Tag Archives: Church the building vs the people

Church-Part 2

11 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

We left San Jose, California to go to Wiesbaden, West Germany.  Because Fred’s father was a U.S. Air Force Chaplain, and Fred had grown up attending the base Chapel wherever they were, we decided we would attend the Chapel on base but contribute our tithe to the local Baptist Church.  We had checked, before we left the States, and found a Southern Baptist Church meeting in Wiesbaden – Immanuel Baptist Church.  It was the first of what became of the European Baptist Convention (now the International Baptist Convention). We met with some of the people from that church, telling them what we wanted to do.  They seemed to think that was a strange plan – and asked us to reconsider and worship with them each Sunday.  This church had at least 200 members.  And so we began our three-year membership with that Baptist Church.  This was not the pressured appeal we had with the church in San Jose – it was just a “why don’t you give us a try” sort of thing. 

When we first met with them, they were meeting in the basement of a building at 17 Taunusstrasse.  It was not the glorious building that we envision when we think of “church” in this country.  And to get to the nursery, it was almost like going through the catacombs!  After about a year-and-a-half, the group moved our worship to another building – but not in the basement – 81 Adelheidestrasse.   I am SO glad Fred remembers these details!   As I remember, it was not actually a church building but an office building.  I began playing the piano then for that church, and so missed out on any Sunday School program they had.  I have no memory of where the Sunday School classes met.

Before we left Wiesbaden, our group, along with a German  Baptist congregation, went together to build their own building.  They together had purchased the property for the building.  We saw the plans for the building, and it was wonderful.  We wished we could be there for the building and worshiping that would take place there.

Immanuel Baptist Church – Wiesbaden, West Germany

Well, we returned Stateside after our three years in Germany, much to our sorrow.  We really loved living in Germany!  God played a trick on us as we came back.  Fred and I  had often said to each other – “if we ask the Air Force to send us to New Mexico, do you suppose they will send us to Maine?”  Well, that’s just what happened!  Fred was assigned to Loring AFB, Maine.

We found there were two Baptist churches in the local area, but only one had Southern Baptist connections.  It was a relatively small group, and they met in the Odd Fellows hall.  It was not ideal – frequently on Sunday mornings we would arrive to find there had been a beer-fest in that building the night before, and the place was in shambles!  We had to clean up everything so we could have church.  

And this is where I say again – the “church” is NOT the building – it is the “people” that make the church.  We met in that horrible place and worshiped our God together – THAT is the church!  We made some wonderful friends there – many of whom we still are in contact with after all these years.  Again, before we left, the group was planning on building a “church building” for them to meet in.  They did that very thing in the few years after we left Maine.  And again, we were only there for 13 months.  We didn’t know that at the time we arrived in Maine – we were planning on another three-year tour of duty.  Thank goodness God had other plans for us!  

WE…ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~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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