Pastor Ken Spilger has been the pastor of the Grace Baptist Church for over 30 years. He graduated from Tennessee Temple University and Temple Baptist Seminary, and has done further study with Pioneer Institute of Biblical Ministries. Prior to coming to St. Louis, he pastored churches in North Georgia and in rural Nebraska. In 1977 God led Pastor Spilger, his wife, Beth, and their oldest daughter, Anna, to St. Louis to begin their ministry here at Grace Baptist.
In 1980, Pastor Spilger was the only survivor of a small plane crash. He had third degree burns on thirty percent of his body which required a lengthy recovery. God has used this tragedy to deepen his life and ministry.
Today, Pastor and Mrs. Spilger have 7 children, 2 sons-in-law, and 7 grandchildren. God has given them a vision to raise up godly generations who will impact this world for Christ now, and for generations to come. Their desire is to bring each generation to a firsthand knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of every area of their life. They would count it a real privilege to serve you and your family.
Flight to Eternity
– Pastor’s testimony about his plane crash
“It’s a miracle anyone survived – I’ve never seen an airplane so devastated.” That is how one official “reacted to a light-plane crash that killed three area Baptist ministers and seriously injured another during an attempted landing early Wednesday. . . The Rev. Kenneth P. Spilger . . . was reported in serious but stable condition Thursday at the burn unit of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.” (St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 18, 1980; used by permission.)
We had planned to be home early that morning. Little did we realize when we began our flight that for three of us it was a flight with its destination in eternity. For me it was a flight with a much later =arrival time at my home. In fact my arrival time was two months later.
My injuries were very extensive. At least thirty percent of my body had been burned with third degree burns. Several ribs were broken along with other complications. BUT I WAS ALIVE! That alone is a miracle. The burns were the part of my injuries which would make the greatest impact on my life. They included my hands, legs, and feet. These serious third degree burns along with others would result in extreme pain, a number of surgeries, and months of therapy. Many lessons would be learned. Much pain would be endured. I would learn how to use my hands and to walk again. I would be the recipient of much love. Most of all, God’s grace would be found sufficient, and God’s peace would be mine. As I rode in the ambulance from the crash site to the hospital, I was filled with a real peace that could only come from God – a peace which has been mine even before this horrible crash. This peace in the presence of death and a great catastrophe can only be explained by a decision I made a number of years ago.
I grew up on a farm in the mid-west as the youngest of five children. Our farm lay on the bottom of beautiful rolling hills right on the edge of a wide fertile valley. I took the first nine years of my schooling in a little one room country school house. My twin sister was my only classmate. My life on the farm and my education were simple. On the outside I did not appear to have the problems that are often found in other people’s lives. Yet there was something missing in my life. This missing ingredient made even my simple life very complex.
I became more involved in my church activities. Yet because my church did not accurately teach the Bible, it seemed this religious influence caused even more frustration. I clearly saw my frustration, but I saw no way to remedy it. I only sensed more pressure to do something. Thequestion was, “What?” It seemed like the harder I tried the more frustrated I became. During this time my brothers led me to the Bible to find the answers I needed. While studying the Bible I began to realize that my problem was disobedience against God. I had sinned against God. Also from the Bible I saw that my disobedience carried with it a penalty of eternal death. Right along with this I learned that Christ had already paid this penalty by His death on the cross. This study in the Bible helped me understand that I must receive Christ’s payment for my penalty of death. I had some great discussions with my brothers concerning all this. Finally I made that pivotal decision to receive Christ’s payment by acknowledging that, in my life, I needed Christ.
I have come to realize that this truth was that missing ingredient in my life. Since then I have experienced peace, fulfillment, and real satisfaction. But the greatest benefit is that I know I have eternal life. I am prepared for my flight to eternity.
As I rode in the ambulance to the hospital, this deep assurance of eternal life, as well as God’s real, satisfying peace were uppermost in my mind. This has been true throughout my entire recovery. Have you made this decision? Are you prepared for your flight to eternity? My desire is that others may know these Bible truths concerning Christ, and be saved. You can have this assurance of eternal life. Below are several Bible verses which will help you make this same all important decision. Then you, too, can be prepared for your flight to eternity.
1. All have sinned – disobeyed, displeased God.
- “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23
- “. . . all have sinned.” – Romans 5:12
2. There is a penalty for sin. It is death – eternal death.
- “. . . by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” –Romans 5:12
- “For the wages of sin is death . .- Romans 6:23
- “. . . it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.
“- Hebrews 9:27
- “. . . death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second
death.” – Revelation 20:14
3. Christ has already paid this penalty of sin for you by His death on the cross.
- “But God commendeth (demonstrates, shows) His love toward us, in that, while
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:8
- “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that
He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened
(made alive) by the Spirit.” – I Peter 3:18
4. You must receive Christ’s payment for your sin.
- “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift (must be received to be yours)
of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” –Romans 6:23
- “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” – John 1:12
- “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation . . . For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:10 and 13
Would you receive God’s gift of eternal life for you? If you would, bow your head right now, acknowledge to God your sin, your need for forgiveness and your belief only in Christ. Then you will have God’s gift of eternal life and peace through Christ. The payment has been made for you, but you must receive it by this simple act of faith. Then you, too, will be prepared for your flight into eternity.