After having my dream of being a stay at home Mom in a picket fence scenario life implode into a volatile and scary divorce during which I was isolated and mourning the time lost with my precious three year old daughter who now was being shuffled like, and with her baggage, to and from her divorced parents homes – one morning I ran into my effervescent apartment-mate neighbor as she skipped out the door to church service. She invited me along, I declined; I’m an introvert and was a suffering introvert – the saddest kind to be. But, after watching her blossom (and she had her own struggles), one day I bravely accompanied her and in the original modulars heard Pastor Kent speak. I’d never heard a sermon spoken such as his as my religious background was nonexistent with my immediate family and minimal with my distant Southern Baptist and Methodist families who could be quite strict and scary in their religious fervor. That sermon by Kent that changed my life and gave me a church home was over 18 years ago.
I remember when we were first informed that Pastor Mike was to join the church – I was devastated. I’d finally found a Pastor in Kent who spoke truthfully and down to earth and I couldn’t conceive a new pastor could come near Kent’s (to me) lofty reverence (now Kent, I know you well and you’re not allowed to shoot “I’ve won” glances at Mike). Pastor Mike had a skeptical believer to contend with in me. Now, I cannot imagine Oak Hills without the dynamic duo of Pastors Kent and Mike and I hope that each know how very precious they are to me for so many personal reasons.
I also enjoyed cleaning the church with girlfriends and how priceless a time it was to serve humbly and feel God’s quiet constant presence even when the chairs only held the remembrance of congregants.
And as if that wasn’t enough to have moored me to OHC, years later, in a story too long to tell, God brought me together with my husband, Rob, in a most marvelously romantic and God led journey that we’ve been on now for over 10 years and that journey, in providence sustained in part by Pastor Mike’s astute and gently pastoring of us whenever needed.
I cannot say enough about the part that OHC has played in my life, the journey, the staff, so steadfast, humble in Christ and giving of their time and love to each of us in our personal ways.
My blessings and thanks eternally to OHC, and for Pastors Mike and Kent – a parting gift. J
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