Presbyterians have a special place in my heart

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It was like reliving a special time in my life on a recent Sunday morning as I stepped through the front doors of Salem Presbyterian Church.

In honor of its 200 years of existence, the church held a special service and invited me to come and take pictures of the day.

Although I am not a member any longer, the memories I have of growing up in that building will ensure that it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only did my family attend the church when I was born, it is also where I was baptized, where I went to Sunday school every week, where I attended preschool (with Miss Julie McFadden), where I met my first best friend (Molly Huey Kelly) where I took confirmation and where I always knew I could return when home on the weekends during college.

To go back and see all the wonderful people who helped raise me and to remember those who are no longer with us, it was just something special.

I enjoyed reminicising about Ed and Elinor DeJean, Fred and Carolyn Fultz, Jess and Barb Helsel, Helen Roberson, Johanna Gili, Jinny Scifres, the list goes on. I loved seeing Pat Parkey, my sweet friend and old neighbor Alice McGinnis, Bill and Kathy Peterson and of course the many other members that I see around town daily.

It brought joy to my heart to see my girls sitting with my parents and enjoying the service. Getting to hear from four generations of Salem Presbyterian members was pretty awesome, too. Carolyn Haag, David Beck, Tom McQuiddy and Rachel Fisher all did a wonderful job, but Tom’s speech got the tears flowing for me.

He talked about the days of children’s church, how his grandmother (Johanna Gili) always ran into church 15 minutes late, our church picnics at Camp Pyoca and many more. Those are the days I remember and miss. The people, the faces, the smells, the feelings, it all came back in those few minutes.

Life is so short and so precious. I’m blessed that I grew up in such a loving church family with so many amazing community members. I’m thankful for the roles they all played in making me who I am today.

It was fun to take a trip down memory lane with everyone. Happy 200 (or 201) years Salem Presbyterian Church. Thank you for the role you played in my life.

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