Who in the world is J.D. Prevatt?

Have you ever wondered if your life was making any difference? Do you ever feel small and insignificant?

 I guess in the big scheme of things we often feel tiny in comparison to be vast world around us. Like the lyrics to the hit song of my early years by the rock group Kansas that sang to a generation searching for meaning and purpose in life:

 “Dust in the wind—all we are is dust in the wind!”

 For those who stumble through this life without meaning and purpose that sentiment might make sense. But for those of us who have discovered a personal relationship with our Creator in the face of Jesus—we know life has meaning and purpose.

 Even Henry David Thoreau captured the essence of our purpose when he observed:

 “One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”

 So what is that something for you and me? For a moment go back in time with me to Charlotte, North Carolina in the year of 1934, just five short years after the darkness of the Great Depression fell over America like a looming shadow.

 J.D. Prevatt got up, drank a cup of coffee for breakfast and headed off to work as a tailor. After a long day of work with his nimble fingers, he joined a throng of people gather a sprawling ramshackle building with saw dust floor seating close to 5,000 people to hear the hell-fire and brimstone preacher Dr. Mordecai Ham—a traveling Southern Baptist evangelist who had been preaching to thousands of people night in and night out.

 Little did J.D. Prevatt know he was going to play a small part in changing the world as we know it. Mr. Prevatt was a humble good Christian man, who loved the LORD, loved his family, and loved people and wanted to be used by God.

 As Dr. Ham concluded his message, the words of the old gospel hymn “Just as I am” rang out over the masses. Many came forward, but it appeared the Spirit of God was not finished yet, so the tune turned to the old hymn “Almost Persuaded, Now to Believe” as the second verse rung out a young sixteen year old boy stepped out of the row where he had been seated and headed to the front.

 When he arrived, he notice a woman next to him weeping with tears rolling down her cheeks, and he felt a bit embarrassed that he was not moved with that kind of emotion. As he was reflecting on his feelings a man put his arm around him. It was J.D. Prevatt who was a friend of his family. Mr. Prevatt urged this young teenage boy to give his heart and life to Jesus. At his urging, the young man surrendered his life to God.

 When the young man returned home and crawled into bed after his evening prayers, he noted “No bells went off inside of me. No signs flashed across the tabernacle ceiling. No physical palpitations made me tremble. I wondered again if I was a hypocrite, not to be weeping or something. I simply felt peace. Quiet, not delirious. Happy and peaceful.”

 The young man’s name was Billy Graham.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Who in the world is J.D. Prevatt?

  1. John Thomas Prevatt

    J D Prevatt whas my dad.. my name is Tom Prevatt and I live in Charlotte N.C.

  2. Brenda Richards

    My grand father was Alton Prevatt. His father was John Tomas (abner) Prevatt from Houston county Al. (Near Dothan,Al). I think his father was John Byron Prevatt. I was told your dad was my great great grandfathers brother. Do you have any info on your dads siblings.

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