A Church Van, a Neighbor and a Basketball Coach

Chruch and Faith

My faith journey started when I was eight years old. I was the youngest of five children, all of whom were already out the house, married with their own children. My parents were members at a country club and golf was their god.  But God was watching out for me and was calling me into a relationship with Him.  A local Baptist church, Hillside Baptist, had a bus ministry where they picked up folks who needed a ride to church. This worked out perfectly for my parents who could then play golf while I was in church. I attended Sunday school where I learned all about Jesus.  I had heard of Jesus all my life from other relatives, but had never really attended church on a regular basis.  But all that changed because of Hillside Baptist’s church van.  I loved going to church, I loved my Sunday school teacher and I can still remember her telling me about how to have a personal relationship with God and how it could start right then! I would sit with my Sunday school teacher during the worship service learning to love hymns and learning to love listening to the preacher.  To this day, I love listening to sermons and make it a regular habit to listen to at least one sermon every day.  I am well acquainted with my sinfulness and I know I need daily meditation on the Gospel. One Sunday while in the worship service, the pastor gave an alter call and I went forward.  I think it was probably the happiest day of my life. I could not stop crying because I was so overwhelmed with God’s love for me…that He would chose me, a lost little sinful girl.  A few years later my parents and I moved to a small little town south of Dallas and I had the very good fortune to live down the street from Karen Davis whose family attended The First Baptist Church of Duncanville, Texas.  I loved that church.  My parents never attended church until the many years later, but I was drawn to church.  My Sunday school class was the best! That is where I memorized all the books of the Bible in one morning because the reward for  reciting all the books of the Bible was a trip to the Old Spaghetti Ware house in downtown Dallas! Summer camp was to a place called Jan K ranch in northern Texas and that is where I learned how to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ.  Reading and studying the Bible was the main priority.  40 years later I can still remember my cabin counselor and how much she loved the Lord and  I knew I wanted what she had.  She told me her secret.  She read her Bible every single day. So once I was home I bought a new Bible, The Way, which was a living translation version of the Bible and had handy little boxes where you could check off all the books once you finished reading them. I worked my way through most of the Bible by the time I was in middle school.  Once I reached middle school, I tried out for the basketball team and made it. Our coach was Coach Smith and let me tell you, SHE LOVED JESUS.  The backs of jerseys had Jesus-n-me on them.  I saw in her the person and character of Jesus on a daily basis.  She taught us so much more than basketball. At the end of 7th grade, my parents and I moved to Orlando, Florida and it would change my world.  I had never met a Catholic or a Jew until I moved there. Never once in all my 13 years had I ever met anyone who wasn’t Baptist! So now I move into a house and on one side of my house is a Jewish family and on the other side was a Catholic family.  I wasted no time in sharing the Gospel with everyone I met.  I didn’t meet any other believers for quite a long time.  Florida was not like Texas at all.  I loved many things about Florida but I truly missed my Christian community and church. I could never understand why God took me away from all that I loved and cherished only to place me in place where the majority of folks seemed not to know God or care about Him at all.  I did attend a local church and loved it, but it was not quite the same. Today I am blessed with the most wonderful church and Christian community I could have ever imagined. It is all that is true, good and beautiful and has blessed me in abundant ways. My hope for Other Eden is that we can become a community where we share our struggles and our victories along our Christian journeys with one another.  

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.