We Found a Church Home
Testimony by Chris and Andrea
I (Chris) moved to Roanoke in 2010 following a job relocation. I had no idea where to find a Church Home, or get plugged into the community, especially since I had no family or friends in the area. I persuaded my then-girlfriend (Andrea) to also move to Roanoke the following year–she didn’t know anyone here either. We visited several churches in the Valley but failed to really connect. Some churches had good music but we didn’t feel like they really taught the Bible. Some churches taught the Bible but didn’t have many young people.
Then Andrea’s coworker told her about Christ our Redeemer. After visiting just one Sunday, we immediately felt like it was like no other church we had ever attended. It had all the important things we were looking for: Bible-centered teaching, contemporary music, young people our age, but it also had many attributes we didn’t realize at the time that we would desperately need in a Church Home. This church took the idea of Grace to a whole new level…it really seemed to live by Grace … and it was small enough that we didn’t get lost in the shuffle. People remembered our names and it was easy to make friends. It had none of the pretense we often found in other churches, and we really felt the enthusiasm of a church startup. It was exciting to be part of this Church Family who seemed to be on fire for the Lord!
Getting plugged in over the next few months was easy. The pastor and his wife had us over for lunch one day after church, and after that, we just jumped right in. We served breakfast at Samaritan’s Purse for the homeless a few times with other members. I began to serve in the Music ministry on Sundays. We found ways to use our gifts. After attending a few social events with other members we started feeling like this was really our Church Home. We attended a Membership class to learn more about their Vision, CORe values and Mission of the church–and readily became members.
Then Andrea and I got engaged! Pastor Tom was the obvious choice for premarriage counseling. In retrospect it was one of the best decisions we could have made for our marriage. He taught us among other things that “couples who prayed together, stayed together.” He always led by example. He officiated at our wedding with our family and many of our new friends in attendance. It was an awesome day!
During the next few years we got more engaged with men’s and women’s Bible studies. We both learned to walk closer to the Lord than we ever had. And the Church always had opportunities available to serve in the community. We really appreciated it when some members helped us move into our new home. Then, our lives changed forever….Andrea was pregnant! On March 19th, 2015, our baby girl was born. The church family came together to bring meals to our home when we were exhausted with our newborn. It was truly a blessing and came at a time when we really needed their help. It was incredible to enter the child-rearing phase of our lives and see many of the same friends we had come to know at Christ Our Redeemer also having children. Now we are a part of a small group that meets weekly for dinner and discussion. COR has really become our Church Family.
My relationship with God has matured so much at COR in no small part to trusting God to lead me through all these life changes, from being a single guy without much of a clue at age 28 to a father and husband and now church Deacon at age 34. Being part of a church community is an important part of our walk with Jesus. If you’re looking for a Church Home in the Roanoke Valley, please come visit Christ Our Redeemer.