Sunday was the last service at the Granny White Pike building for Otter Creek. I’d have to say it was one of the most emotional services that I’ve ever attended. I’ve only been attending OC for two and a half years now, but it feels much longer than that. While I was attending Lipscomb, I had trouble making friends. Despite my love of performing, college has brought about the realization that I’m somewhat of an introvert. I don’t make friends very easily, maybe because of my constant struggle with self esteem. Regardless, through the lonely times at Lipscomb, Otter Creek was always a refuge for me. That building became a place of comfort. Sunday morning worship was the highlight of my week, and the church, and the few relationships that I built were ones that encouraged me, and kept me from missing home too much. No matter how down I might have been after a Saturday night spent alone in my dorm room, when I walked in the doors on Sunday morning, I forgot about whatever had been getting me down. I knew I’d see BST’s smiling face, and get a bear hug (he gave me a bear hug the second time we met actually, which was a little awkward) and Tim’s preaching was always an encouragement, even through his angry period. I had my pitiful crush on the unreachable Amanda McKinney now Vickers, who became a big sister to me and gave me some much needed encouragement through emails. All those feelings kinda are wrapped together with that sanctuary, but they will come with me.
I remember the sunday before Labor Day, 2004, as soon as service was over, getting a phone call from my dad that my grandmother had died that morning. I was standing in the second row middle section, thinking about where I was headed to eat and the phone rang and I just knew what was happening. That’s a memory from the building that I will never forget.
But back to the service. I know I haven’t had the memories that many have had in that building, but Sunday morning, I could feel them. I could feel the excitement, the sadness, the nostalgia, the memories. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of. It was wonderful to walk through the history of such and amazing church, one that has drastically affected my life in so many positive ways. It was so refreshing to hear John Rucker, in his 80s, admit his humanity to a church he’s attended nearly his whole life. It was amazing and surreal.
However, I am excited about this new building. I’m excited about the great things that OC will be able to accomplish for the Kingdom at its new location. I’m excited about the fact that this new building hopefully will be the building where my family is born and raised, and where I’ll get to see my future children grow and learn about Christ. I’m also excited about only one service and 45 extra minutes of sleep on praise team mornings.
I praise God for Otter Creek and all that its doing and will do for the cause of Christ!