Thank you, David

by Howard Shirley on April 3, 2012

I first met David almost exactly seventeen years ago, when Betsy and I were looking for a new church. We were expecting our son soon, and wanted a place that would welcome our family and help us into this strange, new time.

I remember the flyers coming to our home and wondering, “So… is that some kind of cult?

But we went anyway, and that was that. The music was amazing, the environment was exciting and friendly, but most of all, there was David, if not at the heart of it all, pointing to the real Heart of It All, Jesus— and doing so in a way I had never heard.

Having been brought up in a church environment that placed too much emphasis on formula (even when it claimed it didn’t), David’s message of true love and true freedom in Christ resonated in my heart. Through his wisdom and guidance, I found a new understanding of just how real Christ could be in my life.

And through David’s willingness to set aside traditions in favor of new ideas and approaches that reached people where they were, right now, messy or not, I also found opportunities to serve and explore the gifts God had given me to use for Him. I will always treasure David for that, and for the friendship that he offered me. And I know that now David is where he always longed to be, and that some day I will see him in that very same place, laughing beside his Lord and mine.

Thank you, David. May God bless us all as he so blessed you.

— Howard Shirley

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