A Perfect Baptist Blend
River Road Church, Baptist just sneaked up on me. I attended worship for many years before joining, and found thoughtful sermons, wonderful music, and a worship experience that spoke to me. The progressive outlook (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship affiliation) and the balanced formality of the worship service was a great mix.
I slowly became involved in committees and activities and witnessed first hand the unselfish sharing of time, talents, and treasure that characterized the membership. I was engaged in the Preschool Development Center and the Board of Administration over a number of years. The wise and careful stewardship of church resources was impressive. Including RRCB in my estate plan was a “no brainer” as I grew to appreciate the generous spirit of the friends I have made, of the caring staff I have known, and the witness of making Christianity relevant to everyday living.
I want to be sure that RRCB will be there for future generations. How about you?
Written by Mary L. Murphy
Decades of Love
We, as a young couple, were looking for a church that was right for us and our family. A neighbor suggested we check out River Road Church, Baptist, and for that we will be eternally grateful. Over the years, somewhat north of 50, we have really been blessed for that decision, having an experience far greater than our expectations.
Our formal service provides a beautiful fulfillment and makes it truly God’s House, but it is also our House. Our children were all dedicated, baptized, two married, and were members over the years. Our spiritual growth as a family has been greatly enhanced here. Being members of the Friendship Sunday School Class has been an unbelievable experience. Their commitment to helping others, their involvement in working with and leading church activities, and the special friendships they provided have been a great support system. We are proud to have been active in this group for these many years.
One of my early memories of River Road Church was not long after we joined. I walked down the aisle to affix my signature to a Bank Note supporting the finances we were seeking to build the Sanctuary. I remember thinking at the time, what happens if those who signed that Note had to pay up? Fortunately, that never happened. Today we are very proud of our church campus, but what goes on inside these walls is what is the most attractive. It is our desire to keep this education and spiritual growth available for those who follow. To this end, we firmly believe if you truly care for something, you must support and be involved in its programs.
To become a part of the Endowment Fund legacy is our next endeavor. We have made it part of our Estate Plan and would encourage others to do so to the best of their ability. This is not just for “old folks,” but rather a show of support by all for the continuing of God’s House by making a true ownership commitment.
Written by Tom & Bev Evans
Scattering the Seeds
When Ransone Hartz asked me to share my thoughts about my decision on including River Road Church in my Estate Plan, I immediately had thoughts about what this church means to me. Second, I thought about the relationship between Ransone and my late husband, Jesse Fleming, both bankers, here in the city. This was a financial as well as a biblical decision. Colossians 3: 12a, 15b, 17 says, “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved… be thankful. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Since the first Sunday of December 2009, I have been a member of River Road Church, Baptist. Even though I could not be present due to illness, Mike Clingenpeel, our pastor at that time, presented my name to this congregation for membership. I first met Mike when I was a patient at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Virginia. I even had a chance to listen to many sermons online while convalescing. My prayers changed from “Lord heal my body!” to “Lord, what is your plan for me?” In February 2010, I attended my first worship service at River Road Church. I am following God’s Plan, that is “to be his hands and feet each day.”
From my very first encounter with this congregation, I knew that I had made the right decision. I felt that I was led to River Road Church. The welcoming warmth from the congregation and the spiritual worship service experience made me feeling a sense of belonging. I quickly became very involved in the church’s community. I became a member of the Shephard Bible Study Class, and (the late) Skee Goode nominated me to the Board of Deacons. While serving my first term as a deacon, I served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Board. It was during my first three years as a deacon that I learned so much about the programs, missions, and support provided by the members and small groups within the church – and I have watched them continue and grow as I led the Board of Deacons in 2015. The Fellowship Fund managed by the Deacons supports the needs of the underserved outside the walls and members of this church. Additionally, Stephen Ministers provide loving care to those members suffering and in transition from a loss or life crisis. There is so much goodness, kindness, care, and support within the Christian hearts of this congregation. Here I was led. Currently, I am serving a second term as Deacon and training to become a Stephen Minister, following God’s plan for my life. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be a member of this church, my church, and to be the hands and feet of our Lord.
I am delighted to be able to “sow seeds” as written in Matthew 13:32: “…It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nest in its branches.” I pray that the seeds that I sow, beyond my lifetime, will declare to the present and future generations the importance of our faith and trust in God. There is a saying that my great grandmother uttered many years ago (original source unknown): “We each have drawn water from the wells we have not dug; we have sat under shades trees we did not plant.” We each have a wonderful opportunity to provide the means for River Road Church, Baptist, to have a strong and empowering ministry for generations to come. As Genesis 26:18 reminds us: “Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of Abraham his father.”
Leave something behind which is better than what you found.
Written by Gladys Fleming
Originally published in the 2017 Fall Quarterly Explorer
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, come celebrate God’s grace and generosity to River Road Church at the inaugural Grateful Hearts Banquet
Sunday, November 19, 2017, 5:30 – 7 p.m., in Fellowship Hall
With grateful hearts, the River Road Church family will gather around the table to give thanks for God’s blessings to our community of faith, and to hear about the many plans to support and grow our ministry to families in the months and years ahead. The expenses of the evening, including a three-course seated dinner prepared and served by David Napier’s White House Catering, will be funded by the Endowment. In turn, and with a generous spirit, guests are then invited to make a like contribution to the Fellowship Fund to feed the hungry and assist the poor in our community.
Please make your reservation as soon as possible, but no later than Sunday, November 12, 2017. Seating is limited and will fill up quickly. Child care, including age-appropriate meals and activities, will be provided for infants through fifth grade. (Please note child care needs with your reservation below.) Youth programming will continue as planned. We look forward to an evening of good fellowship and good food — all to further good work for God’s kingdom. Join us!