This is a Faith opinion column.
God has a funny way of opening unexpected doors that can lead to places that are familiar but at the same time unfamiliar because of the changes we’ve gone through.
I grew up in Piedmont, Alabama, just down the road from Sand Mountain, so north Alabama is my home. But when I was in my late teens, I felt the drive, the desire and even the necessity to go into ministry. So right after my 20th birthday I started working with a church just outside of Birmingham.
After a few years, my home church in Piedmont gave me an opportunity to return to north Alabama to work with them. Another three years and a major transformation in my faith later, my wife and I were off to Florida with the notion that we would never get the chance to return to north Alabama.
The work in Florida was going great. We were making friends, building relationships and getting involved in the community. Two months after our son was born, the pandemic began. My second job as a copier salesman was put on hold, and I became a stay-at-home dad during the week so my wife could continue to teach virtually.
After a year and a half of this, we knew there needed to be some kind of change, but we didn’t know what to do except to pray. What I didn’t know is that God had already begun to answer my prayer before I ever even asked. My mind can’t help but think of Jesus’s words in Matthew 6 where he encouraged his disciples by saying, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Before we even realized what we needed, God was already at work. A friend of mine and fellow minister from north Alabama was working with the North Broad Street Church of Christ, but, like me, he was praying for change as well. He reached out to me several times to ask if I would like to come to Albertville to work with North Broad. While it wasn’t his decision to make, he felt like I would fit in well with the church here.
God was opening another door for us, but it didn’t dawn on me until five months after he originally contacted me.
We prayed, we talked to friends and we consulted with our family and mentors. My wife Laura began looking for schools in the area where she could work, and I started doing research on North Broad and the Albertville area.
In June, we flew up to visit and interview with the shepherds at the church. Needless to say, we instantly fell in love.
One of our favorite things about North Broad is the people. We got our biggest taste of that on Sunday night when we all got together to play music, eat dinner and get to know each other. We all have our times when we feel like we’re in Heaven on earth; that was, and continues to be, one of those times.
Now, I’m not going to lie, when it was 75 degrees on New Year’s and snowing the next day, it made me miss Florida just a little, but my love for my new church family at the North Broad Street Church of Christ, new friends and the beauty of Sand Mountain, Alabama is worth a little uncertain weather. I’m glad that God has brought me back to here, and I look forward to getting to know this wonderful community.
Daniel Rogers is a co-minister for the North Broad Church in Albertville.