Tuesday, September 21, 2010
An Emotional Day
East Grand Baptist Church is now in a not so great part of town. As I parked my (brand new) truck I was a little anxious which was weird in itself. I never ever felt unsafe or anxious there before, why now....
East Grand is no longer East Grand Baptist Church... until I got there today I wasn't quite sure what it was/is.
As I make my way down the concrete ramp under the breezeway... you remember....to a door that now has iron bars on it... and step into the area that used to be the nursery, I smell a smell... there was always a smell down here. The nursery smell... you remember.... well it's still there. The smell of the nursery. I wander down the hall a bit and go into an office area and meet Linda White in a room where I'm sure at some point in time someone changed my diaper.
Linda is with St. Lukes United Methodist Church. I start to explain who I am and why I'm wandering around the bowels of East Grand when the first wave of emotion hits me. Big ole tears are forcing their way out my eyes before I know what hits me. Linda says... "you're a former member right"? She was so sweet. Memories.... orange drink, crackers, snow cones, baptised, singing, growing up, married... parents, aunts, uncles, friends....
Linda explained that St. Lukes bought the property and leased the sanctuary to Victory Outreach. We talked a bit more about some history of the building and stuff. Linda said that when they took possession there were boxes and boxes of stuff left and that a lot of it may still be over in the office building that they don't use. I gave her ALL my contact info and she promised that if they found any hymnals, pictures, records that she would call me.
I was actually pleasantly surprised at the condition of the building. It's in pretty good shape.
She told me that the Victory Outreach offices were up on the second floor. For us old timers, that would be the main level. So, I go find the elevator (the stairs are gated off) and head up. I find their offices in the old choir room. I talked to a very young girl who called somebody and got us the ok to show up on Sunday October 10th for our alumni reunion. I asked her if anyone was in the sanctuary and she said it was probably locked but I could check... finally found an unlocked door and pushed into the sanctuary. Remember how big it was when we were growing up?... It's still that big. And, here come the tears again.