Happy Birthday Woodland Heights!

For the past few days, I've been thinking, "June 7. Why is June 7 important? Something happened on June 7. What WAS it??"

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out whose birthday or anniversary I was about to miss (not that I've done too well with keeping up with those in the past few years, anyway, but at least I like to *know* which ones I'm missing. ;-))

Yesterday I kept thinking all day..."What on earth is June 7? Or is it June 6? Maybe whatever *it* is is actually today, and I'm already missing it."

Finally, this morning, just before I was ready for the men in white coats to come get me, I figured it out.

June 7, 1987, was Constitution Sunday for "the new church", now known as Woodland Heights Baptist, in Conway. We had planned and prepared for the day for weeks, worked on special choir music (which was exciting, as we hadn't even had a *choir* so far, due to having no building.) It isn't every day you get to be a charter member of a new church (especially one starting out with 200 members! :)), and this was going to be an event to remember forever.

And I was actually right on both counts. June 6 *and* June 7 were memorable days. On June *6*, 1987, I came down with the chicken pox. Yep. The chicken pox. I was 18 years old, and had been exposed a million times, to the point that we all thought I was immune. Um...no. My brother had had them for two weeks, and the first day he was able to get out, we went to Little Rock to shop and go to the zoo. We were at War Memorial Park enjoying the beautiful day, when I began to feel funny. *REALLY* funny. My head was feeling really strange. My dad said, "I think you are coming down with chicken pox." I remember my reply as though it were yesterday:

"No, I can't be coming down with the chicken pox. If I have the chicken pox I will miss Constitution Day, and I CAN'T miss Constitution Day. I must have a brain tumor."

I wasn't joking. A brain tumor was not contagious, therefore there would be no need for me to miss Constitution Day. Chicken Pox, at that point, was the worst *possible* diagnosis I could have.

We arrived home an hour or so later, and sure enough, there were a few telltale spots peeking out. By that evening, there was no doubt. I cried myself to sleep over the fact that everyone would be going to Constitution Day without me, and then spent the next few days practically delirious with fever and severe itching.

Constitution Day went on without me, and I was declared a charter member despite my unplanned absence. Those early days of seeing God start a new church from scratch and bless it abundantly were a tremendous period of growth in my own life. I spent five wonderful years there until I moved to Fort Smith after college, and no matter how long I am gone, it will always be part of *home* to me.

I had hoped to post some pictures today of the early days of WHBC, but I haven't had time to locate and scan them. Maybe I'll get to do that before we leave for camp. In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Woodland Heights!!


Gaye said...

Hey Jennifer,
I think that a few months before that was the first time I met you! Has it really been THAT long ago?

Jennifer said...

I think you're right! How funny. *That* was a memorable trip...getting stranded in the blizzard in Limon, CO! I think those ski trip pictures are somewhere in the same vicinity as my WHBC pics....I may have to post a few of those, too. :)

Does that mean we are getting old?? Hmmm...no, surely not us. ;-)