Wise Johnny Spence


“...holding the form of religion, but denying the
power thereof

2 Timothy 3:2

A boy in South Carolina named Johnny Spence was a seventh grade dropout. He found it tough being a dropout, but he had a talent for golf, and he used it.

When he was 17, he was a pro at a country club. Everyone liked Johnny. Johnny was a faithful member of the church, which meant he did not show up for work on Sunday until after church services. One Sunday, the president of the club was waiting for him when he came to work. With the president was the governor of South Carolina, the mayor of the town, and other people on the VIP list.

The president asked Johnny where he had been and Johnny said to Bible study and worship services. He said, “Well, you will have to quit that or we will find ourselves another pro. Being a church member is all right. I’m one myself. But don’t let it interfere with business.” So Johnny quit letting church interfere with business. Johnny became a golf instructor for college coeds. He fell “in love” with one of the girls and soon went to parties where drinks were served. Johnny refused, but was criticized because he refused to drink. To satisfy his sweetheart, Johnny began to drink at parties. 

It was not very long before Johnny was making up to $5,000 some weeks. He became a heavy drinker, and then went to morphine and marijuana. He tried everything money could buy. 

One day, his wife and mother poured all his whiskey down the drain. Johnny grabbed a shotgun and would have shot them both if it were not for a police officer hitting him on the head from behind. Johnny was carried to the hospital for help. He tried to end it all by slashing his wrist and committing suicide, but a guard overpowered him.

While Johnny lay in the hospital, a Christian came to see him. He told Johnny the Galilean teacher named Jesus still loved him and would forgive him of all he had done. Others from the church came to visit, comfort, and pray with him. Johnny soon went to meetings. Before long, he was again a follower of the Man of Galilee with a new lease on life.

Johnny Spence will tell his story wherever people will listen.

Many groups want him to speak about his recovery, but do not want him to mention the name of the Galilean teacher in his story. They think it would be out of place except in a church building. Funny thing about it is it was the same people that helped get Johnny in the mess to start with. The only thing different now is Johnny is wise. He does not listen to those people any more.