As an elementary school kid, FBNO was where I formed lifelong friendships and was the first place I remember being introduced to the Gospel outside of my home. In middle and high school, FBNO was the safe place for me to go through the way too long awkward phases. It was the place that I learned to love the Lord and my neighbor well. The church did not abandon me, but rather surrounded and encouraged me, when at age 17 I thought I had made one mistake too many to come back from.
My small group leaders took me on my first visit to LSU, which included an LSU football game, Geaux Tigers. This church walked with me into adulthood, and it was an older friend from the youth group at FBNO that invited me to be involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at LSU, which was a huge part of owning my own faith away from that of my parents.
FBNO gave me my first paid ministry position in 2012, before I would have even considered doing ministry as a vocation. I came back to FBNO with Camp in the City in the summer of 2015, and got to do a ministry that I loved, at the church that raised me.
Later that summer, when our family felt broken and defeated in grief, it was FBNO that made sure we knew who was standing behind us holding our arms up in prayer and through so many other avenues of support. Then, a few months later had any other church called about considering youth ministry, I would not have returned the phone call, but the Lord used FBNO to reach a stubborn heart, and solidify a call to ministry.
You have encouraged and supported Emily and me as we began our marriage journey, and now our parenting journey. FBNO has been more than a church home to us, it has been all things at all times, right when we needed it, and for that I am so grateful.
We won’t be strangers, especially around Mardi Gras because I need to keep my 610 Stomper jacket loose. This church family is also still caring for and supporting my Mom, and I want to say thank you for that and definitely keep it up!
FBNO has graciously agreed to ordain me to the ministry the weekend of May 16th, the weekend of my seminary graduation, so we’ll be back soon!
Again, we are so grateful for the support and prayers as we begin this next chapter of our lives in Dothan, AL.
FBNO will always be an integral part of the Gibson family!