Why I love First Baptist…
By Katie Mussat
I noticed the steeple first. Then the magnificent campus, and of course the ginormous trees surrounding the neighborhood. There is so much grandeur in the building, it almost takes your breath away. I was intimidated at first, but also intrigued. What kind of people gather for worship here, inside these red brick walls?
When I was first interviewing at the church, this question was lurking around the corners of my mind. In every conversation, through every question, I listened for an answer. I’ll never forget one significant conversation with a long time church member. She said, “There was a time when we sat comfortably with our backs resting on the pews. But now, now is different. Now, we are leaning forward off the edge of our seats in anticipation for what’s next.”
I can sense this anticipation. Like a breath of fresh air through the newly renovated sanctuary, among the youth center, in the choir room, and on the playground. There is a newness among us, a contagious excitement we’ve all caught.
There’s more going on than what people see. First Baptist is more than just pretty brick walls, chandeliers, and stained glass windows. Don’t get me wrong, I like these brick walls, I do. I like that we are literally the church on the hill of the highlands, and I like that our steeple can be seen from miles away.
But let me tell you what I love. I love this church, these people. I love that this community, my community, is real. Inside these red brick walls are real people in search of a real God. We have real stories. We have stories of suffering and pain, of our past failures and mistakes, of celebration and hope, and of joy and wonder. Like the stained glass windows lining the walls of our most sacred spaces, our lives tell stories. And this group of people, so different from one another, have intentionally decided to stay, to stick with each other, and to intertwine our stories together as one.
It takes work to be real, especially in our sometimes cliche Christian culture. Yet unlike what one might expect from a historic church who has seen much suffering and tired through many transitions, we still have the will to work at it.
We are on the edge of our seats.
Click HERE for video.