One of our assignments is to attend a church (or other religious congregation) of our choice for the duration of the block. One of the churches that our professor said could be interesting was Grace Baptist Church, a fundamental church that interprets the King James’s Bible literally. This is the one I chose. I knew they were going to try and “save” me. Representatives from the church have been charged with a Colorado felony for baptizing children without their parents’ permission and have been know to proselytize to young children.
A classmate and I went to a service last Sunday morning. The second we walked through the doors we were warmly greeted, but also recognized as outsiders, or newcomers. They lady that welcomed us asked us to fill out a visitor card giving our name, how we heard about the church, and our phone numbers. The church was under construction so we were introduced to another woman who showed us where the service would be held. My classmate and I sat down towards the back hoping not to stick out too much. After only a few minutes, the lady who showed us where to sit brought over a girl our age and introduced us all. The girl was in the choir, so we would be singing at the opening of the service but would then come and sit with us “so we didn’t have to feel alone.”
My classmate were waiting for the service to start when the pastor came over, introduced himself, and welcomed us. A few other members of the congregation did the same. There was no way we were going to blend in.
The service started with contemporary music and the congregation was pretty animated, interjecting “Amens’” after certain lines. After a few songs and readings the pastor came to the pulpit. He held all the visitor cards in his hands. He called us out by name (along with another young couple) and asked the congregation to come welcome us. The majority of the congregation then came and introduced themselves to us and shook our hands. This is also when the young women we had met earlier came back to sit with us.
The sermon was very animated and involved many personal stories from the pastor. He talked about the variety of the religious opinions in the world, but stressed to always come back to the literal words in the bible. The sermon was about asking God to cleanse you of your sins in order to reach salvation. The young women sitting with us had her own bible with the verses cited highlighted.
After the sermon the pastor asked us to close our eyes and those who wanted to be saved to please come forward. One young woman was saved on Sunday. During the closing of the service, the young woman sitting with me asked if I anyone had ever shown me in the bible how I could be saved. I said no. She then asked if she could show me. I said maybe another time. She said she didn’t want to rush me, but she would be happy to show me whenever I felt ready; she said it was the most important thing I would ever know. She then gave me the church’s business card and told me to call if I ever needed anything. We said our goodbyes, and she said she hoped I would come back next week.