Georgie Livingston has always loved the Lord. However, Satan has never been happy about that, and has tried his very best to destroy her chances for happiness and eternal life. But praise God, for “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. As we talked with her, we quickly realized that her heart has always remained truly in love with Jesus.
“I’ll be 80 years old on February 22,” Georgie begins, “and the only spanking I ever got from my mother was for talking during a sermon at the Church of God when I was four years old!
“Although my mother was a member there, when I was 12, I attended an evangelistic tent meeting, and soon was baptized into the Foursquare Church. They put me to work teaching Sunday School to five-year-olds, but later I became a youth leader, played guitar, and attended church camp. Then, I became very pale from an illness, and the preacher’s wife was concerned that I would scare the children, so she told me I must wear makeup. However, that was a problem, because I was raised not to wear makeup, so I wouldn’t do it! Finally, they told me I couldn’t teach Sunday School anymore, so I left.”
A Short-Lived Joy
After she married her first husband, Georgie attended another evangelistic tent meeting. This one was held by Seventh-day Adventist evangelist M. A. Wyman, in Lindsay, California. She attended the meetings faithfully with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. “What joy I felt as I read Ellen White’s Steps to Christ,” she says. “That book made me decide I wanted to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist.
“I remember having lunch with Pastor H. M. S. Richards of The Voice of Prophecy radio ministry, and meeting The King’s Heralds Quartet and Del Delker, who provided music for his programs. Later I attended the Soquel, California, camp meeting, and it was an awesome time!”
But her joy was short-lived because when she arrived home her husband locked her in their apartment and refused to let her go to church anymore. “I even ran away,” she says, “but he found me, so I finally gave up. That was a mistake I paid for dearly, because the rest of my 13-year marriage was a living hell.”
Georgie was only 29 and the mother of little 5-year-old Laurie when her husband died suddenly. Alone and scared, she married her deceased husband’s boss. “He was the first reader in a Christian Science church—the highest position you can have,” she explains, “and I thought he was like a pastor, so I married him and shared some things in confidence that were very painful.” Sadly, instead of keeping her confidence, Georgie says he threatened that if she ever tried to leave, he would share those things with her daughter!
Feeling trapped, she joined his church and even trained as a practitioner. “But after seven years of him abusing my daughter and me, I had enough. So I took that chance and left him,” Georgie adds. “He did follow through with his threat and wrote to my daughter, but his handwriting was so bad she couldn’t read it! God protected us, and the judge ordered him never to see us again.”
Another Attempt at Happiness
Georgie says she left that church as well, then was baptized again in the Adventist church, along with her daughter. “My heart was always in the Adventist Church,” she says.
“Soon I was appointed the Sabbath School secretary, even though I was scared to read the reports up front. I would talk all the air out of my lungs and could hardly get any back in! I was constantly going from one class to another, and never had time to sit and learn more about Jesus in Sabbath School. I had just left my second husband, and I was a basket case. I shook all the time, and would lock myself in my house, crying. I thought I’d find help in church, but I didn’t. Instead, after Sabbath School was over I’d just sit in my car and sob. I tried to step down from that job, but they kept telling me I was doing fine. It seemed like no one cared, so I handed in the books and told them they’d never see me again.”
Georgie finally found some happiness when she married Jay Livingston. “He was a minister’s son, but had never seen the love of God at home,” she explains. He rebelled, and became an alcoholic—just like his father was before he entered the ministry.
“Although Jay was never baptized, he never betrayed my trust,” she says. “We had our wonderful daughter Nora together, and we both put God first as best we knew how. We didn’t go to church, but we prayed, sang, and read the Bible at home. We were not perfect, but we loved each other, and we also loved God.
“My Jay and I had 36 years together that got sweeter every day. But his many years of drinking beer and smoking cigarettes caught up with him. In the end, he came home from the hospital and was given hospice care. He told me he didn’t want Jesus to see his needle-bruised arms from all the medication they’d given him, but I told him that when Jesus comes he will get a new body, that he wouldn’t hurt anymore, and that it was okay to sleep until then. He died at age 78, singing and praising the Lord to his last breath.”
A New Station, and a New Church
After Jay’s death, Georgie’s daughter Laurie, and her husband Richard, brought her to live with them in Amarillo, Texas, and that’s where she discovered 3ABN on channel 17. As she watched, she says she was so blessed by the truths she was learning. “3ABN showed me what the Bible teaches about tithing and offerings,” she says, “and I began looking for a Seventh-day Adventist church. I looked in the phone book and found a telephone number, but I couldn’t find an address. Worse yet, when I called the number, I would get so nervous and confused that I’m not sure I ever managed to successfully leave a message!
“So I saved up my tithes and offerings until I could go. I didn’t know how I could make it financially, but what the Bible says is true! God does supply all my needs. I have enough to pay my bills, and Laurie and Richard feed me, clothe me, give me a home, and take me where I need to go.
“One day, I finally told the Lord, ‘I can’t get through to them at the church,’ and He answered, ‘Today is Sabbath. Call now. They’re there.’
“And they were!” Georgie adds with a laugh.
Her first visit to the Amarillo Seventh-day Adventist Church was wonderful. “They were so warm, and they greeted me with smiles and hugs. It’s been that way ever since, too!”
When she had to have a knee replacement, Georgie says she received an unexpected visit from Pastor Richard Dye. “He came in as I was reading the Bible to a hospital cleaning woman,” she says. “I’d been trying to tell her how to get to my church, but I couldn’t remember. So when Pastor Rick walked in, I knew it was God’s perfect timing!”
3ABN’s Pastoral Ministries Department has been a great help to Georgie, as well. “I’ve gotten to know J. D. Quinn,” she says. “He helped me find peace when my Jay passed away. I remember the first time I talked to him. He told me his name was J. D. and I was so shocked! I said, ‘J. D. Quinn? Shelley’s husband?’ He laughed, and said, ‘Yes!’
“Later, I called 3ABN to ask him whether I should be baptized a fourth time in my new church, and he told me I could join the church by profession of faith.”
“Georgie is a very warm and gracious lady, and we are delighted to have her as part of our church family here in Amarillo,” says Pastor Richard Dye. “Her story is interesting and moving, and I’m glad the Holy Spirit continues to work in spite of what kinds of things take place sometimes!
“A great many of our church members have adopted her and taken her under their wings,” he continues. “We rejoice with her and her walk with God.”
“3ABN is on my prayer list every day, and I thank God for all those who work there,” Georgie concludes. “I know that when I have a question, or need prayer, I can always go there.”
If you’re in the area, stop in and visit the Amarillo Seventh-day Adventist Church at 8425 South Bell Street! Pastor Rick Dye and the entire church family will love to meet you—and be sure to say hello to our friend, Georgie!