*Thank you, Cecilia Baker, for sharing your love story with us on Day 27 of the Dear Gratitude project.*
The thing is she was not too busy to speak to a young man who had recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to take a new job after having been in the Army for two years. He was doing his laundry as well in the apartment laundromat. She struck up a conversation and said, “What is a young man like you doing his laundry on a Friday night? You should be out with your friends having a good time.”
He must have told her that he was new in town and didn’t know anyone yet. She just “happened” to go to Belmont Heights Baptist Church and decided to tell him they had a Single Young Adult department that had around 50 young professionals his age and that he might like to visit the class. Being shy, he probably wouldn’t have gone to the class without more encouragement.
It didn’t end there because she remembered his name, John Baker, and told the director of the Singles class and must have also told him the apartment number. A few weeks later John had a knock on his door, and the director, Joe Haynes, and a young man from the class were paying him a visit.
Maybe you have participated in an outreach from your church before and visited newcomers to your town or visitors to your church. Don’t ever think it’s just a minor thing to do. It can change someone’s life. These two fellows introduced themselves and told him about the class and gave him directions and the times of services, and one Sunday when he was not going back to his home in Memphis, he decided to visit.
He walked in the door of our class which was in a house adjacent to the church. I saw him right away and really didn’t get to meet him personally that day. I was disappointed when they put him in a different small group from mine.
He started coming when he was in town, and I did meet him later. The whole Singles department was planning a weekend retreat, and the week before the retreat, I summoned up my courage and asked him if he wanted to sign up to go on the retreat. He said he was thinking about it. I told him it was the last chance to sign up today, and he said he would like to go if I would ride with him! Of course I said yes.
He and I began dating after that, and the rest is history! I am so thankful for the mystery lady who I now think was heaven-sent to encourage a young man to go to church, my husband, Johnny Baker.