God loved me before I accepted him. He loved me after I accepted him and He especially loved me when I was separated from Him by willful self-centeredness for nearly 30 years. I started living in fellowship with God again after the loss of my husband at the invitation to Red Ridge UMC by dear friends who had just lost their baby. Two tragedies, but it brought five souls back to Jesus and to Red Ridge. God forgave me of my transgressions and welcomed me with open arms. There were lots of open arms at Red Ridge too, Ellen McCrary for one. If you don’t think your love of Christ shines through in your welcoming actions think again! I’ve been at Red Ridge now since 1998 and see Christian love every Sunday. I daily strive to return some of God’s love through my actions. Make it your motto to “leave the light on”!
Red Ridge saved my life in that I found a relationship with God I had never known existed. It began with learning I could pray and talk to God conversationally. As I have continued the process, I have come to believe He hears my prayers and I’ve learned to listen for his guidance. Through the good offices and encouragement of Red Ridge United Methodist Church, I’ve developed an unfailing trust in God. He always has my best interests and those of my family in mind. What peace and comfort He provides!!
When we moved here from Cincinnati, it had been decades since I was a regular attender at church. I was struck by how often I was invited to visit a church – by neighbors, by service people, by strangers in the store! This was just not a part of my thinking.
Then, 9-11 happened, and I felt the need to go to church, just to be a part of a praying community after this great tragedy had happened in our country. I had been invited to Red Ridge by a couple in the local fire department, but when I arrived at the church, they were sitting right up front! I wasn’t ready to be in front! But, I have to say that as soon as I walked into the sanctuary, the first thought that I had was, “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place!” I could just feel it! This is not a church with gold fixtures and fancy interior. It was a place of worship!
So, I sat towards the back, and a very nice lady started talking to me, asked my name, etc. Then, during the beginning of the service, the pastor came up and down the aisles looking for new people, and this lady introduced me! I was a little put-off, but felt welcomed, and included.
I came a couple of weeks, and met a few more people each time. I joined in early October of 2001, and made many friends. Now, I can’t imagine not belonging to Red Ridge – the friends I have made there have become like a family to me. I am active in Angel Dolls, Brown Bag and I sing in the choir –It is the center of my life.