Tag Archives: Finding a church

Church-Part 5

2 Oct


Judy Wills

I told Fred, while at Tyndall AFB, Florida, that he really needed to be reassigned – we had been at Tyndall for over four years, and I was beginning to put down roots – in a government duplex!  So we were expecting something in the near future.

Photo credit WJHG.com  Credit Google search

And the future brought an assignment for Fred to attend the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

Credit Google Search and Fort Leavenworth website

It was to be just a one-year study.  There were other Air Force personnel attending the school, and they also arrived in June, so they could “learn to speak Army,” as Fred told me, before they began their regular study.

We had never been to Kansas, and when I mentioned it to friends in Florida, most of them were going on about how flat and desert-like Kansas was.  So we were quite surprised to find that Fort Leavenworth was in a hilly, grassy area, and was separated from Missouri by the Missouri River.  It was a lovely area, and we enjoyed our year there.  We made several trips over the river to visit Kansas City, Missouri.  

We began looking for a church home shortly after moving into our quarters.  There were several Baptist churches there, but I only remember attending one – the one we joined.  It was Leavenworth Baptist Church.

Leavenworth Baptist Church, Leavenworth, Kansas

Credit Google Search and Leavenworth Baptist Church website

It was indeed a God-ordained decision on our part, as we became good friends with the pastor and his family.  They were close to our age, and our Janet became good friends with their daughter.  We have maintained that friendship with the pastor and his wife throughout all these years.  They have come to visit Orlando several times in the years we have lived here.

Again, Fred and I joined the choir, and the Sunday School.  Our girls seemed quite happy in their respective Sunday School classes.  It wasn’t a terribly large church, but one where we were comfortable.

The pastor, Jerry, told us that he never asked all the military in the congregation who were transferring out, to stand at the end of the Spring term.  He said he did that the first year he was pastor – and one-third of the congregation stood up!  He was so disheartened by that, that he never did it again.  He had seen God bring another one-third to the church the following Fall term, bur he just couldn’t stand to see one-third of his congregation leaving at one time!

While most of that year was a good one, there was one unhappy event as well.  Turns out that the treasurer of the church was a one-man team with the finances of the church.  Jerry, who had a wife and four children, was told often by this man, that the contributions from the congregation just weren’t enough to pay his full salary.  Eventually, it was found that this man had been embezzling from the church.  He purchased a Cadillac for himself, and other goodies.  When all this came to light, many of the purchases Jerry had made (i.e. lumber to build bookshelves for his church office) were dismissed by the merchants.  The church took the Cadillac as part re-payment and sold it for about half what he paid for it.

Consequently, after that experience, whenever Fred and I looked into joining a church, we made sure that the treasurer was a team of at least two if not three people.  I’m sure the church people we questioned, were puzzled by this question, but it satisfied us.

All that to say that the church got back on its feet, once this man left the area, with the promise to pay back all he had taken.  Jerry could feed his family again.

Better news next week……


~~~~~~~~~~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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