Roger Yeager and John Zengerl have been neighbors (off and on) since 1970.  Once when Roger moved, John and his wife Nancy visited, then fell in love with Roger’s new community.  Soon they bought a home of their own nearby.  Nancy became good friends with Roger’s wife Judy.  It seemed like the two men were destined to become best friends.

Little did they know that God had even more in mind for them.  Roger became a Christian in 1994 and joined CBMC the following year, becoming quite active in a short period of time.  After retiring from corporate American in 1995 he started his own company marketing signs, printing and awnings. He credits the Lord for giving him a lot of success in business through the years.

John spent several years on active duty in the Army, then served more than 30 years in the reserves, eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Along the way he enjoyed success as a sales manager for Gulf Oil, a major trucking company and eventually operated a golf course in Pennsylvania before he retired. 

However, John knew that something was missing.  For years Roger had shared with him about the love of God he had found in Jesus Christ.  The two friends often talked about business, their families and just life in general.  Roger prayed faithfully for John to accept Christ.  Eventually, John realized that he needed more than just a nice house, money for retirement or a new car. In 2015 he accepted Roger’s invitation to come with him to a CBMC outreach breakfast at Kelly Associates in Hunt Valley.  There John heard the testimony of Mark Whitacre, a business executive who came to Christ and had the courage to “blow the whistle” on one of the largest price-fixing schemes in American history.

John says he realized then and there that he wanted Jesus and said “yes” to Him as his Lord and Savior before the meeting was even over. However, he also realized that he needed help understanding the new life waiting for him.  John filled out a decision card and asked for someone to follow up with him to talk about what he needed to do.  Of course, Roger was there for him.  He suggested that John join him in an Operation Timothy (OT) study.  Operation Timothy is CBMC’s discipleship program, designed for a mentor (in this case, Roger) to lead a new believer (like John) to understand what it meant to follow Jesus. We in CBMC call that a “Paul and Timothy” relationship, named after the relationship that Paul had with a young Timothy in the New Testament.

Roger and John met for coffee and study time every Monday morning at 7am for 3 months.  Using the Operation Timothy book as a guide, they prayed, searched the scriptures and talked about their practical application in John’s new life.  Their long friendship made it easy for the men to be honest with each other, and Roger says that John was very transparent about all the things they discussed.

John, a retired Army officer, disciplined himself to do his OT “homework” every week after meeting with Roger.  He says that he appreciated how much the program helped him to focus on how following Jesus would change his life.  In Book 2 of the study, Roger helped John to write out his testimony in the Operation Timothy study guide. This prepared John to share the “reason for the hope that was within him” (see 1Peter 3:15) when others started asking him about the changes they began to see in his life.

Both men say that they benefited greatly from the OT experience.  John shared his new faith with his family, and found out that they had been praying for him for years.  He and Roger both continue to be active in CBMC and participate in the Timonium Connect 3 meetings on Zoom every Thursday morning.

John is thankful for his new life in Christ.  He says the Lord has been calling him since he was a boy, and that his only regret is that he waited so long before saying “yes” to Jesus.  His advice to anyone he talks to is “don’t wait to be blessed by the Lord.”  Remember the Lord’s words to the Corinthians: “At a favorable time I listened to you…now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2)