We arrived in Huntsville two years ago with the hope of planting deep roots in this vibrant community as a former Air Force family who’ve lived all over the US. Our lives have taken us to multiple states and cities with varied results. All our adult lives, we’ve been the outsiders, the new people, the ones who don’t yet fit. Yet, we find ourselves here now in this new and rapidly changing place with a real chance of becoming a permanent part of something special.
Our frequent moves mean we’ve gone to a lot of different churches as well. We’ve been members of churches where 50 people on a Sunday meant it was probably Easter to a church where 1,200 on a Sunday meant the numbers were down: Places with only a piano, or full praise band with accompanying laser light show, or an awe-inspiring orchestra and organ. We’ve heard sermons that were so soft spoken even the microphone had trouble picking up the words to sermon illustrations that involved our pastor rappelling from the ceiling in full climbing gear. We can’t leave out congregations wearing everything from suits, to jeans, to bathing suits – which is what happens when your church is a block off the beach and service starts close to the best surfing times.
I explain all this to make it clear I know what I’m talking about when I say we’ve never lived in a place with a church like First Baptist Church of Huntsville and their ongoing utilization, support, celebration, and true love for members of all generations. It was evident from our first visit, and we’ve seen it demonstrated in numerous ways during our short time here. From the youngest to the oldest to every age in between, there is a place for us to learn and serve at FBC.
It is this evident generational foundation that made FBC our church home choice, so it was an instinctual, spirit-led reaction to help support the GENERATIONS Building and Renovation Campaign. We don’t have children and don’t think we’ll be sliding our middle-aged selves down the slide on the play set anytime soon (although it looks like great fun). Our support of this project isn’t directly for us. It is for the wonderful work FBC is doing as a church, in the community, and beyond. We feel privileged to be a part of FBC, supporting their ministry efforts also a privilege. We are excited to see where FBC will go as we will, hopefully, be here for generations ourselves.
–Gina and Bill Rittershaus