Forever Changed

by sdwebs on April 4, 2012

At 10 years old, after 4 years in private Christian schools, I renounced organized religion.  I didn’t attend a church service for 20 years.  And then only because I was dating my, now, husband and his family invited us to Easter service at BCC.  Wanting to get on mom’s good side I begrudgingly went.  That experience was not what I’d expected.  I actually enjoyed it!  But we didn’t go back.  Bellevue was too far we told ourselves.  In reality our Saturday nights didn’t accommodate Sunday mornings.

Fast forward 5 years, marriage and 2 kids later, we were looking for a church to try and heard that the pastor who’d captured our attention years before had started a new church in our own backyard!  We’ve been a part of The Gathering ever since.

To have our kids experience church in a way we never did at their age has been a true blessing.  To have been fortunate enough to have had our lives intersect with what Pastor Dave and Paula created is valuable beyond measure.  I am forever changed because of them.  I no longer observe my faith in God quietly and pray alone, assuming I’d be thought of as a hypocrite because I’m not what I was taught a Christian should be.  Now I pray out loud, talk about my relationship with Christ whenever the mood strikes and confidently tell the broken that they are loved by our Savior as they are.

Thank you Pastor Dave for changing my life, for changing me.  I will never forget the things I learned from you on Sunday mornings and will share your message with others the rest of my days.


The passing of a passionate man of God is always a very sad thing for family, friends, and community. I did not know David Foster, but was moved by his words:
I love You,
I believe in You,
I am proud of You,
I need You in my life,
I am sorry I don’t tell You more,
I will not let You go.
Simple words expressing what each of us should be praying every day. I am saddened with his passing, but take comfort in the knowledge that he now sits in the presence of the Lord our God and is experiencing the joy of everlasting life. I feel joyful for David, but sadness for his family, friends, and community… My condolences to all…
Mark Richardson
First Baptist Church
Amarillo, Texas

by Mark Richardson on April 5, 2012 at 11:02 am. Reply #

I don’t really remember how I found the Gathering, I guess it really found me. It was several years ago I was going through one the hardest times in my life, a rough divorce with children involved, and I was lost and desperate for maybe the first time in my life. I was truly afraid for maybe one of the only times in my adult life. I was alone. Looking at seemingly unsurmountable obstacles in my path. I have always had faith but I was having a tough time finding it at that moment in my journey. I like many at The Gathering had tried many churches, bounced around but never found what truly felt like family, like home. The 1st time I heard Dr. Foster speak I knew this was different. I felt like here’s a guy who really get’s it, who is human and has a unique way of making you feel comfortable and his message is pure, truthful and refreshingly “non religious”. That day I began to feel the spark of something I desperately needed in my life, HOPE…

I came back & kept coming back. Every Sunday I was in town, I brought my children. I had finally found a home. My HOPE grew, balance began to come back in my life. I began to remember who I was and that God had a unique purpose for me. I lifted myself back up. Like so many of us, I truly felt that Dr. Foster was speaking directly to me. A few times it was so uncanny I thought ok, he’s got a camera in my life somehow or God has told him about what is going on in my life in particular. Many many times when Dr. Foster would be praying and say, there is someone in the room that….

I was that someone. And I felt the power of those prayers personally. I am a songwriter, and we songwriter’s are often unnoticed and under appreciated and literally starve for our art, it is part of the path we chose, but Dr. Foster seemed to always mention and honor songwriter’s with a compassion and unique understanding of what that journey was like. He lifted us up with respect. That touched me & moved me personally. Dr. Foster spoke into my life and into my heart in a way that is like no other experience I have ever had. He was the real deal in a world that has so many angles, spins, hard sells, and not so real deals he stood out like a beacon of truth. And he was that. A remarkably simple truth without all the fanfare, in a way that is probably not that much different than Jesus did. I admired him as a man & a man of God. His family and devotion to Paula and his children was an inspiration. He loved what he did, he loved his family and Christ with all his heart and found joy and passion in everything he did. As was said at his memorial he squeezed every last drop out of every day. I don’t know that I ever have or ever again will meet another like him. Another who lived life so fully and was such an amazing example of what is possible. As a man & man of God, I admire him and his legacy more than any other man I have had the honor to meet. I am so thankful that he came into my life, so very thankful. I will never forget the impact he has had on it. And can only hope to take away some of his legacy and apply it as best I can in my own life, every day and “get up, suit up, show up & do the next right thing”…

Thank you Dr. Foster for giving me HOPE, I will be forever grateful…

by Chas Sandford on April 6, 2012 at 11:03 am. Reply #

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