Sam Bowers, former Imperial Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan -His Damascus Road Experience
Sam Bowers: In 1952, I was self-destructive; I had been blown away by a fraudulent business deal in Laurel; I was in despair for all sorts of reasons. I was self-destructive, suicidal man. I was embarked on suicide, when I was struck by a Damascus Rd. type experience, an ecstatic experience in which I heard God say to me: "everything is alright." The personal child was so enraged he wanted to destroy everything. I was a complete heathen and anti-clerical as I could be. Here I was in the Bible Belt with total antipathy towards God. I knew God had come into my life and had saved me from destruction, while my personal child was leading me into destruction. I was on air for three days. My suicide was personal, business-related, social, there was nothing political about it. [My Christian Science background probably fed into it somehow.] A boy was working with me; we supplied cigarettes lo cigarette machines around town. We would wake up early Monday mornings and make the rounds refilling machines. This boy was always fresh from his Sunday sermon, which he found always inspiring and energizing. In his presence, I restricted my anti-clerical venom: we would debate certain topics, like the infallibility of scripture, etc. [All this is after the experience.] I thought I needed to get more familiar with the Bible, so I bought a 1611 f King James Bible at the Baptist Book House; when I read the epistolary dedicatory, I realized that these guys were speaking the truth, and, of course, I've always been interested in the majesty of language. I have known the Declaration since childhood. This was the closest I'd felt to God since my Damascus Rd. type experience 4 years ago. [He's talking about God intervening in his life; manifesting himself to him even though he did not deserve it.] The living God made himself real to me even when I did not deserve it. God used his blackjack on Paul a lot more vigorously than he did on me; more than on me. I received an experience of 7 "unmerited grace."