Frank and Barbara’s story

(Frank) “My mom played matchmaker twice without really intending to. The first time was when her family organized my grandmother’s surprise 80th birthday party in Illinois. My mom happens to be a high school friend of Barbara’s mother, who was invited and brought Barbara with her. Barbara and I hit it off and got married in 2015.”

(Barbara) “Frank moved from Wisconsin to Giles County, Tennessee, when he was ten. I moved from the Chicago suburbs to a small town here at 25. As a city girl, I experienced some culture shock. When I visited while we were dating, we would go to Nashville, so I really had no idea. When we later moved to Murfreesboro, it felt more like home.”

(Frank) “But, we didn’t have a church home in the area. We hadn’t found a place where we felt like we fit, and we decided that had to change. This is where my mom came in a second time. She heard that Tommy Ward, who is also from Giles County, was appointed the senior pastor of a Murfreesboro church, and she said to check it out. Trouble was, she didn’t know which church.”

(Barbara) “I looked online but couldn’t find a church where he was a pastor. At the same time, I was looking for a Vacation Bible School program for Katie and came across St. Mark’s. We decided to register Katie and thought, if we get there and don’t like it, we don’t have to stay. We didn’t know it, but the first day of Vacation Bible School – the first day we walked in the doors – was Tommy Ward’s first Sunday at St. Mark’s too.”

(Frank) “We walked in the building and didn’t know where to go, but people came up to welcome and help us. We came back for Sunday worship and also felt comfortable. We saw kids welcome my daughter Katie, which was another sign we were in the right place. We feel God used my mom to help direct us to St. Mark’s.”

(Barbara) “We joined within four months of our first visit. Katie was baptized the same day.”

(Katie) “I like everything about St. Mark’s. I give it a very high rating – 100%. I hope we stay here for a long time.”

(Barbara) “Besides the feeling of welcome, the sense of family is great. On the Sunday everyone was invited to bring their Bibles to dedicate them in worship, I brought the Bible that belonged to my late father. When I saw the scripture for the sermon that day was highlighted in his Bible and his all-time favorite hymn, "Be Thou My Vision," was sung to close the service, I felt reassured.  We realize no church is perfect – we’re all human – but God is great, and St. Mark’s is a good place for us.”