by Doug Murray
Coming into the sanctuary of Knollwood Baptist Church for the 2018 Annual Gathering of CBFNC, I was overpowered by a memory from that place forty years ago. I was a student at Wake Forest. I had my major and my career and my life planned out. Life was going according to plan and college was great.
Then I fell in with the wrong crowd…Baptist Student Union. Their faith did not insulate them from the world but kicked them right out into the midst of it. They started messing with me. I became unsure of my direction. I was really struggling. In the midst of that unrest, I found myself in the sanctuary of Knollwood on a Sunday morning. The Lord’s Supper was served, but not like I had ever seen before. We were invited to come forward to receive the bread and the cup.
I came forward and knelt before the railing with empty hands stretched out. At that moment, I happened to look up through one of the clear clerestory windows of that sanctuary. I looked up at the bare tree branches against a bright winter sky. Within me, I felt a nudge. I ate the bread. I drank the cup. And left that spot with a strange suspicion that whatever I was going through, God was in it.
I didn’t attend Knollwood very often. If I gave an offering when I was there, it wasn’t much. I didn’t serve on any committee. But I am so grateful to Knollwood for that wintry morning and for the assurance I received there that helped me to begin following a way I had never planned.
The ministry of churches to college students is like that. Students may not contribute very much to the Church at the time. At least, not yet.
Doug Murray is retired after having served as a minister in four churches from Maryland to eastern North Carolina.