There is a little brick church in Lake Ridge, Virginia that will forever have my heart – Lake Ridge Baptist Church (LRBC). I am no longer a member or even regularly attend. In fact, our family is very active at Reston Bible Church and we love it, but LRBC will always be my home.
There is a simple wooden cross that hangs in the sanctuary. I love that cross. I have said SO MANY prayers with my eyes on that cross.
Perhaps I consider it my home because some of my earliest memories are at LRBC. I attended pre-school at their Mother’s Day Out (MDO) program. My 19-year-old niece, Taylor, is an MDO graduate. And my five-year-old niece, Noel, is soon to be a graduate.
Or maybe it’s because my mom and I were both baptized at LRBC by beloved Pastor Ted Fuson.
While I was baptized at 11, I really didn’t understand what it meant to be a believer until Susan Spangenberg, the idealistic guitar-playing youth minister, came on the scene and showed us what it really meant to have a personal relationship with God. I ONLY made it through the angst and suffering of middle school because of the youth group at LRBC. We were a tight – knit group. Ours was the pegged jeans, mushroom bangs, Wilson-Phillips generation. And we owned it.
I married my best friend at LRBC. In my opinion, Dr. Fuson delivered the world’s best marriage sermon the day he married me and Patrick. Minutes before the ceremony, I had the opportunity to stand in the cry room in the back of the sanctuary and watch everyone that I love come together in this church – in this place that holds some of my best memories.
We said goodbye to Taylor’s father, CJ, at LRBC. That was the most gut-wrenching hour I have ever spent in that sanctuary. I could not take my eyes off that wooden cross that day.
And on Saturday, we will say goodbye (for now) to Dale Shorts, loving husband to Patrick’s mother, at LRBC-the church that will always be home.