If I can write blogs daily about my wonderful boyfriend (which he is), I knew I could write about this week's Show Us Your Life: Your Church! I could go on and on about how much my church means to me.
When I moved to a new town, I was single and had no family. I had always been a part of ministry, but I felt so unsure about where to go to church. After visiting several churches, I just couldn't find the one. I told Cash just last night, "Finding a church home is like finding the person you're going to marry. You just know." And when I walked into Southside Baptist Church in Alma, Arkansas, I just knew.
SBC is a small, Southern Baptist church whose roots date back over 20 years when it was started as a missions church by the First Baptist Church of Alma. Several of the charter members still go to Southside today, and I must say the 2 that stick out to me are Phil and Dee Ann, of course! These two have been my lifeline in and out of church with relationships, house problems, dinner dates, and the list goes on. They are the reason I feel like I'm walking into family every time I go to church.
Don't they just look like people you would want for parents?! I LOVE THEM!! Now, I have great parents that I would never replace. Ever! But Phil and Dee Ann have adopted me and taken care of me in the places my parents can't since I no longer live in my hometown.
Also, Zach and Leslie (Phil and Dee Ann's son and daughter-in-law) were the first friends I made in our small church. Zach was our music minister until he and Leslie decided to move to Little Rock. Can't blame them....he's in med school, and she's in law school. When you see their picture, you're going to be blown away with how gorgeous they are! Since Southside is small, young adults are not the typical age group. However, we have a few. But those few make it extra, extra special. Coach Dilbeck leads our Sunday School class, and we have the time of our lives together!
Aren't they so pretty? I love my friends. Their hearts are even more beautiful. I don't even know how that's possible! And I can't forget my adopted little sister Malia who will be getting married this June!! Woohoo!! She is my pew buddy and one of my dearest friends! See, we do have SOME young people! (She's also Phil and Dee Ann's daughter...love that family!)
The older generation at Southside also help to make it irreplaceable in my mind! People like Harold who rides his horses to church, Ann and Debbie who make meals for us EVERY Wednesday night, Nancy who does our budget, Jerry and Linda who let us go to their pool any time we want, and the list goes on. These are just great people to love the Lord with...I couldn't ask for a better family.
That's Harold riding his horses in the bottoms. Leslie went with him over Spring Break! He is always opening his house to us, letting us ride horses whenever we want! And his wife makes the BEST pies. If you know me, that's right down my alley!
But you can't make church complete without the staff who devotes their every ounce of energy and life to it. We are blessed beyond words to have the staff we do at Southside. After Zach and Les moved, Chris (and sweet wife Megan) took over in the music. He does such a great job! Eric (and fiance Tia!!! Way to go, Eric!) leads the youth. I'm not sure how he has energy for it..it wears me out! LOL. But the kids love it. Even my students will stop me throughout the week and say, "I CAN'T WAIT FOR WEDNESDAY!!!"
We have a small staff that does an outstanding job. And they are led by one of the greatest pastors I know--Aaron! He's 30 (was 29 when he became our SR pastor-amazing!), and his heart for the Lord makes us all want to do more for our Creator. His messages are unbelievable. We may sit there listening for an hour...or so! But we are always learning Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and in between! He's been a judge for me at our local History Day competition. He's been a friend. And most importantly he's strengthened my relationship with Christ. What a great Godly example to our young folks...and old!
If you click on the names of our staff, that will direct you to links within our church website. You can take a look at them yourself! :)
Although we have few young people (including every member of our staff), we have such great wisdom with our older generations. The love you are exposed to at Southside is unparalleled. I love Sundays...and Wednesdays...and Mondays...and every other day I get to see their adorable faces at work, Wal-Mart, ballgames, and all throughout town!! Come join us!