As “experienced adults” in our late 70’s, we embraced the opportunity to be a part of our GENERATIONS Building and Renovation Campaign at First Baptist Church. Our children, Mike and Deanne, are now in their mid 40’s. They are very successful in their careers and most importantly are extremely involved in their churches in Clemson, S.C. and Birmingham, Ala. where both have served as deacons. Mike is involved in teaching students at their church in Clemson, and Deanne is involved in the children’s ministry at her church in Birmingham. We have been blessed by God and by people in FBC who played such an important role in shaping their character, values, and Christian commitment. Everyone understands the importance of Christian parental leadership/example, but the children’s ministry at FBC was a key factor in their spiritual growth and development. They had wonderful, caring teachers in Sunday School, Church Training, and associated children’s activities. Positive reinforcement from adult church members outside the children’s programs was also extremely important in their development.
Another major factor in their journey was a wonderful Christian first grade teacher, Mary Williamson. She was encouraging, very loving, and expected each student to do their best. She taught our children, but she also taught us some valuable lessons about parental expectations. She gave them an outstanding start in school, and her love and encouragement continued into adulthood. She wasn’t part of our FBC family. She worshipped at Church Street Cumberland Presbyterian Church. We each can learn from her example as we relate to the children in our church.
Neither Mike nor Deanne are musically talented, an inherited trait! However, at home they constantly played and sang children’s music developed by Bill and Gloria Gaither during their early childhood: “I’m something special; I’m the only one of my kind. God gave me a body and a bright healthy mind. He had a special purpose that he wanted me to find; so he made me very special. I’m the only one of my kind”…. “I am a promise, I am a possibility, I am a great big bundle of potentiality.”
The children in our church are a present treasure, but they are also the foundation for the future. Let’s continue to celebrate them and give them our best.
Nancy and Larry Moore