This story was shared by Karen Nichols at the College Hill Interest Meeting on Sunday, June 30; we’ve included it here because we appreciate her heart of service and wanted to share her story with everyone!
I‘m Karen Nichols, and I have worked at this [Rivermont location] as a Ministry Assistant for almost 30 years. I served under four pastors and three interim pastors at Rivermont prior to their adoption by Gospel Community Church in 2017; today, I continue to serve on the Gospel Community Rivermont (GCR) staff. I worshipped at Rivermont for 13 years and have continued to worship with GCR following the adoption.
There have been many changes on the corner of Rivermont and Bedford Avenue over the years. I have watched the worship styles change numerous times, and the number of attendees rise and fall (more than once). Sadly, in January 2017, Rivermont thought they would be closing their doors by the end of the year.
But! Through the divine intervention of the Lord, a member of the Rivermont church and GCR met on a flight from Charlotte to Lynchburg; and by October of that same year, GCR had adopted Rivermont.
This was another huge change, and it has been very exciting to see:
– the sanctuary fill again, and
– to hear children’s laughter ring through the halls, and
– just to know that God’s work continues on this corner!
When College Hill asked GCR to supply them with a pastor and to explore the possibility of partnering with Gospel Community, I once again marveled at God’s goodness.
A while back Pastor Andrew asked me if I would ever consider being a part of a church plant—and possibly at College Hill. And I was not able to stop thinking about that question. It would just pop into my mind at random times. After much consideration and prayer, and several meetings with GCR staff and meetings with Pastor Tyler, I have decided to be a part of more change by worshipping and serving at College Hill on Sunday mornings.
Why you may ask? (Many others have asked me.)
It’s because I want to see:
– the change, and
– the excitement, and
– God’s work in College Hill that I have been blessed to witness at Rivermont.
I am amazed and excited that God would allow me to be a part of His work in the College Hill community! I will be serving on the hospitality team primarily at the Connection Table. I believe that the hospitality team is there to pave a smooth road for guests to get from the front door and into the worship service where they will hear the gospel message.
It is my hope that I can be an example of the grace of God:
- There to help College Hill guests (first-time or long-time) feel welcomed and accepted
- There to help first-time guests find their way and not feel awkward
- There to help long-time guests be more deeply connected in service
It is my prayer that I will:
• be mindful that I have only one opportunity to bring a first-time guest into the fold, and
• that I will steward that opportunity well.
About the Author
Along with her husband, Tommy, Karen has been attending and serving with Gospel Community Rivermont since Gospel Community’s adoption of Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church in 2017. The proud of grandmother of two granddaughters and one grandson, Karen enjoys reading (and actually has time to do so now that her two daughters are grown).