeserving of this life and cannot believe all the mercy God has shown me. I know that none of this would be possible without the truth that has been taught in this Church through Gwen Lara. I am also so thankful for my mother who led me to this truth, Philip’s parents, Kent and Regina Smith, who always lead by example, and our dear friends in Remnant who love us and keep us accountable. I am so completely grateful and pray that our marriage is nothing but a glory to God!