Growing up in a small town in Louisiana, my first connection with church or what it was about was through Granddad Jacobs. He served as an itinerant preacher at a Primitive Baptist Church. The best part of going to that little church was the beautiful A cappella music but some of the preaching made a tiny dent. Then, Dad was transferred to Lovington, New Mexico as I was entering high school. In my Sophomore year, a dear neighbor invited me to attend revival services at First Baptist. Their music was not as sweet sounding as Granddad’s but this time what the preacher said finally made sense. I made that profound decision to put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Those two words – Lord and Savior- were used by the preacher several times in his sermon. A deeper understanding of how powerful, how significant those two words were and are is overwhelming. He, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior!
I graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Science. While there, the BSU was a great motivator to get me started to dig deeper in Bible study for myself. Jimmy my husband, accepted a position with Shell Chemical in Pasadena, Texas and I started teaching school. Teaching students and adult classes through the community center was an eye-opener! South Main Baptist in Pasadena was where we started working with students and continued while at First Baptist in Slidell, Louisiana. The work with youth became a primary focus. Then Shell moved us back to Texas. Jimmy and I found Champion Forest and moved our membership with our three children, Lesli, Larry and Duane in November of 1976. There was a warm, sweet spirit that drew us to make it our church home. What a surprise that five friends from Lovington, New Mexico greeted us as they came through the fellowship line the Sunday we joined.
Charles Chambliss approached us in March and asked that since we had worked with students previously would we consider taking the 9th/10th grade class. We were eager to get involved. What a tremendous joy and challenge it has been for all the years since. The first Camp of Champions was held at a retreat near Columbus, Texas. Many camps and campers since then, all with fun memories. Mission trips – so many places with so many children at Day Camps, cooking hot dogs, converting the attic of a barn into sleeping quarters – treasured memories. It is still a vital undertaking to plan the ministry projects and training sessions for the upcoming mission trip. We worked together with students from that Sunday in March 1977 till January 2010 when the Lord called Jimmy home. There is a big difference between serving in the Student Ministry and being a part of the Christmas Spectacular doing the costumes. What a great way to serve the community. Participating in that aspect of the overall ministry has been part of my annual routine since the first Christmas program at CFBC. Many a mile of thread has been sewn into Biblical gowns and entourage costumes. Working in the Student Ministry or Worship Ministry gives me the opportunity to meet others from both sides of the campus. What a blessing and honor it is to continue working with students whether in Life Group, at camp or on Mission trips or to sew another stitch. Through these experiences I have learned so many lessons; the truths in God’s Word become so evident. Seeing how His Word is so applicable in everyday situations – now that is overwhelming!
Having been in several Baptist churches all my adult life, I have had some excellent pastors. Therefore, my expectations for the next pastor to serve CFBC are high. My heart’s desire is to see Champion Forest continue the path of sharing in our community and wherever He leads with the Good News. Under Christ’s directives, the pastor is the major player to encourage, motivate and lead the congregation. It is a major responsibility to serve on the Pulpit Committee to find the Lord’s man. I am very aware of the commitment required to serve in the workings of the committee. Drawing from personal experiences of working in committees, the necessity of harmony, consideration, communication and extensive prayer is extremely real. Lord give us wisdom, humility and discernment.