At the time, and without realizing it, the Lord was working me out of wearing jewelry. I really wore it it because I figured that wearing jewelry and make-up was EXPECTED, a necessary rite of passage for women. But here I was being offered this expensive jewelry and not wanting it! She then said she was throwing it away! Cautiously, I thought, "say what?!" What is this all about?"

Eventually, she invited me to church-a bible study-which I thought would commit me to a strange doctrine. However, my first bible study was really something. The people were mostly white and they were raising their hands and speaking in different strange languages in homage to God. Not having a workable knowledge of the Bible, I didn't recognize that this was worship like King David did on a regular basis. I thought that since I'd had a steady diet of the "Weird", "Outer Limits" and "One Step Beyond" television programs, that I had really stumbled upon something sinister. Yet I still continued to come, something was drawing me. Nevertheless, I didn't act on my feeling for over a year.

Finally, my sister convinced me to be baptized in the name of Jesus. That was a monumental step in itself. By then, another sister had been baptized in the name of Jesus and received the Holy Ghost. I fully expected to receive the Holy Ghost too, and finally have a life on the inside when I arose from the water, but that did not happen.  I felt light, as if my burdens had been lifted from me, which would have satisfied me, if I didn't know there was something more. My sister then invited me to a "missionary" work" that had started in the Kashmere Gardens area. I started

Like I use to call champagne, I
Started laughing
- by Connie Hicks

I have always been the one that's had to respond with the right answer ,to do the right thing-what was expected of the eldest in my family. For instance, I knew my Dad's expectations about going to college (I graduated Valedictorian of my Senior class and received a scholarship) and how I would be representing the Simmons of Houston, Texas. During my life I always thought that I had somehow missed the mark while trying to be dependable and loyal. My classmates thought that our father was a minister, because we were raised very strictly.

During the spring of 1978, my sister, Deborah, made a new transformation. At that time she was living in an apartment in a state far off. She was being evicted, (This was a misconception) but she seemed really happy! When I went to visit her she offered me her jewels-which were very elaborate because she was the type that wore jewelry .

I had come to see because of recent reports of how bizarre she was acting. Some of the siblings believed she had taken an addiction to drugs because of her recent back injury. My job as the eldest was to make a determination of her sanity. Yet I saw a person at peace with herself, and I figured that was a beautiful thing, because all of us wanted