Jeff Meyer smiled at the sight in front of him. At Lake Lanier, just north of Atlanta, three of his employees stood knee-deep in the water. They faced their families and close friends on the shore several yards away.
Before he baptized them, Meyer preached to the crowd, explaining the purpose and significance of the ordinance. Because he knew the crowd was a combination of Christians and nonbelievers, he made sure to explain the gospel. Moments like these have become the norm for Meyer. He says he’s just making up for lost time, since he was 46 when he began to experience a relationship with Christ.
It wasn’t until his son attended church with neighborhood friends that his own attention turned to matters of faith. When Meyer discovered his son had been a Christian for a year without telling him, it came as a shock. “I coached his baseball team, chaperoned field trips, but was completely absent for matters of faith,” Meyer says. “I couldn’t believe that I was lacking in the most important thing in my son’s life.”
Curious (and somewhat concerned) about what his son was involved in—and intrigued by the changes he’d seen in the young man’s life—Meyer and his wife began attending church as well. He felt a genuineness from those around him, and after several conversations with fellow churchgoers and his pastor, he committed his life to Christ.
As a new believer, Meyer was voracious in his study of God’s Word, seeking advice and wisdom from both his son and friends at church. After he was given a Life Principles Bible, his eyes were opened further to the truths of Scripture. “Dr. Stanley’s take [after] 60-plus years of a godly walk gave me insight and understanding that I didn’t have,” Meyer says.
Now, 18 years later, he sees his role at work—as manager at an Italian restaurant—in a new way: It’s an opportunity to be the witness he himself needed before becoming a Christian. He takes seriously his potential for influencing others, whether diners or employees. He’s been able to officiate both at weddings and at funerals and has also led several workplace acquaintances to Christ. “People in church poured into me. I had these simple, basic questions, and they stopped everything they were doing,” Meyer says. “I welcome the opportunity, now that I’m better equipped, to pour into others.”
After baptizing his three friends and returning to shore, Meyer socialized with those in attendance, answering questions and sharing his heart. And he made plans for lunch with a few people who’d been doing some seeking of their own. He’s excited and humbled to see God work through him in unexpected ways. “It reminds me of something that Charles Stanley taught: Just be obedient,” Jeff says. “When God opens doors and sends people into my life, it’s up to me to be obedient. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Photography by Audra Melton