Our move to Houston had a number of priorities on our relocation list. The normal items of finding a home, establishing myself in my new job, finding a new job for my bride and of course, finding a new home church. This last item was not the lowest on our priority even though it comes last on my list.
During our visits to Houston we not only shopped for a place to live and find a house to buy in the area that we chose to be our home, I asked a lot questions about church recommendations. My list for churches that others were excited about was growing longer. Now, it was time to systematically make our visits and trust God to lead us where He wanted us to serve.
Essentials on our list for a church to call home were simple. There was doctrinal alignment. Worship vibrancy was on our list. Most importantly we wanted a church home where we would be able to love our pastor, support him and his family and be a couple that he could count on as the church moved forward.
We seemed to visit churches forever. Each time we like so much of the many very good churches in Houston. Yet, we just could not connect with our list of essentials.
Then, we met Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church. He was on Sabbatical the first time we visited HFBC. In the meantime we roamed the city visiting all of the churches that people recommended to us.
When our list ran out we heard that Pastor Gregg was back from his sabbatical. We chose to visit. We were blown away!
It is like meeting an old friend and connecting right off the bat. We met for a Dr. Pepper break, he invited us to their Christmas Celebrate and after a short decision discussion, my bride and I went forward in December 2012 and joined the church.
After years of serving as a pastor, cheering on other pastors, encouraging broken pastors, standing by the side of besieged pastors we are solidly in our Pastor’s corner and doing everything we can to honor his life and ministry. Often our friends in far away states in California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Tennessee ask how we like living in Houston. Our response always includes the great reality that we love our church and our pastor. That’s the way it should always be.
photo credit: yvonne fong photography