Hydreck

Welcomed Home at First Baptist Church

When I arrived in the United States in 1992 at the age of 15, I experienced a dizzying number of changes. The pace of life in The Bronx was much faster than I was used to, and life was full of culture clashes. I had no friends yet in my new home, and that made life even more challenging and confusing.

But when I started attending First Baptist, I felt at home. The head usher, Mr. Moorehead, gave me a firm handshake and a big hug. His welcoming gestures assured me that this church was the one we had been looking for since we had arrived in the U.S. From the beginning, the Sunday School program really helped me cope with the peer pressures I faced, and I learned to find answers to life’s questions through prayers and reading the Word of God. I’m so thankful for wonderful individuals—like Dawn Clenance, my first Sunday School teacher—who catered to my family and me, and who strengthened and encouraged us in the comforting words of our Lord.

Now I like to greet people who come to First Baptist on Sunday mornings just like Mr. Moorehead once welcomed me. I feel a sense of purpose when I stand at the door and greet people.

I marvel about how God invites people of different ethnic backgrounds into this building to worship Him together as one body. Each one of us is continually being challenged to accept and love one another as commanded by our Lord. The church has been teaching and proclaiming God’s Word and displaying the good news about Jesus Christ for more than 250 years, and I am thankful that my family and I get to be a part of it.

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