Watch this three minute video of the amazing and thoughtful ministry that integrates five churches to bring church to people and restore hope with essential health and safety services to address food, violence prevention, shelter, education, community outreach, and prayer:
My family's involvement with ministry at Skyway comes from a legacy of my grandma Adeline. Grandma started the ministry with other Christian leaders to create Skyway Baptist Church, which served at the location for 40 years from 1957-1997, and built the building where Freedom now serves. Grandma Adeline's legacy continues to bless me as I grew up at Skyway, and recently reconnected with Freedom with my family after 27 years:
I grew up participating with Children's Church, AWANA, special events and holidays, luncheons, choir, youth group, Sunday School, women's prayer group and partners, Vacation Bible School, weddings, funerals, nursery, graduations, anniversaries, visitations, many a sermons, and only a few pranks. I enjoyed the summer weekly prayer meetings on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
It was an era of adding one more relative or person to the pews, inviting newcomers to lunch, driving people to and from church, sleepovers with cousins, and making friends.
Through the 1960s-1970s the church expanded and built the building reminiscient of the styles of the 1960s-1970s eras, almost a blend of Modernism meets Organic Architecture makes way for Minimalism with its geometric shapes of the roofs, ceilings, and windows, and for its sympathy with the surrounding natural and neighborly environment. Thoughtful and spacious, the church enjoys plenty of natural light, exits, and human-centered gathering places.
Grandma maintained her belief that God scales ministry from small. "Do not despise the day of small beginnings" said the prophet (Zech. 4:10). That ministry is missional, and to stay means courage and boldness and neighborly love to put down roots, and serve.
Over the next 27 years, I lived life with family, friends, neighbors, and a few congregations. I studied theology, journalism, creative writing, communication, leadership and development, and organizational systems and anthropology. I served with local congregations in ecumenical ministry because partnership matters. I engaged my city with civic involvement. I started one photography business, and two consulting and coaching practices. I ordained to minister.
All the while I missed home.
I have benefited from the nest of loving instruction, a caring church family with responsive leadership, and a diverse and family-founded community, all of which has raised me to be the Christian, woman, mother, author, and minister that I am today.
The feeling of deep emotion and affectionate regard for our church family has stayed with me, and continues with our new-old church family today.
I came home. On a hot and breezy July afternoon, unexpectedly, I came home again,
This time, I drove my parents and son to the church of my youth. I caught up to what I though I had missed, but had "kept on" as Grandma would say.
My son and I felt overjoyed to rejoin our forever family to pray.
Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord! I love you, and you, too, Family!
Order Kingdom Come Series, five books on heritage theology and formation including a devotional and prayer book, to learn more how a heritage approach to the gospel can bless you and your family, congregation, ministry, seminary, and communities.
Kindly in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Dena