Making a difference in one little boy’s life named Eli

Published 12:48 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

You can build cathedrals with steeples so high and make them as elaborate as money will buy, but what good is a building if it does not produce what I witnessed this past weekend?

Sunday morning concluded with a most touching scene of a baby dedication that turned into an entire family dedication.

This is what erecting church houses is all about.

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We can build churches and forget souls, build houses and forget to make them a home.

The Byron Floyd family, of Brookhaven, recently started coming to our church, and as a result, they have made steady progression to being more like Christ.

Not that either parent was living a decadent or sinful life, but with all that comes at any family these days, this young dad and mom wanted to take a stand for Christ as never before.

In a service a few days back both came together to the altar and recommitted their lives and have not missed a service since.

Byron put it this way, “I’m putting my foot down and leading my family to heaven.”

They are blessed with four boys, Trey, 14, Eli, 10, Easton, 9, and Emerson, 1.

Byron and Paige approached Pastor Terrell to dedicate not just little Emerson as he had not been dedicate yet but rather their entire family.

Byron is a welder by trade, and his wife Paige is a stay home mom. Together they represent your average young aspiring family of 2016.

My heart goes out to any young family these days with all the economical upheavals we have to deal with including the ever present inflation eating away at the bread winner’s paycheck.

There are forces at work to disassemble the family unit and as goes the family so goes the country.

What touched me most was after Pastor Terrell concluded his remarks taken from Prov. 22:6, we fellow ministers gathered around to pray for this family.

As we did Eli, the 10-year-old, began to weep and did so until the prayer was over visibly touched by the whole affair.

Many years ago a minister erected a huge tent to conduct a “tent revival” and spent a lot of money and energy in so doing.

You don’t see many of them nowadays, but they used to dot the landscape a lot.

Of the sparse crowd who attended, only one young boy about 12 came to the altar for conversion.

The preacher just assumed his labors were in vain.

Years later, he read of a missionary who went into a mission field and led thousands to Christ and established churches all over that nation.

It was the young boy who was the only convert of his tent revival that he thought had been a failure.

We don’t count Sunday school attendance like God does or see the results as he does.

Sunday’s dedication and prayer may have launched this tousled haired lad into a ministry that will lead many souls to Christ.

It very well may have prevented him from a life of crime and a life sentence.

I’m just glad he and his brothers have parents like I had that want the very best for them.

The very best is to build a house around them that will have a home within, a home of love to shield them from the fiery darts of the devil.

I can remember when God walked into my life, and I too wept in the divine presence and approach.

My dad was preaching that day and conviction came over my young heart when dad gave the invitation, and I remember getting up and going back to my mother to ask her if I could go to the altar.

I have never forgotten that initial touch of grace, and that was 58 years ago when I was 8 years old. Only God knows what sins and shame were averted.

A little boy named Eli will never forget either. The day grace touched his heart.

Only heaven will reveal the victory that came as this boy cried in the presence of his God.

But, it all began when Dad put his foot down and led his family to the altar.

I’m still moved by the family dedication Sunday morning and that little boy because every young household needed what I saw that day.

That’s why we build church houses and attend them.

God bless you and God bless America.

Mike Dykes is a pastor and storyteller. He can be reached at