From the Elm City, New Haven Connecticut, we took two days to make our way down to Montgomery, Alabama, where we spent a few days with Pastor & Mrs Timothy Mitchell, founding pastor of New Testament Christian Center.
Birth of a Friendship
We got to know the Mitchells through a translation opportunity. Mutual friends, missionaries Eddy & Della-Mae Kennedy, let us know that Pastor Mitchell was looking for some help translating a Bible study course for new believers that he had authored, entitled The Way More Perfectly.
Liz accepted to do the translation and so, during the months that ensued, we were in contact at regular intervals and at one point, without even planning it, the Mitchells were on a cruise that stopped for the day in Saint John, allowing us to meet in person for the first time. Following that meeting, there were a couple of times, two in particular, where the Lord prompted Bro. Mitchell to call us “just to see how things were going.” Those calls came at pivotal moments and were definitely God-moments.
The translation was completed last year, but the friendship lived on and as soon as we decided to drive to Florida, we made a point of connecting with them.
At one point in our drive, we realized that the highway we were on would take us within 10 minutes of Anderson, South Carolina (we had no idea this would be so beforehand… we just followed the GPS – nicknamed Olive for our trip) where Rev. Edward Goddard pastors a wonderful church (Sanctuary of Praise). Bro. Goddard was the pastor of Mission Point (First United Pentecostal) when Liz and I first started attending and so was an important part of our walk and growth in God.
We were able to stop in for a short visit and see the miracle church that God provided for them. So glad for even a short visit and thankful for the great example of this pastor who has been part of shaping who we are today.
After surviving heavy rain as we came through Atlanta, we arrived in Montgomery. Not only did we have the chance to worship with the Mitchells, both in the morning and evening services, but they showed us around the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement and the First Capital of the Confederacy.
As you read in my earlier post, The Power of One, the Rosa Parks Museum moved me tremendously (surprisingly so). We also visited the First White House of the Confederacy and the Alabama State Capitol (pictured at right) where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederacy.
We got a chance to visit the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site where African American servicemen had to fight to win their place, both in World War II missions and in military ranks back home.
The Civil Rights Movement is intricately woven into the American national identity and narrative, but such is not so much the case in Canada. Although we are aware of it, at varying degrees, I daresay it is not as widely understood here in all of its complexity. These two days were a humbling time as we were somewhat immersed in it.
Open Invitation to a GREAT church
If you live in, or are visiting the Montgomery area, you will find a great church in the New Testament Christian Center. They are located at 10300 US 80, Montgomery, AL, 36117 and can be reached at (334) 215-7215 (see link to their website, below).
If you are in Anderson, SC or the surrounding area… visit Sanctuary of Praise, 518 Stone Drive, Anderson S.C., 29625. You can reach the church at (864) 224-6699.
…the Sunshine State. We’ll go there on Saturday