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In March of 1997, I returned to Anniston to care for my mother who needed me closer than an 8 hour road trip.  Dan was retiring and I could work here. I was born here, baptized as an infant, confirmed, and grew up in Anniston First.  I was surrounded by people who were committed to their faith, the community, and mission outreach.  As a teenager I attended Sumatanga with my friends where we grew together in a faith community.  Both my parents were very active in the church.  Mother taught Sunday School and Bible School, and Dad was (it seemed to me) forever the chairman of the Properties Committee which kept him often “at Church”.  Most of the important events of my young life happened in the sanctuary at Anniston First.  My faith journey started here surrounded by family and friends-- some older, some younger.  When I returned, I was impressed with the commitment of our people to a different mission, that mission being the people around us who are far less fortunate. My teaching career working with inner city children and young people makes me feel at home with John Kociaba’s Pray to Play, Shepherds Table, our partnership with New Life, Day of Service with its many missions, Prayer Warriors, the young missionaries who lived with us this summer, and of course, Camp Lee.  What a gift it has been!  And the choir! What a gift it has been to me!  When I was working at AHS, my students would often ask where I attended church.  When I answered Anniston First, they often had no recognition in their eyes, but when I said the church with The Bridge, they knew exactly where I would be on Sunday mornings.  It is a joyful thing for a church to be to be known as the church with The Bridge.

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