It’s never too late for salvation, reports Debbie Denmon for Dallas-Fort Worth’s KFAA-TV — and 96-year-old Bert Devers is living proof. After almost a century of refusing to go to church, he’s found a home at the Dallas County Cowboy Church.
Given their Baptist background, after Devers reconciled with the Almighty, it was time to follow Jesus’ example in baptism. And at the Cowboy Church, they dunk. Full immersion — in a cattle tank.
“It’s never too late,” reports Denmon. “That’s what one family is saying after their 96-year-old father did something they never thought he’d do.”
They credit the Western-styled church in Balch Springs for helping Devers realize he needed to repent of his sins, confess his faith and become a Christian. What’s remarkable, says Denmon, is that Devers “never really wanted to go to church at all — until he saw folks worshiping ‘Western-style.'”
Christians have a boot-stomping good time at the Cowboy Church, says Pastor Mike McKinney, who wears boots, jeans and a string tie to preach the Gospel in a distinctive Texas drawl. “Being baptized don’t save you,” he told his congregation on the morning that Bert was set to be baptized. “It’s just water — and on top of that, it’s Balch Springs water!”
Nope, he explains, salvation is a gift from God, freely offered to all. That’s the message Devers started taking personally after visiting the congregation. His son, Gary Devers, told KFAA he sensed something was up when his dad suddenly took an interest in life. “He tells me, ‘When I show up at the Cowboy Church with my straw hat, everybody there’s gonna think there’s a new sheriff in town!'”
“A man who just survived congestive heart failure now has a healed heart — for more than one reason,” reports Denmon. “Despite two broken hips, this 96-year-old is now walking in faith, something he’d never done his whole life.
“It’s very exciting today because we’ve prayed many years for this to happen,” his tearful daughter Sandra Devers told KFAA.
“Before he became a Christian, he had lost his will to live,” Gary Devers added. Now, he has “told one of my neighbors now he wants to make it to 100, and I think that will happen now.”