A Testimony by Bob Allport
I really hope and desire that some of the things I have to say will
be a blessing to you.
I'm going to attempt to give you my complete testimony. Turn to the
66th chapter of the Book of Psalms, just one verse. I came across this
verse about three years ago; I was just reading my Bible one day, and
this verse kind of jumped out at me. Have you ever had that happen? I
mean, you're reading along, and you may not be paying attention at
something, and something just strikes you. This verse grabbed my
attention; I looked at it and I wrote down right next to it, "Testimony
verse." A few months later, I got to use it.
Psalms 66:16: "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will
declare what he hath done for my soul."
Everybody knows my name, so I won't have to start there. But I would
like to start years ago in 1961, in Portsmouth, Virginia. This was the
place where I was born. My dad was in the Navy, and that was the place
where he was stationed. I really don't know much about what happened,
but I was born, as you can see tonight.
That would be 29 years ago. From there, my parents later moved to
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at which I spent the next seven years of my
life. From there, at age 7, my dad moved up to where he was from in the
western part of New York. I spent the next fourteen years there.
Now, my name is Bob Allport. I lived in a town called Gasport, New
York. I went to school in a town called Middleport. After I got saved,
the town where I went to church was called Lockport. And all this is
west of Brockport. Hence, my name is Allport.
My upbringing is what you would call typical. We lived on a small
farm. My dad worked a regular job, so naturally I got to do all the
work on the farm. He worked at a plant. He was not a religious man; to
this day, I believe he's still lost.
My mom did have some upbringing in church, but the extent of my
religious education was perhaps two Sundays a year. So, I was lost.
I was like everybody else; you knew about Jesus and what He did.
But, it was never personal; it never was applied in my life in a
personal wife. It was a known fact; but it was not heart felt. There's
a big difference.
I continued in life, went through grade school and high school, and
had the peer pressures there. I did some things that I won't talk
about. I remember, now that I'm older, that I was working in a machine
shop. How I got into this trade, I really don't know. I just wound up
This period of life was a very dark time for me. I did something
that I'm not going to talk about now; I have things in my life that I
hold back and never talk about--just as you have things in your life
that you hold back. It was something that was very deep and very dark,
and hurt a great deal.
At this time, God started dealing with my heart. At this time,
another man was hired in the machine shop; his name was Steve Baer. He
was from a place called Pensacola Bible Institute. I heard that he was
a preacher; by this time, I was burdened and decided to go talk to him.
I really wasn't ready for some of the things he was going to say.
I'd ask a question; he'd have a Bible answer. I'd ask him another
question; he'd go straight to the chapter and verse with the answer.
This was the first person in my life who actually did that with me. I
mean, through all the other religious experiences I had, nobody ever
sat down and opened a Bible and showed me, chapter and verse, where the
He started dealing with me. He told me about salvation. He asked me
if I was saved.
I said, "No."
When I was hired at the machine shop, I actually replaced a person
named Rod Phillips. He was actually from the same school as Steve
Baer--Pensacola Bible Institute. He came up to Lockport, New York, to
start a church. By this time, he was pastoring full-time.
I knew about him from some of the guys I worked with--some of the
things he did, his mannerisms, etc. So I decided that maybe I'd rather
talk to him. I said, "Steve, can you set up an appointment, so I can
come to talk to Rod Phillips?"
Steve said, "Yeah." So he made an appointment at his house one night.
I was true to my word; I decided to go.
Once again, I wasn't ready for some of the things that were going to
be put before me. There it was--an open Bible again. I mean--the Truth!
Answers to my question.
This conversation we had went on for maybe 15 or 20 minutes--I don't
really remember now. At the end, he brought it all together right down
to a point. He said, "Bob, would you like to accept Jesus as your
Now, I really knew neither one of these guys. If you knew me, you'd
know I'm rather shy at nature. I was embarrassed; I was drawn back. I
said, "No, not right now."
But I knew that what the man said was true; I knew that this was the
answer to my burdened heart.
I said my goodbyes; I got up and walked down to my car. Right there
and then, in my car, I bowed my head and accepted the Lord Jesus as my
From that day on, things started to change. I had a purpose in life.
The burden that I carried for so long was now gone. There was a peace
in my heart.
I continued at the shop, and the fellowship that Steve and I had was
a great thing. At lunch, I could sit down and talk to him, and he would
teach me from the word of God. He was planting seed; he was working
with me. Then, after he was laid off, he started inviting me over to
his house, and we had Bible studies, and I started to grow.
I met my future wife at these Bible studies. Debbie and I were
engaged and decided to get married in a few months--during May. During
this time, the Lord had been dealing with me about going to school. I
surrendered to that.
I know for a fact, as you read these very words, that I was called
to go to Pensacola Bible Institute. I know that. In trying to be
obedient to my heavenly vision, as it is, I decided to go.
Two weeks before we moved to Pensacola, Florida, my wife and I were
married. Then, just two weeks later, we packed all our earthly goods in
a four-by-six trailer, hooked it onto our car, and we just took off. I
was 23 at this time. My wife is a couple of years younger than me.
This is where things start changing.
I remember driving down the highway, and suddenly I experienced one
of those joys that everybody looks forward to on a trip--a flat tire! I
just spent half the day loading all of the heavy stuff in the car and
in the trailer, and then there it was. I was going down the road, the
tire blew out, and thanks to my Mario Andretti driving skills, I
quickly maintained control and pulled it over to the side of the road.
There I was, unloading all of that stuff.
I remember a guy in a pickup pulls over and stops just ahead of my
car. He gets out and walks back toward me. I was changing the tire. I
knew what to do; I had everything under control. He said, "You need any
I said, "No, thank you."
He kind of hung around for a few minutes; I don't know why, because
I already told him I didn't need any help. He got back into his truck
and took off.
Just as I finished changing the tire, I remember standing there
looking down the road ahead. I'm going to say something right now that
doesn't make much sense, but it really did happen. I remember looking
down the road, and time stood still. I something ahead.
It was darkness.
It was pain.
I can't describe it any better than that.
But, my Bible says, "The just shall live by faith." Even though I
had no comprehension of what was waiting for me, I pressed on. Had I
known what lay ahead, I probably would have turned around and gone back.
But, "The just shall live by faith."
So, I continued.
Our journey took approximately three days. We arrived in Pensacola,
Florida--with all the cockroaches and fire ants and sand--no grass. We
stayed with one of Steve Baer's friends, who put us up for a few days.
After that, the Lord opened up an opportunity to get a trailer.
Then, the Lord provided a house for us. Let me tell you how the Lord
provided it. Now, this is strange, but in the end, you'll see how a lot
of this stuff will fall into place. There was a little house we were
looking at, and we were fourth on the list to get it. The dimensions of
this house were 20 feet by 22 feet--all three rooms! One things I did
like about it was that it was cheap. I knew that I wasn't going to get
very high wages down there, and $100.00 a month was something I could
handle. So, the Lord opened that op
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