My name is James A. Loy. I was born on February 10, 1965 on Ramey Air Force Base in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Master Tech Sergeant Jerald Richard Loy and homemaker Addie Mae Brown Loy. My childhood memories are of a loving home and being in church. When I was seven, my father was a deacon in a small Baptist church in Anchorage/Fairbanks, Alaska, where we were stationed. That year, my father was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away one year later, at the age of 31. I was devastated. I felt abandoned, lonely, angry, confused, and deeply hurt, as I tried to sense what my life would be like without my dad. My mother, sister and I moved to Conway, Arkansas to begin our new life. In my mother’s new role as a provider, she began working at the University of Central Arkansas Administration Building, and we were always in First Baptist Church in Conway. To gain acceptance, I excelled in academics and athletics. I longed for my father and wanted a male role model to take interest and invest in my life.
I was 14 when my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma, and I couldn’t understand how a loving God could allow this to happen to his children. I negotiated with God not to take my mother as he had my father. I promised that if he did, I would not serve or believe in him. The next years were extremely difficult as I watched the cancer destroy my young Christian mother, an example of God’s grace. She kept at her side a crocheted piece of 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee, my strength is perfected in weakness.” She continually encouraged me and testified to God’s goodness, but I was bitter and angry toward the Lord. After her death at the age of 40, I was true to my promise and left God in search of what James wanted in life.
I graduated with honors from Conway High School and worked full-time to put myself through college at UCA where I began drinking for the first time in my life. I graduated in four years with a B.B.A. in Marketing in 1987 without family support and making selfish decisions. God was not part of my life. I bought into the world’s significance: jobs, money and possessions. Obtaining two homes, cars, money in the bank, material possessions, and an engagement to a college sweetheart, I was an empty void satisfied only for a brief season. I had obtained everything the world said would make me successful, yet I had nothing absent a relationship with God.
My drinking led to harder experiments with pot, pills and cocaine. Cocaine became my master, as I made choices that put me in bondage. My addiction took me farther than I wanted to go, kept me longer than I wanted to stay, and cost me more (everything) than I wanted to pay. Never wanting to accept responsibility for my actions, I blamed God and others. Losing everything that had become an idol of my heart, I tried everything in my power as well as what the world had to offer in rehab (12 steps), without success. I finally decided that Jesus was the only way for me to be free. There is one step – Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.
I called Bryan and Beverly Tuggle at John 3:16 Ministries in June 2005. Bryan said they would love me and try to meet my needs. He stated there would be no cost for the program because Jesus had already paid the price. Knowing this was a divine appointment, I came to John 3:16 and on June 23, I gave my life to Jesus. I surrendered to win. The blood of Jesus made me whole again. All my sins were forgiven and my burdens were lifted. I learned about the Full Armor of God and his word which renewed my mind. I learned who I am in Christ, not who the world tells me I am. John 3:16 loved me when I didn’t love myself, met my needs abundantly, built my faith and allowed me the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. John 3:16 Ministries is a unique place where God’s Holy Spirit moves in a tremendous way.
God has blessed me with a family of my own, my wife and two stepsons. I met my wife, Laura, at West Baptist Church in Batesville, Arkansas, where we remain members. We were married January 13, 2007 at John 3:16 Ministries.
Jesus Christ is the way I am free today, with a peace and joy I have never known. God is the head of my life, my family, and our home. I am a new creation. The old James is dead and gone. I learned in “Experiencing God” class at the ministry that it’s all about God’s will and getting his work accomplished. I am excited about the future and where God may lead my family. We want to be in his service helping to establish His kingdom.
John 3:16 Ministries teaches men how to serve as Jesus did. It will always hold a special place in my heart for the opportunity extended to me, as well as two other members of my family after my graduation. The impact has changed my entire family.
Jesus is waiting… all you must do is seek Him and you will find Him.
I thank God for His grace, mercy, and long-suffering, and for all who support John 3:16 Ministries and the tremendous work they do. If you want to experience God at work, visit John 3:16 Ministries.