a year of Heritage

“This is the last weekend I will spend here in Annapolis before my departure on Tuesday morning…

…but if all goes well upon my return to Oklahoma, and the ensuing Eastward voyage back to Maryland (this time with my family in tow), it will not be the last LORD`s Day spent in fellowship with the congregation of Heritage Baptist Church of Annapolis.”

Upon the passage of this LORD`s Day, I and my family will have spent the last year in consistent fellowship with Heritage Baptist Church of Annapolis.

O, how quickly has the time come and gone! Verily, it seems only a few days hence that I first walked into the front vestibule of the sanctuary hall and was greeted by a brother with a welcoming smile and a firm handshake.

I and my family moved from Oklahoma to Maryland over the course of last Summer and one of our utmost priorities in relocating to this area, far away from our dear friends and family, was finding a local assembly of GOD`s people – that were not only dedicated to loving and ministering unto each other but also passionately committed to embodying the teachings of our LORD Jesus Christ before a watching world. In this, I am grateful to the providence of GOD for bringing us to Heritage.

From the first time I attended a Worship service at Heritage, I knew it was a place that my family could grow in the Word and find manifold avenues for the great work that is our Faith. Everything I saw and experienced confirmed this.

Whether it was the affectionate but thoroughgoing teaching found in sister Connie Golihew`s morning Bible Study, or the reverent and deeply stirring arrangements of brother Ralph Manuel`s worship music (which, I was thrilled to discover, included such elegant and traditional components as the Doxology and responsive readings).

By the time the Pastor Henry Green led us in standing for the reading of Scripture and corporate prayer, I was certainly dazzled; but it was not his rhetorical eloquence nor his obvious depth of learning that brought forth the clear evidence that Heritage was the place for I and my family… it was the people, it was the Brethren. With each week and month since first coming here in August of last year, I have come to know and love many other dear ones within the fold.

First it was dear sister-in-the-faith Frankie Morehead, who welcomed me without reservation and with such sincere affection on that very first Sunday I visited Heritage… it was the quiet and lordly manner of my friend, neighbor, and dear brother-in-the-faith Clair Morehead – renaissance man extraordinaire of everything from the arts of biology and agriculture to parenting and servant-leadership, his patient brother Clyde and all the rest of the vast Morehead clan for that matter.

It was the prayers, love, support and counsel of so many within these walls… the entire Pope clan: Pat & Connie, dear friends Zachary & Jennifer and their children whom my children so adore; my colleague Lynn Keckler and her son Timothy, in whom I have also found a deep kinship; my friends within the College & Career group and those of our Youth group as well; Everett & Connie Golihew, as well as the rest of the Golihew clan; the stalwart leadership and tender counsel of “Iron Jack” Sturgis as well as the rest of our Deacon board; Tom Antonelli; Ed Copeland; Linda Garverick; Gen. Carlton & Mary Ann Fulford; Thad & Marilyn Jackson; John & Alvilda Meyer, whose presence I miss terribly; Dub & Donna Pool; Ms. Janet`s tireless service in the Nursery; Melissa & Natalie`s unfaltering teamwork with me at the Boys & Girls Club; Cindy & Erin Busch`s standing offer to babysit and the many, many, others.

No doubt I could simply list the roster of our church`s membership to number the entirety of those whom have ministered unto the various needs of my family, but you know who you are and you know that your labors are heartily appreciated. O, I have learned so much of the depth and breadth of Christ by the radiant examples of those that are His. You are all so precious to me.

Even as we are (to put it mildly) a diverse assembly of Believers, I have always appreciated the overflowing abundance of temperance as well as candor. There are those of you whom I know to have disagreed in certain fine points of theology, philosophy, or even politics that I still enjoy and trust to engage with humility and wisdom.

Moreover, I am grateful for the pervasive atmosphere of charity with which I so often encounter dialogues (and even debate) on a variety of issues. May such a Spirit continue to abide amongst us all, especially into this coming election season.

Looking back to the year that has come and gone, I am eager to see what the next span of a dozen months will bring. I only hope to repay, in whatever humble trifles I can muster, some pittance of the blessing that being a member of Heritage Baptist Church has brought to me and my burgeoning family. Ever I remain…

…your servant in Christ,

Matthew Richard Prosser

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