You can’t imagine the impact St. Luke’s has had on my life.
Sixty-six years ago, when Carl and I came to St. Luke’s with our infant son in 1954, I was 23 years old, and St. Luke’s was a neighborhood church. Friends of ours were members and invited us to the church. We loved it and stayed. I dove right in and taught kindergarten Sunday School, and Jan and Debbie Agee were two of my students.
I sang in the Chancel Choir for years when Bob Bennett was the Choirmaster. I grew in my faith and my knowledge of scripture because when we sing hymns, we are often singing Bible verses. I also had great fun in two small choral groups, “Six of Us and Bob” and “Yesterday’s Children” with Ann Yeoman, Barbara Clinton, Emily Griffin, Yvonne Miller and Hilda Misenheimer. We not only had a dear friendship, but we gave ourselves away as we sang for the Lord.
I made more friends when I served on the Kitchen Committee, the UMW, and later in the office, where we typed on a typewriter using carbon paper! I remember it took me three weeks to type up the roster and when it was finished, it was already out of date.
Carl jumped into a life of service at St. Luke’s as well. He taught the Hines Baker Men’s Bible Study Class, served on the Finance Committee and was Chair of the Administrative Board. He was dedicated to us, his family, to the church and to the Lord.
St. Luke’s has been with us through it all. In 1973, our son Craig, who was 19 at the time, had a horrific car accident two days before Christmas. Kenneth Shamblin, in the midst of Christmas Eve preparations, showed up at the hospital to comfort and pray with us. All of our pastors were attentive throughout the two months he was in the hospital.
In 1976, Carl and I joined the Randy Smith Bible Study Class and formed transformational relationships. We studied together, served together, ate together and prayed. The class is a mighty group of prayer warriors and truly held us up during Carl’s illness and surrounded me with love and care when he died eight years ago. They are family, too.
In 2007, we formed a small group, Ann’s Angels, to support our friend, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Our study, led by Jim Wilhite, was based on the previous week’s sermon, and God used it to grow our faith as we applied the truths to our lives.
I’ve been so blessed by the ministries of St. Luke’s over the years; blessed by the pastors, the staff, and the extraordinary groups of lay leaders. They are strong professional people who know how to lead and bring that to the church.
St. Luke’s was, and still is, a neighborhood church, but it is more than that- it’s a regional church, and a whole city church with outreach that became bigger than anyone ever dreamed.