Grace Point Testimonies
|Mildred Nibeck||Bottcher Family||Pam Harris||Patty Frank|
|Judy Hidy||Bob Campbell||Harriet Towner||Jerry Overstreet|
Ralph and I depended so much on the friends in our church community for prayers and many acts of support when we were coping with the drastic changes in our lives. We couldn't have "made it" without family and many friends at Grace Point Baptist Church!
-- Mildred Nibeck
The Bottcher Family
When we moved to Kansas City in 2001, we had a lot of adjustments to make. We left Shelly’s home town, family and church.
Shelly was working during the week, part time, and then working on Friday & Saturday nights from 7 PM to 7:30 AM. We didn’t go out and try to find a church because we couldn’t go as a family. We always knew that something was missing.
Both Emmaly and Evan went to Warford School. They were able to enjoy the Warford Elementary After-School Bible Club that Grace Point provided. Owen Knapp asked Evan to come watch him in a Christmas program. (We had been to other churches to visit but never felt comfortable.) So, we all came to visit church. Shelly was working every other Sunday at the time, but Dave and the kids would go to church without her. One Sunday they went and when Shelly got home, Dave said that we would probably be getting a call from the church because he filled out that we were interested in joining.
Shelly had to ask about Dave being willing to go through Baptism since he had always been a Lutheran.
Two years ago Easter Sunday, Dave, Emmaly & Evan got baptized at the same time. We all enjoy our Sunday School classes. Dave drives the church van every other Sunday and Evan always wants to go along, too. Shelly & Emmaly help out in the nursery and both Emmaly and Evan enjoy youth groups on Wednesday. It really means a lot to us when church members are willing to help us get the kids to church sometimes on Wednesday night and home.
We guess that being part of a church community is being a part of another “family” that you enjoy special times with and that help you grow in Christ.
We feel blessed to be part of this family!!!
-- The Bottchers: Dave, Shelly, Emmaly & Evan
It’s a very unusual time in my life. I am without a job and a home of my own in Kansas City. Although the job search has proven to be difficult, cold, and uninviting, the spirit of Christ at Grace Point is full of love, fellowship, and genuinely inviting. Any church can claim their church as a community; however, Grace Point puts into action the services that are essential for cultivating Christianity.
baptism (as was my experience),
responding to the needs of our local neighborhoods,
being educated on the bible,
rejoicing in the Lord with singing and worship
our church serves very much as a community in these deliverables. As a new member, I am only beginning to see just how deep our church community runs.
Our church community has proven to be a very important beacon of light for me. It showed me that God’s love can and will sustain me in this transitional period.
-- Pam Harris
I remember when we got the news that we were getting a baby for adoption! The church put on a baby shower in less than a week, church wide, lunch provided and everyone felt that Drew was all theirs too. It was if the entire church had adopted this one little baby since we had been waiting so long. At 21 years old, I think Drew still thinks of the entire church as parents and Grace Point is still home.
-- Patty Frank
The community of believers is the only real sense of community I have ever experienced.
My family was all unchurched when I was a small child... parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts & uncles.... None claimed religious denominations, none went to church, none discussed religion, none prayed...that I knew of. I heard the names, God and Jesus, but not in reverence.
The only neighborhood names I remember from my early childhood were the new next door neighbors who invited my family to church. I was in kindergarten, 5 years old, when Lottie Barnett, invited my mother to visit something at GPBC (then Swope Park Baptist). Lottie suggested bringing me along for a Sunbeam class. The Sunbeam teacher was Mattie Summerskill. It was my very first time to be inside a church. Lottie & Mattie would still be a familiar name to a few of the old timers of GPBC. No other names stand out in my mind from those early days like those three who brought about my earliest introduction to Jesus. Later it would be George Cooper. He visited my home at my request, and during his time there he led my father to the Lord. What a glorious experience for me to have witnessed! As far as I knew, my father had never been inside a church, let alone been personally witnessed to by an amazing Christian man like George. George was my SS teacher at age 9, and had me convinced I could help God save the world by inviting lost family and friends into the community of believers. At age 9 my mother and I were baptized together.
Next it would be Erna and Oscar Faas who would take me under wing. Erna was my SS teacher. She and Oscar insisted I sit with them during church, because when we "walk in" neighborhood children sat together, it could get disruptive. My mother occasionally went to church, but not regularly. Sunday School, church, and the attention of the Faases became the highlight of my week, as was the children's choir that I had joined. SPBC was a neighborhood church, so several of us walked to the choir practice after school.
My husband and my children were all baptized at SPBC (Grace Point). I've seen this Christian community spirit reach out and embrace all of my family, and many friends, over the years. The outpouring of love, prayer support, & Godly advice has touched my life through the community of believers many times over the years, and I'm sure will continue to do so. I only hope I have touched others from time to time as deeply as I've been touched by this community. I can't say enough for what it means to spend time together with like-minded Christian friends in God's house. It assures us that the "real world" is really not of this world, and that is such a blessed assurance.
I believe that I might still be lost if a few in that community of believers hadn't gone out of their way to reach out, in Christ's love, and befriend a child.
-- Judy Hidy_________________________________________
Bob Campbell’s Christian Conversion
[Bob and his wife, Lolly, raised their family in Grace Point. Both Bob and Lolly have been active in the church since the late 1950’s. They have given their time, talent and money for the support of the Lord’s work through this church and are considered two of the great pillars of the church, in terms of member leadership and service. kgc]
My brother Bill and I were twins, the sons of George and Nettie Campbell born on July 15, 1925. My parents were both from Arkansas. They had very little religion. I believe the reason for that is the preacher in those days would travel through town. Some of them were shysters and they would take advantage of the people and take their money. So, my parents probably did not have a very high regard for preachers or religion.
We moved to Texas. Bob Calbath a retired gold miner lived on our street. He had a grandson our age that was a terrible troublemaker. His parents left him at his grandparent’s house to straighten him out. Mr. Calbath hoped if the trouble-making grandson went to church it would help so they insisted he go to church. But he would only go if the Campbell twins would go too.
We didn’t go to church either but because Mr. Calbath invited us, we went.
Mr. Calbath came almost every Sunday to drive us to Sunday School. For the first time in our lives at 12 years old we were taught the Bible, that God loved us and that we could become Christians by following Jesus and accepting his death on the cross for our sin. We had very good teachers that taught us and helped us grow.
There was a revival (a series of evening meetings at church with lots of singing and preaching) and my mother made a decision at one of those meetings to become a Christian. Later the preacher and his wife visited our home. They talked to Bill and me separately, laying out the plan of salvation: that all people have done wrong; that we must turn from living the wrong way; believe that Jesus died on the cross to take the penalty of our wrongs; that Jesus rose from the dead; and we could live with complete confidence and trust that God had accepted us as his children. My brother and I both made the decision to become Christians that day. We prayed a simple prayer, something like this: “God, thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sin. I do not want to live as a sinner anymore. Please forgive me. I trust you to forgive me and make me right with you. I commit myself to follow Jesus and seek to live as he wants from this day forward.”
My dad was the driver of our family car, and since he did not go to church, my brother and I did not go unless Mr. Calbath drove us. He could barely see. He was legally blind, so he used the sound of the tires on the gravel on the right shoulder to help him stay on the road. God watched over us.
I love God and his son Jesus. My wife and children are Christians too. I have now been a Christian for about 70 years. Because of my commitment to follow Jesus I know that when I die I will go to heaven. God has been with me and helped me so many times throughout my life. I wish every one knew Him; it was the best decision I have ever made.
“I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the ripe old age of 81 years. I never realized how important it would be to me! Life took on a whole new meaning. [Grace Point Baptist Church is the only church Harriet has ever been a member of and the church she was baptized in and joined following her conversion.] What great opportunity to be able to continue to learn by attending Sunday School, church services, and associating with lovely, warm-hearted, friendly people. God wants you to be protected, so believe and have faith.”
Harriet Towner, almost 87 years “New”
Quick background. I had a great childhood, a barefoot Florida boy with his dog and a small town life to make Mark Twain jealous. From that I went to being a hot shot high school athlete and then on to college with a football scholarship. ---Life was great. I had me, I didn’t need Jesus.
Life got even better one weekend when I came home from school and saw the most beautiful girl in the world at Church. In a small town in those days everybody had to go to church. But no one would introduce me to her, so I found out who she was and that she had just moved to Kissimmee with her parents to help her ailing grandmother. And-----she lived right across the street from my folks. So I went across the street and introduced myself to her and, as they say, the rest is history. What did I need Jesus for?
How wonderful life was. I was married to the girl of my dreams, had three wonderful children and had worked up to having my own construction business. Jerry was the ultimate hot shot. He could do no wrong. The world was mine for the taking. I took the family to church only because it was good business and the “thing to do”, so I still didn’t need God in my life.
BOY, WAS I WRONG!!!!
I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought and ultimately lost everything - the house---the car---the business---everything--- and I owed the bank a ton of money. And, there were no jobs waiting for me to grab. Sunny had to go to Miami with the kids to stay with her folks while I tried to find a job and get rid of everything. God had taken me down to nothing so he could start molding me from scratch. I couldn’t go any lower.
This is where God took over, although it was several years before I fully realized it. No one was hiring, so I went to Miami for a weekend to be with the family and while there on Sunday I got a call from an old friend who wanted to know if I was available for a job. He arranged for me to meet a man that noon and he hired me on the spot as a construction project manager. There is a saying that goes, “never say never”, right? Now, I always said that there were three places I would never live, Chicago, New York and Detroit. So guess where my new job was ------- Detroit.
Don’t ever tell me that God doesn’t God have a sense of humor.
We were in Detroit for about a year and a half when I was transferred to Atlanta. He took me the long way around from Florida through Detroit to Clarkston, Georgia, but that is where God was taking me to bring my long trip over several years to a climax.
In Clarkston one weekend we attended a Lay Witness Mission which was conducted by a group of lay people from all over Georgia. I was taken back by the Christian love exhibited by these folks, although at first I wondered what kind of people these were that the men hugged each other but shook hands with the women. That weekend I finally accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.