WHY I ATTEND FCC - Harrell Tague
While I was growing up my father, an elder of the church, always told me the only way to heaven was through First Christian Church at 4th and Breckinridge. When they sold the church building and made plans to build a new church on our present site - Well, naturally I was concerned!
The sanctuary of the old church was like a cathedral with balconies on all four sides and a domed ceiling with a magnificent round stained-glass window in the center. Across the entire balcony above the stage and pulpit area there was choir loft seating dozens of singers, a huge organ, and massive pipes across the entire back wall. The hymns created by this combination sounded, as if, from heaven itself.
It was in this setting that I was baptized by Reverend Paul Stauffer.
Occasionally I would visit another Christian church to be with friends from school. The benediction given by the minister at that church is always in my mind at the close of our services. It has meant much to me over the years and I’d like to share it with you. "AS YOU GO OUTSIDE THESE WALLS, LEAVE HERE YOUR SORROWS AND YOUR CARES AND IN THEIR STEAD, FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE FOR THEY ARE THINE."
In reading some recent open letters "Why FCC is my church home," I find my reasons somewhat differ from others. Some said, "feeling a connection to the people and staff of this congregation." The connection I feel is a connection of the past to the future and the comfort of something unchanging and solid … a rock in the middle of sea of change. People may come and go but our faith is constant, continuing, everlasting, eternal, always there.
My profession, real estate, has been one that demands constant connection and relationships, interaction with people. It is my work. My faith, my church, is my relationship to God. When it comes to religion, I am not a people person. Please don’t misunderstand, I know, as Christians, we are on this earth to give, to share and to look after others, and I do, but for me, it comes in the form of material giving or prayer for those in need. At First Christian I can be there quietly with my thoughts, not having to interact much with other people. First Christian is a place that always accepts and readily shares with everyone. Something that stands out in my mind is: without fail at every First Christian service all are proactively encouraged to partake of Communion regardless of any relationship to our church, but on their relationship Christ.
When discussing the history of First Christian, you will hear names of people who were essential to the reputation and growth of the church, some staff, some volunteers. Names like: Bill Loader, Ralph Wilson, Faye Watson, George and Mickey Ebelene, Florence Montz, Aneita Brooks, Jo Riley, Craig Watts, Paula Bernd, Stephanie and Phil Copeland, Debbie McCune, Jeannie and Dan Ash, Charlotte and Sonny Tharp, my father Harrell N. Tague Sr. and Anna Wells Tague, my mother and more recently, Brian Gerard, Jerry McBroom, Drexel Rankin, Preston and Jane Young, Gary Fogel, Rachel Platt, Pam Platt and our President Melissa Swan. These are just a few who created the wonderfully caring personality of our church. There have been many, many others, for their omission I sincerely apologize, but at the age of 75 the fog is beginning to roll in.
Why would I not choose First Christian?!?? It serves God and Christ; It overcomes fear in a changing world; It is an organization built on love, caring and sharing. God and Jesus Christ are the mortar between the bricks.