Church-Part 6A

16 Oct


Judy Wills

This English-speaking church (Grace Baptist Church, Heidelberg) had a tradition of going to one of the American resorts in Bavaria for a week’s recreation (i.e. skiing) between Christmas and New Years.  A bus was chartered, and those who wanted to go went with the group.  They went to a different resort each year.  They all stayed in the same hotel.  Some of the “after hours” was fun, as we got together for games, or just fellowship to get to know each other better.  Our family was able to go with the group to Garmisch one year,

The Patton Hotel, Garmisch, Bavaria, Germany – Photo by Fred Wills

 as well as Berchtesgaden another year.

Hotel Geiger, Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany – Photo by Fred Wills

However, since none in our family were skiers, we decided to stay home the year the group went to Chiemsee.  That was about all there was to do there.

Chiemsee castle and fountains – Bavaria, Germany – Photo by Fred Wills

As it turned out, that was a good thing.  As I mentioned earlier, the pastor was ready to rotate Stateside within the first year we were there.  And so we began to look for a new pastor.  (Our Karen and her husband, Brian, seem to remember the pastor’s name was Charles, and his wife was Pauline.  That sounds familiar to us, as well.  Glad they have such good memories!)

Since our church was away from the U.S., the process of searching for a new pastor was different.  We contacted the Baptist Seminaries and asked for references.  When we got them, we contacted the ones we thought were most agreeable to being in Europe, and asked for tapes of some of their sermons.  This was NOT a popularity contest!  We always and foremost, looked for God’s man for our body of believers.  We took the person we thought fit us the best, and worked with him.  If that one didn’t work out, for one reason or another, then we went to the next name.

We contacted a man named Greg. We were most impressed with him, and he was willing to locate to Heidelberg.  We presented his name to the congregation, and the church voted to call him as our pastor.  Greg and his family arrived during the week the church group was at Chiemsee.  Because we had not gone with the group that year, we were there to welcome the family to Germany as well as to Heidelberg.

Our new pastor, Greg and his wife, Carol – 1981 Sorry about the clarity of this photo

The church had rented an apartment for Greg and his family, and the ladies of the church had furnished and decorated it as best we could.  They were unable to bring more than the military allowed us to bring over, so they were mostly ready to just move into the apartment when they arrived.

Our family had planned to have Greg’s family come to our apartment for supper before we left on a bus trip to Paris.

The Eiffel Tower – Judy, Karen & Janet – Photo by Fred Wills – 1981

As it turned out, Greg had injured his back when he helped a German man push his car out of a snow bank, and therefore, his family was unable to come to our apartment.  So I wrapped up my big pot of spaghetti and Angel Hair pasta, picked up some lovely German bread from our favorite German bakery, and took it up the hill to them!

Greg sat at the table long enough to eat, then went back to the couch to rest.  Our Karen and their son, Brian, did the dishes together after supper.  That’s how they met, and have now been happily married for over 35 years!


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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