This will be part 1 of a 3 part series of posts about the churches that have shaped me in my Christian walk (Grace Baptist, Heritage Baptist, and Vision Baptist) and helped get me to the point I am today- with an ever-growing love for the Lord and a desire to serve and live for Him!

My family attended Grace Baptist Church when I was a child. I also attended the school there, Middletown Christian School. I enjoyed the children’s programs at Grace, and the Lord showed me my need for salvation in Sunday School. My mother was actually the one who led me to the Lord, but it was the teaching I received in class that allowed me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. This conviction led me to ask my mother how to be saved later in the week. While my family ended up following a family friend to a church plant in Lebanon, I continued to go to MCS where I was taught the Bible in each class and chapel services. I am very thankful for this rich upbringing, learning about the Lord and seeing ministry on a daily basis. I am thankful for teachers, who, like my mother, choose to teach in a Christian setting to teach children to grow up in the Lord and serve him with their lives.

After attending Heritage with my family, I was married and returned to Grace with my husband. Though I had been absent for a few years, the reception I received was very warm and loving. The people were very supportive of our goals in missions and made efforts to help us get where we needed to be. We attended the young marrieds class for four months where we learned precious truths to apply in our home as we learned how to live together and serve the Lord in our marriage.

Other than leading me to the Lord, probably the biggest impact Grace Baptist Church has had on my life is training my husband in the ministry. Paul was saved at Grace just like I was. He was able to work on the bus route and was considered oneof Pastor’s “preacher boys.” Bro. Max Fernandez discipled him and taught him about the ministry. Though he officially surrendered to missions at a missions camp, Paul had been involved in a missions-minded church which had prepared his heart for this decision. Grace nurtured his desire to serve the Lord in missions for years. Paul was also formally trained in ministry for three years at the Grace Baptist Bible Institute.  I was able to see him grow during this time, and I am so thankful to Grace Baptist for helping my husband become the man of God he has become. In addition to this formal training, Paul received much encouragement from his parents who sat under the gospel weekly at Grace and his brother and sisters who are living for Him today. Jake and Rebel are both missionaries, and he has been able to learn a great deal from each of them, both who experienced much learning and growth in the ministry at Grace Baptist Church.

I am thankful for each of the churches that have shaped me over the years and prepared me for a life of ministry. I am extremely thankful for Grace Baptist for teaching me about salvation at a young age, nurturing me in my faith in school, and cultivating and nurturing my husband’s desire to serve the Lord in missions as it has become my desire as well!