I've overcome some tough times. I learned a lesson about how that happens and endurance and standing together when I was a child. Where? from my church family. When I was 13 on a morning before I went to school there was a ring of the phone. You know the old fashioned loud ring of a land line. I remember not wanting to go to school because I was so sad to learn that my church had been burned by arson. Three churches in our town were set fire, the First Baptist Church had the worst damage and the sanctuary and fellowship hall were a total loss. The "annex" that had the offices survived and is still in use today as a youth space.
Yesterday my church turned 200 years old. And that lesson I learned as a child was that a church isn't a building. That led me to know that a house isn't a home. It was the early 80s before we were back in a sanctuary on this same site. For a few years I attended church in my old grammar school auditorium. On a cool spring morning we "my church family" walked down the street from that school house to our new building. But in those years of coming together with my church family in a school house I came to know that "church" is fellowship and worship in any place where people come together to worship God. I have kept that in my heart for many years.
I have attended church here for more than half a century.... 25% of it's life. I have taught children on Sunday mornings for 26 of those years. I am so thankful for both my faith and my church. God is good and has blessed my life greatly.