My First Church

By Ralphine Major

Across the region, there are many churches named Fairview Baptist.  The one shown here is in Corryton, Tennessee, at the intersection of Fairview Road, Emory Road, and Thompson School Road near Harbison’s Crossroads.  It was my first church.

This traditional building was the new sanctuary built in the early sixties, and the old sanctuary was remodeled into a fellowship hall.  The building is a far cry from the huge complex structure today.  My parents were members at Fairview before I was born.  I was saved and baptized in the baptistry of the new sanctuary.

Growing up in a small, rural church provided lots of opportunities for growth and leadership.  As a teenager, I was asked to be the church organist.  When I graduated from The University of Tennessee, the choir gave me a surprise party after Sunday night worship.  I still have the money tree they stuffed with dollar bills.  Our choir director, the late Jeff Knisley, and his family gave me the “tree.”  It was made of beautiful pink blooms and came from their days serving in the military in Okinawa, Japan.  It is a treasure!  The church on the hill is still a reminder of Vacation Bible Schools, Sunday School and Training Union, Wednesday night prayer meetings and choir practices, Saturday morning visitations on the church bus, and youth group mission trips.  It was the place where we celebrated our parents’ 25th Wedding Anniversary on a snowy Sunday afternoon.  It is a place that brings back fond memories of Christmas programs and everyone singing the beloved Christmas carols.  As we celebrate Christmas this year, may you be blessed with all the great traditions honoring Jesus, the Christ Child, and Prince of Peace.

Words of Faith: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:12 (KJV).

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