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Born again man gives testimonial at Marshalltown church

Tells crowd tale of redemption

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Nathan Varble of Tulsa Okla., speaks of being “born again” during a sermon at the local Great Commission Church Saturday and turning his back on crime, drugs and pornography.

At a Saturday morning Great Commission Church gathering, guest speaker Nathan Varble broke a sweat during a powerful and impassioned sermon about his journey of being born again.

Lasting more than one hour, many of the attendees said ‘amen’ repeatedly to central points in Varble’s sermon.

“It was all through the intimacy of getting to know Jesus and I was going to seek him,” Varble said. “And through that I fell more in love with him. He started to take me into the call and the ministry.”

The path to getting to know Christ was not easy as Varble faced and overcame vices such as a variety of addictions.

His story begins at the age of 6 when he was addicted to pornography. Varble began using marijuana and cocaine at the age of 13 and started running with a Latino gang in southern Texas.

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Nathan Varble of Tulsa Okla., center, prays with local Great Commission Church congregants Saturday after his sermon.

“I was drawn to them because I saw a sense of family,” Varble said. “Everybody is like you die together. I think that was something my soul was longing for – a sense of belonging.”

His participation in gang activity followed.

Later, Varble was arrested on a burglary-related Class C felony in Texas.

He said he and gang members burglarized homes and vehicles to support their cocaine habit.

“We were young crackheads. We didn’t have jobs. That is what we did,” Varble said.

One irony is that Varble had grown up in a Pentecostal church, “sleeping under the pews.”

He said the “do this, don’t do that” church philosophy made him rebel.

“‘Christ saves. Jesus saves people from sin,’ was presented to me,” Varble said. “That was in my brain the whole time I was rebelling”

He was approaching the age of 17 and was sitting in his room alone, snorting cocaine when God called him.

“All of the sudden I started thinking about God.” he said. “For some reason my heart said ‘I believe that you are real. I know I want to know you.’ The weight of Jesus dropped in the room. I started to break and cry and cry out. That is when I was born again. There was not a preacher in the room. I just started crying out to God. He came and transformed me.”

Varble said he looked at the cocaine in his hand and flushed it down the toilet.

He quit using illegal substances and returned to church.

However, curing his pornography addiction was much harder.

“I had to fight pornography,” he said. “When one is addicted at age six, the lustful thing was always trying to control and grip me. It was a hard fight.”

What was Varble’s key?

“Once Jesus came into me I began seeing myself differently,” he said. “I started to see who I was, someone who had become a new creature. I realized I was not drawn to those things anymore. The old habits tried to tempt me, but I realized who I was. I started to make decisions to stop looking at pornography. Next was getting my mind clean.”

Now Varble is 33 with a wife and a 3-year old child.

He was in Marshalltown Friday through Sunday ministering at Great Commission Church with Richard Edgar.

Edgar, who is a Tulsa resident, is from Marshalltown and is a Great Commission Church minister who served the church 10 years.

Edgar’s mother, Roberta Edgar, is also a minister.

She invited her son and Varble to speak at four services during the weekend.

Varble and Edgar are planning to start a church in Tulsa when they return.