As a “lifer”, one of my first vivid memories of North Cleveland Baptist is of a bright day when the men and ladies were working proudly on completion of “the new sanctuary” (our present one). I was about two years old and I thought that all the adults were my uncles and aunts, just family. The family love was always abundant. My “uncle” John Morrow found a large cardboard box, sanded some wood pieces, and placed me in that box to play, where I did so happily. I was sitting under the first window by the organ side.
With teaching and the love of my parents, and all those who influenced my life, I came to Christ at the age of eight. After giving my life to Christ at my Mama and Daddy’s knees, I knew I should “go forward” the next Sunday when the church held an “altar call.” But my daddy and some others of the church were away as a “search committee.” I did not want to go forward without him, but the Lord seemed to vividly say even then, “Go. You must learn I am your first love. I will always be with you.” I did and like Proverbs 3:5-6 says, He directed my path. As I stood in with loving arm arms of my Pastor, Brother McDonald, around me, I looked up and my earthly daddy and the others on the search committee walked in the back of the church. I got the best of both worlds that day! Abba, Father and my earthly father.
Back to that organ window, little did I know God would allow that little two year old later to play the organ for around 30 years. Just playing “Nita” music was a joy and I hoped a service was teaching in the 7th grade, college age, and finally a couples classes in Sunday School. As Vacation Bible School Director for a year or two I learned much more about the intensity of planning for this outreach of the church.
Simply put, watching my Mom and Dad, John and Mary, Mrs. Kelley, Miss Nancy, Mrs. Ressie, Barney and Louise, our Juanita, and the myriad hosts of others at NCBC who served and loved me, made me want to be at church and do the same.