From the start Chris was active in his family church, Congregational Pentacostal Freewill Baptist Church. His father was the head deacon and Sunday School Superintendant. Chris was the Assistant Sunday School superintendant. We talked about church for awhile, but I was scared to go, all I knew about Pentacoastal's were they danced, spoke in tongues and handled snakes, and I am deathly afraid of snakes, so it took some coaxing to get me to go and see how they worshipped.
I started attending Church with Chris and his parents. It was very different, but it was good, bible based teaching and the music was inspiring and praising God. Much to my relief, they were not the snake handling type, and really did not do any rituals that out of the ordinary. I began teaching Sunday School to a class of 4-5 year olds, and really loved it. I only taught the class for a year, to allow the regular teacher to take a break. I would sub occasionally and then they asked me to be assistant teacher in the youth class. This was very challenging, I was not a typical teenager, and had not done alot of "sowing oats" and really did not understand that whole concept. I learned alot from the teenagers, and I think they learned alittle from me.
I worked in the Sunday School office some, completing the attendance records, collecting the money and ordering literature. I also served as a teller, counting the offering collections.
The pastor and I were having a discussion about the view of only "qualified" people witnessing to people. That we should just invite people to church to here the preaching and God would do the rest, but sharing the gospel was only supposed to be done by certain people. This view really confused and worried me. I had always been taught the "Great Commission" was for us all, and that sharing the gospel was a joy and privilige. I usually used the wordless book or other similar cues to share, but felt very strongly that we as believers needed to share with people so that everyone had the chance to hear about Christ and what he had done for them. So he let me "preach" one Sunday. I was alittle hesitant to call it Preaching, because of how I had been taught in the Fundamental and Southern Baptist Churches. We decided I would just "speak". I had a enlarged wordless book and explained the use of it to share the gospel and how the "Great Commission" was for us all and that we can all share the gospel to anyone we meet. If questions or situations need a more experienced or knowledgible person then we can always get a brother or sister in christ to go back with us, but we have the responsibility and ability to share with anyone. I was half way through the presentation and look out into the congregation and my English teacher was sitting there. I was surprised, I had not told anyone I was speaking. A fellow classmate had told her that I was speaking and she was very excited and want to come hear me. I was so touched by both, the classmate that was interested and looking forward to it enough to invite people and for my teacher who took time out to come hear me.
Chris and I helped with the Christmas Cantata lighting for a few years. We had a blast doing this. Chris's sister, Charlotte was in the choir and so was her first husband Rob. Rob also played Jesus in the easter play, in which the reinacted the crucification on a life size cross that was very impressive and would stay up for a while as a reminder of the gift.
Our church pulpit had a stained glass window with a cross in the center, that is absolutely beautiful when the sun shines through it. It sometimes becomes distracting looking up there and thinking about how the cross is like a door, we pass through and a place we can go whenever we need to.
We stopped serving when the Superintendant that we worked with left the church. We still attended but did not teacher, or supervise. We had Charles and he grew up in the church, much like Chris did. Charles was quite the entertainer. Unfortunately, they would think he wanted to sing a hym or Jesus loves me, but oh no not our Charles, he brought his WWF guitar onetime to "play" it. The only problem was that it played the wrestling theme songs. The congregation broke out into rolling laughter. Another time they let him interrupt the service to sing "Rudolph the rednose reindeer". But, the Pastor felt it was important to feel encouraged and supported in his attempts to share things in church. We have many good memories from our "Home" church. It has changed alot since those days. The church has had several pastors, many members have left and several have gone home to be with our Lord and Savior, but we still enjoy going back to the first Church we started our life together in, got married in, Dedicated our child in, prayed in so many times. The church has held many family events too, Charlotte and Jimmy's wedding, My Aunt Donna's wedding, Adam and Heather's wedding, My in-laws 50th Wedding anniversary and Papa's 75th Birthday party. Much of our lives was spent and celebrated at the church with our church family.
When we moved to North Carolina that was one of our concerns. Finding a church close by that was similar to what we had back in Virginia. Well, God lead us to this church, but it is so different. Firstly, the dress "casual" no suits and ties and dressy church clothes, which is not a huge deal but was the first thing we noticed. The "Santuary" is called the Worship Center and does not have pews or hymnals. They had chairs that could easily be moved, as this was a multi-purpose room.
There was always something going on at the church, every day of the week, either a bible study, class, training, upward basketball, or practice. The praise team, choir and band practiced every week. We joined a Sunday School class and began attending right after we moved here in 2000. Chris got acclaimated quicker than Charles and I did. His work schedule was Tuesday through Saturday at first and Charles was not in school at first, so he and I would go to Virginia alot and be coming home on Sunday to be with Chris on his day off. We finally met some people and started getting acclaimated too. Charles loved his class and took to the church really quickly. Chris has coached upward's basketball 3 years, which gave him a great opportunity to share with kids and their families that may not have heard the word of God. To get see our church and what is going on, check out the website http://faithnc.org/thebuzz
I started working in the nursery and was liking it, until my back and leg problem made it too painful and unsafe to continue. We attended Sunday School while Charles was in Sunday School and then we all went to Worship service together like we did when we were in Virginia. That proved to be alittle too much for Charles to handle so we cut back to just Sunday School for many years. We have now switched to just attending the Worship Service.
But we have celebrated things in this Church, like our 10th Wedding anniversary we renewed our vows with the pastor. Charles was there and video taped it for us. The pastors secretary made me a coursage, it was really pretty, and ironically was our wedding colors, mauve-wine-ish flowers and emerald green. Our church family is quite large, currently about 1,500 people, of course we do not know everyone as much as we knew our brothers and sisters in Virginia, but for being a big church the needs get passed around and prayer is always going on, so we are well covered.