The Courage of A Neighbor Helps Lead Man to Christ

September 01, 2007 | Bill Whitney

The Lewistown Church held evangelistic meetings this spring. As a result, on June 9, Zeke Kleinsasser was baptized and became a member of the Lewistown Church.

Here's more of his story: Kleinsasser was raised in a Hutterite colony, a Christian Anabaptist group, formed in Europe in the early 16th century. The colonies in the United States are noted for their communal, agricultural lifestyle, as well as their distinctive clothing. As a young man, Kleinsasser chose to leave the colony and embark on a road to enlightenment.

The road wasn't exactly what he expected. Before long, not only had he left his home and way of life, but he had also experienced the heartache of alcohol addiction. It was becoming apparent he hadn't found enlightenment or peace. Yet he knew it was out there. He knew there was more to life, and he knew his consumption of alcohol was only going to deter him from what he really wanted.

Kleinsasser moved to Lewistown, started dealing with his addiction and met Karen, a wonderful woman who he married. He found work with the local sanitation company and life was good. Still, as good as things were, he sensed there was something missing.

Growing up in the colony Kleinsasser remembered a book, written in German, his father owned and often read. It didn't always agree with what the Hutterite colony practiced but his dad prized it and believed it taught Bible truth. The book was Patriarchs and Prophets written by Ellen G. White. So when he came across a copy of the same book and four others in a series, while working, he knew he had something special. He picked up the books from the trash can, took them home and methodically went through them. In the process he discovered many wonderful Bible truths and teachings but where and how do you put all of it together? It was a question he pondered for a number of years.

The Lewistown Church this spring was preparing for an evangelistic series and developing a list of names of people who would receive special mailed invitations. Karl Johnson, a Lewiston church member, turned in his list of names, but also felt impressed to invite Kleinsasser personally. So he rode over to his house, thought about it for a few minutes and then decided just to go home. The more he thought about extending the invitation and backing down, the more he knew he had to go back and knock on Kleinsasser's door. This time Johnson garnered up his courage, knocked on the door and extended the invitation. To Johnson's invitation, Kleinsasser responded, "Karl, what took you so long? I thought your church was never going to invite me."

John Loor Jr., Montana Conference president, was the speaker for the meetings. Because of Johnson's invitation, Kleinsasser was there as Loor presented the wonderful message of Jesus, his great love, and salvation. During the meetings Loor was able to put together the various pieces to what Kleinsasser had been studying. The result: He found the final piece to his puzzle, and it was put in place at his baptism June 9.

Now Kleinsasser is planning to help others put the pieces of their lives together. He is already planning to help with the next evangelistic series scheduled for Lewistown this fall.