Each church has a story and an impact on my life. I hope to tell each story here eventually. The header photo above is Vacation Bible School Immanuel Baptist Church, El Dorado, AR 1953. I’m near top center, head of table holding Bible, age 12 soon to be 13.
My simple start here is to list churches from current back to the earliest known. I hope to add the details later:
2015 to present – When I attend church it is usually Iglesia Biblica, a semi-charismatic Evangelical Church within walking distance in Atenas. I have also attended the main Catholic Church and like their worship service much better but that is all. I do not yet feel at home in any church here, and thus do not usually attend. Too many of the Americans here in the English-speaking Wednesday night Fellowship are right-wing Republicans who voted for Trump and send their kids to Liberty University which I consider a fake representative of Christianity. See the separate page titled My Evangelical/Political Disclaimer. Maybe now for prayer or meditation I prefer to go sit in the Catholic Church or spend more time in the forests of Costa Rica.
1990 to 2014 – First Baptist Church Nashville – Website (At this time I remain a member there though living in Costa Rica. I have not found a church that I am ready to join here. More on that in another article.)
2000-2002 – As a member FBC Nashville I attended Glory Baptist, The Gambia – My Photos, 2000-2002 – 2013 School Article – 2011 AllAfrica.com Article – 09 The Point Article – 08 The Point Article – Facebook Page (Must Friend to read)
1981 – 1990 – Judson Baptist Church, Nashville – Website
1979 – 1981 – Belmont Heights Baptist Church, Nashville – Youth Minister – Website
1978 – 1979 – Harpeth Heights Baptist Church, Nashville – Min. of Education – Website
1977 – 1978 – First Baptist Donelson, Nashville, TN – Website
1975 – 1977 – Bethany Baptist Church, Dallas, TX – Min. of Education & Administration – Website
1969 – 1975 – Second Baptist Church, Memphis, TN – Volunteer Youth Worker – Website
1967 – 1969 – Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dallas, TX – Youth Minister – Website
1965 – 1967 – Miami Springs Baptist Church, Miami, FL – Jr. & Youth Minister – Website
1962 – 1965 – Beverly Hills Baptist Church, Dallas, TX – Jr. & Youth Minister —Church Burns Down in 2016: Oak Cliff Advocate Article; Channel 5 NBC News; Book on partial history; NOTE that I was there just before it became a charismatic church with glossolalia and healing. See my story on being healed there and why some say I was the first person healed at Beverly Hills Church.
1961 – 1962 – Chidester Baptist Church, Chidester, AR – Pastor — Ordained to the ministry here.
1960 – 1961 – Third Street Baptist, Arkadelphia, AR – Volunteer Youth Minister – Website
1960-1961 – First Baptist, Arkadelphia, AR -Volunteer youth work, Website
1958 – 1960 – First Baptist, Norman, OK – Website — Licensed to preach here and active in Baptist Student Union at OU
1955 – 1958 – Calvary Baptist Church, Tulsa, OK -My 3 years in high school, Website
1947 – 1955 – Immanuel Baptist Church, El Dorado, AR – Website — Baptized here.
1946 – 1947 – First Baptist Church, Camden, AR – Website
1940 – 1946 – I don’t remember any church before Camden
NOTE: Having gone through the websites of all these churches, not one of them is the same as when I attended except maybe FBC Nashville and even that is changing. I have also changed and in most cases differently than these churches have change. In their eyes some will say I am more “liberal” which is a label along with “conservative” that I do not like. I consider myself now more “Christ-centered” in my faith and is what I am still looking for in a church. During my 3 years in The Gambia, a majority Muslim country, I called myself “a follower of Jesus” which is highly respected even among Muslims. The labels of “Baptist,” “Evangelical” or even “Christian” is not respected because of the sometimes ugly behavior of people with those labels. Following Christ is not necessarily easy anywhere in the world today.
“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.”
― Kiran Desai