Well, as most of you know by now, our youth pastor, and my good friend, has been called to further God’s ministry in the town of Birmingham Alabama. Words can’t express the type of amazing relationship I have been able to develop over the last six years with him. When I first came into ONEWAY, a youth group of thirty, when I was fourteen, I knew only one person. I sat in the back of the room and wondered “why on earth am I here! I’m never coming back!”. However to look at me know and how far I have come is truly amazing! In just seven years I have gone from knowing no one in the Youth Group to being the Production Director in charge of several amazing volunteers running media for a youth group of over 160 members! The first real memory I have of really feeling like I belonged in ONEWAY was on a Wednesday night, at the Old Youth House many years ago. Back then we had this tradition, a tradition where Scott would hand the microphone to someone in the audience and ask them to close out service in prayer. Now this was back in the days when I still didn’t know a lot of people, and I will admit I was one of the people who pretended like I was in deep thought and never made eye contact with Scott at the end of service knowing that time was coming! However this night, somehow, he decided to call on me to close in prayer! As nervous as I was I have to say that it was then that I felt like a truly belonged at ONEWAY (Scott, I’ve never told you this :).
I also still remember the phone call that began my entire video and production career. It was a Tuesday afternoon and Scott called me and asked me to be at Church early on Wednesday to help with Casey and J. (For those of you younger than about 10th grade you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but they were old school video announcements). I thought that I was going to be in the video, maybe a “co-host” or special guest. Oh no, when I arrived Scott stuck a camera in my hand and said “film” (ok, maybe a few more words than that). Now remember at this time I had no video experience, no production experience no anything! I’ll never know what led Scott to call me for that position. However that one night turned into six years of being in Production for ONEWAY (I don’t believe I ever sat in the audience during another ONEWAY Service!) Not only did this phone call trigger my time as Production Director for ONEWAY, but it started a chain of events that has led me to where I am today! So Thank You Scott for that Phone Call :).
However our friendship extends far beyond the walls of the ONEWAY Sanctuary. He is always there when I call him, always listens (ok, he at least pretends like he is listening haha) and is always interested in what is going on with my life outside of running the media department. I can remember the MANY trips I have taken with him and the group and the amazing times we have had. The first major trip was to San Antonio for National Teen Talent. Now this was right after I had become “Production Director” for ONEWAY, so I still didn’t know the ropes. However Scott let me tag along on the trip to make a video documentary. Upon arriving we had been upgraded to Suites in the hotel. The suite included a King Size bed and a fold out. Guess who got stuck on the Fold Out? Jared Green and I! And on the King Size? Josh Underwood and Scott! (Those of you who know all of us this will be very comical!)
I think I could go on and on with stories about us, from short trips to Mama Smith’s house in Alabama to trips to Indianapolis and Mexico! However I won’t bore all of you who don’t know us with those.
Thank you! You will never know how huge of an impact you have had on my life! I’m not the type of person to come up to you and tell you all of this but you are amazing! I will admit we have had our times of “anger” with each other, but we have never let it come between our friendship. You have always been there for me, and at least pretended to listen to my endless stories of video, football and school (Ok, you’ve done a pretty good job :). I have really missed getting to do our Thursday Pizza Hut runs the last two years and spending countless hours at the offices coming up with crazy ideas. You are going to be an amazing Pastor in Birmingham and the lives you are going to touch will be enormous! However, this in no way means the end of our Friendship! I will be coming to Birmingham quite often to visit and expect you to visit me as well! This thanks extends not only to you but to your entire family. Holly is an amazing Youth Mom ;), from her wonderful talks such as on Date Nights, her countless hours spent decorating the Youth Rooms and yes, even the countless hours spent riding behind her in the car on the way to Panama City beach and Myrtle Beach (oh and Holly, I remember the beeping power converter you didn’t care for to much!!). Of course there is Kaden. Unfortunately I haven’t got to spend as much time with him as I would have liked to over the last year, but hopefully I will get to see him enough down the road so he’ll remember me!. He is going to be an awesome kid and hopefully the next Media Director for your new group. And who can forget Mama Smith, Mr. Smith, Julie, Mitch, Cindy, Jada, Grant and Anna! They are amazing and I consider them my second family! Mrs. Smith’s hospitality and friendship whenever I would have the privilege to visit where awesome! The shrimp I will not soon forget (and hopefully won’t have to!). I could go on and on so I’ll draw it to a close (for now). I hope that your new church realizes what an amazing person they are getting! You will be able to do so much there and be a blessing to so many lives! Of course I will always be close by to lend a helping hand to your Media team. Training, leadership tips whatever you need! And you are always invited to come visit me at Tech or where I end up in the future! And of course this doesn’t mean we can’t still talk on the phone often! We will ALL always be here for you if you need anything (though it may take some motivating to get BJ to go that far :). Seriously, whatever you need call! You’re only a few hours away.
So thank you, thank you, thank you! You are awesome and God has really blessed you!
See you soon,
(This is the only Picture I can find of us! From two years ago at the Lake)