How do you write the obituary of a church?

Within a few short weeks, if things follow the way things have been heading, there will be no more Faith Bible Church of the Mainland.

There are simply not enough people left to support the preacher and his family and all the other things that go together to make up a viable entity.

So the plan has been, and it probably is the best one possible, that the folks at Faith Bible merge with another, nearby Evangelical Free Church called Oak Creek, which is headquartered in League City.

And that will make a good, strong church, with our pastor going to be an associate pastor at that church.

Faith Bible, which I like to call “ the little church on the prairie,” just celebrated 30 years of existence.

I have been there all 30 years, was there when it was born, and so saying goodbye to it is a gut-wrenching experience.

On a cold January evening in 1984, a group of us walked out of a congregational meeting at another church. And that was the beginning. We agreed to meet later at the home of one of the members of the group. And we did.

Soon after that, a committee of the men, assisted by a pastor from Galveston, began designing the framework of what would be Faith Bible.

They met many, many evenings, deciding, with God’s help, how things ought to go for this budding congregation. I know what they did and what they said, because I was the one chosen to take all the notes and keep a written record.

One man, versed in legalities, was designated to get the proper state paperwork done.

They found ways to invite people to come and preach the Word of God.

They found places to meet, some of them interesting and unusual. We met in a storefront that belonged to a businessman.

For a long time, we met at Camp Good News, down the road from the parcel of land the Delanys had given us for a church.

We heard sermons from so many wonderful people, not all of whom were full-time ministers.

When we were able to call a minister, we needed a house for him, so that got built first.

And for a long time after that, we rolled out a red carpet, pulled in a little portable organ keyboard, shut the big door and held church in the garage.

Finally, with lots of help from Slone Lumber Co., we built a church. And remodeled it. And decorated it. And loved it.

Now we will say goodbye to it and move on. We will pray it is all part of God’s plan.

But I, for one, will be very sad.

Cathy Gillentine is a columnist for the Daily News and can be reached at cgillentine1@sbcglobal.net.

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