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A bittersweet goodbye

Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 11:43 am

Here on the Northern Neck of Virginia God continues to work in glorious ways.  He is always there for us, going beyond what our prayers ask for, and even delivering solutions for our most challenging situations.
A miracle that has been unfolding that stands out for us is the blending of two diverse churches into one, for a period of more than three and a half years.  Those years have brought joy, companionship, comfort and spiritual growth to the two Heathsville churches involved: First Baptist Church and St. Stephen’s Anglican Church (recently renamed Light of Christ Anglican Church).
It began when St. Stephen’s lost a legal battle to keep their church building, and needed to find a home while the dust settled as they waited for future direction from the Lord.  It had the feeling the Jews must have had in their 40-year experience in the desert.  Several churches offered to share space, and after much prayer and discernment, it was clear that First Baptist was the right place to go. The two churches had already partnered in many activities and events, most notably sharing “Brotherhood Sundays” once a year, alternating the host facility, and so in many ways it was like going home.
On April 1, 2012, the congregation of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church moved into the parish hall (O.A. Brinkley Hall) of First Baptist Church and conducted their first service there. The men of First Baptist even rushed to complete the basement of the parish hall to provide very adequate office space, classrooms and a choir room.
In the years that followed the two congregations would often join in for breakfasts, Bible studies, outdoor picnics, Veterans Day ceremonies, and even an occasional combined church service, as they have done on Thanksgiving Eve for the last three years.

 

Read more in the August 26 edition of the Northumberland Echo.

Reverends Jeff Cerar (L) and John Fountaine (R) team preach regularly.

Reverends Jeff Cerar (L) and John Fountaine (R) team preach regularly.