In this church, I was introduced to the concept of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and to spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). At this point in my life, I was very much like the men in Ephesus (described in the Bible) whom Paul asked, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' They answered, 'No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.' (Acts 19:1-7). These concepts are simply not taught in most Baptist churches, and I was unaware of them because I grew up attending a Baptist church. To me, the term full-gospel can be applied to any church that teaches these concepts as things that accompany salvation (Hebrews 6:1-9).
There are three memories I have from the time I attended this church that stick out in my mind. First, I remember how Pastor Kyle spoke before the offering was taken. He would always say the same thing. He would inform the congregation that the money collected would first be used to pay the church's bills and upkeep of the church buliding. Then, whatever amount was left over was for the pastor and his family. This, to me, is the Biblical model for how tithes and offerings are supposed to be used. What impressed me so much about the pastor's words was the open honesty and his humble demeanor, both of which are extremely lacking in the majority of preachers I have heard since this time.
The second memory from this church that sticks out in my mind is that of an elderly man who sat across the aisle from us on most Sundays. At times during the service, he whispered to himself words that I did not understand. One look on his face told me that he was bubbling over with joy at these times. I understand now that he was praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:12-15,28) and doing so specifically as the Bible directs. There were times in this church when tongues would be spoken aloud, and then an interpreter would reveal the message God was speaking to the congregation in that instance. However, when this elderly man spoke, there was no interpreter, so he spoke quietly to himself.
The third memory I have from this church is the first time I ever lifted my hands in praise to God. The Bible speaks about lifting hands in Psalms 134:2 and 1 Timothy 2:8. At South Harriman Baptist Church, I never saw anyone lift their hands during a church service, but at Victory Temple this was a common occurrence. The first time I tried, my arm seemed SO heavy. My heart was pounding. Finally, I mustered my courage and lifted one arm heavenward. Looking back, it is hard for me to imagine why this was so difficult to do, except that I know that by embracing this new expression of praise, I was also breaking away from a silent and still method of worship that I had been taught by example in the Baptist church.
The pictures below show the Victory Temple Church building and sign in Baytown, Texas. The last picture is a high school class photo of me that shows how I looked during the time we attended this Victory Temple Church."