When Mike and I were fresh out of graduate school, absolutely no money to our name, we moved to Nashville. What we could call “ours” you could count on the fingers of one hand: two cars, Mike’s new job at Commerce Union Bank, and a youthful exuberance and desire to make this city our home. One year later, Mike had taken a new job at HCA, I had finished my MBA, and we had set down roots - roots that were planted in Westminster soil. We joined Westminster in 1976, began teaching Sunday School, and got involved. Every Sunday we learned from Hartley Hall, were blessed by Sherwood Harvard, and embraced by the music of Hal Hopson. Robert Early organized the “new” Young Adults class from which came our entire social network.
Fast forward thirty-seven years. We have raised three children at Westminster, and together we have served four times on the Session. Mike has chaired the Budget Committee, since Dorothy Bean worked in the office. I have taught Sunday School for twenty-seven years, twenty-three of them with Frank Wade in the four-year-old class. Westminster is simply the reason and the way that Nashville became our home. Jobs and friendships come and go; children grow up; but Westminster just keeps on teaching us, blessing us, and embracing us. It grounds us on Sunday morning, preparing us for the coming week. It invades our attitudes and makes us think, second guessing those Monday-through-Saturday ideas.
What comes from Westminster has fortified our lives, since we came to Nashville. It’s more than the preachers (although they have all been brilliant), more than the music (which I consider to be the best in town), and more than the congregation (because we are a fluid bunch.) It’s that for which Westminster stands, that intangible lesson that directs our thoughts and actions, for which we are humbly thankful. Considering that our church is as much a part of our family as we ourselves are, we were happy to include Westminster in our will, out of simple gratitude for the way it has permeated our life in only good ways.