Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Central Family

Hello again all! I thought you might enjoy a little history lesson about our new church family in Huntsville. Sunday night I cornered one of the ladies, DeLois Smith, at a Lifetalk meeting about how this church family became so racially, economically and culturally diverse. (To give you a visual on this go to centralfamily.org to see a group shot of the congregation in 2007.) I picked just the right person to ask because DeLois and her husband Ed were one of two couples invited to join the Central church back in 1978-79 for the specific purpose of reaching out to the college campuses with the intent of bringing younger and more racially diverse i.e. African Americans, to Christ. You see, Central's population was dying, literally dying with so many older Christians as its members. The elders at the time made a deliberate decision to study a church in Gainesville, Florida which exhibited a spirit of togetherness not yet found in the Huntsville area. The elders worshiped with and studied that church for 2 and 1/2 weeks to see what and how they achieved racial diversity in a loving, Christlike way. So the Smiths and another couple came to help achieve this goal. It was rough going in the beginning with 150 members or so deciding to go elsewhere, but gradually got better over the years. DeLois related a story of two elderly spinsters who took her by the hand and assured her that although this experience was new to them, they appreciated her patience and promised to do likewise. I'm thankful the elders opened themselves and the congregation to a new day of greater communtity in Christ.

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