While the discussion is ongoing regarding the merit of the village in rearing children, my thoughts today are of how I must have gone to every church in my neighborhood. And there were many. My membership was with Mt. Zion Baptist Church that had been in Waverly for more years than I can remember and then moved to Belvedere Avenue in 1977. It was there that I grew up in the faith, learned to love the word of God, began service as an usher and became a teacher, first in Sunday School. That’s where I spent my Sundays for worship, my Wednesdays for prayer meeting and Thursdays for choir rehearsal.
But on some Sunday evenings, I went to Ebenezer Baptist Church at 23re and Guilford for their Baptist Training Union at 6 p.m. Ebenezer was also one of the churches, along with St. Paul Baptist, with which we shared Community Thanksgiving service for many years.
And on Fridays, I spent time with the young people at St. Matthews Methodist Church at 416 E. 23rd Street, just a block from Ebenezer and around the corner from my house. Marsha Cole. Willene Washington. We had the best times in study, in play, in laughter, in drama – no real drama – and in just being young faith folks together. St. Matthews was also the church cofounded by my “adopted” great grandparents, the Rev. Joshua and Elizabeth Fuller. All these people had a hand in helping me become the person I am today.
From St. Matthews Barbara Haskins, Margie Cole, Wilhelmina Harrison. From Ebenezer Gladys Smith, Lillian Booze, Myrna Tatum. From Mt. Zion, an endless list…Barbara Powell, Hattie Childs, Helen Norman…
Church mouse I might have been, but the Lord used every hand, every moment, to mold me into the woman I’ve become. And I’m grateful.