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Monday, March 16, 2015

View From This PK

Last night I could not sleep.  I was awake half the night because my mind was flooding with 40 years of memories.  

Me, Phillip, Ronald Scott and Christian

Me and My Daddy, Bishop Ronald Estep

One of our boys, Ryley Armstrong

40 years ago, my parents started Pastoring what is now Christ the King Church, USA.  I was 3 at the time.  With 4 kids in tow, they answered the call of God.  Our lives forever changed.  

We hear so many sad, awful stories from PK's about growing up amongst the church people, being always on display and everyone having an opinion of how we should behave.  But you will not hear that from me.  I loved being a PK.  I loved spending my days and nights at 410 Webb Lane, Havre de Grace Maryland.  I loved it when people came over and visiting ministry stayed in our home of 2 1/2 bedrooms, small living room, kitchen and 1 bathroom.  We all got to sleep in the living room, it was like a slumber party.  We made lots of friends, traveled a lot when Dad had to preach somewhere else.  We attended a whole bunch of services.  We made friends all over the East Coast and beyond.  

It was not always easy.  The hardest part for me was when people would leave.  That is when I felt rejected.  Even as a very young girl, I mourned when my friends families would leave the church. 

Christian, Kelcie and my Mom singing

You see, we didn't play outside sports because it interfered with Church but we had a blast playing with all the church kids in the back of the church as it was being built.  Geneva Armstrong who was a teenager at the time, would give us wheelbarrow rides.  Marvin and Sarah Jackson would take us to the park by the water and we would play for hours.  We played war and we played church, we played softball, rode bikes, roller skated in the back, my brother learned to play instruments, we sang, I was an intense red headed preacher and you were going to get saved when I preached or else (I said intense, right?).  

My Dad and Henry

Like I said, so many memories flooded my mind all night long.  People came and went.  Some moved away, some were military, some went on to be with Jesus and others left for many reasons.  Each person that passed through, touched my life in so many ways.  

What has the last 40 years meant to me...LIFE, LOVE, YOUTH, GROWTH...EVERYTHING.  You see, River of Life Tabernacle, River of Life Ministries, Life Bible Church, Christ the King Church (all the same church) has been my constant.  It's where I sang my first song, where I learned to read and write, I gave my heart to Jesus, I was filled with the Holy Ghost, I learned to memorize scripture, I had my first crush, I learned to ride a bike, I learned about giving, living, life.  It's where I said my wedding vows to the love of my life.  I dedicated my children to God, where they were baptized in freezing water.  It's the last place I saw the face of my grandparents. 

Kinda blurry, my grandparents
Bill and Virginia Webb

Bo and I at our wedding with
Gilbert (Pop Pop), Mom Mom (Alice, still alive)
and Nanny (Virginia Webb)
 It's where I taught my first lesson and where I learned about teaching.  
This Church is a part of me, who I am, who I will be. 

Nope, you won't hear me complain about being a PK. I am so thankful that 40 years ago, my parents with 4 babies in tow, answered the call.  

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