I’d like you to meet Tim and KerriAnn, a couple of Covenant Members of Sound City Bible Church. They joined our church family in the fall of 2015 after moving to Edmonds from the Boston area. After getting plugged in, they quickly got involved in what God was doing in our church, and are now helping to lead a new community group!
Last month, when we announced that Sound City would be moving out of our current space and becoming a mobile church, KerriAnn sent me an email. The tone was one of excitement and encouragement, because just a few years ago, God saved her and her husband in a mobile “setup/teardown” church. I asked Tim and KerriAnn if they would share their story with our church family, so here it is.
Kerri: With the upcoming move for Sound City, I have found myself reflecting on how we got to where we are today, so I wanted to share a bit of our story. After our son, Noah, was born in March of 2011, we found ourselves mostly broke in a one-bedroom apartment. Long story short, we tried to purchase a home, but lost almost everything to a fraudulent loan company! A costly lesson in rushing to purchase a home and not the right home (like you pointed out in your recent blog post).
Tim: We pursued this house and reached for it despite some doubts and warning signs because we really wanted to be homeowners. It was a painful, costly, but ultimately valuable lesson.
Kerri: At this time in my life, I would have told you that I was a Christian because I “prayed a prayer” a long time ago. But my life did not reflect Jesus at all. I had not stepped foot in a church in many years because of a hurtful experience in my past. My sinful stance was God and I have an understanding. Tim was an agnostic, and he was cool with however I wanted to raise our kids as long as I didn’t drag him into it.
Tim: My whole church experience can be summed up in going to Sunday school for six weeks in the 3rd grade. Occasionally, I would politely accept a friend’s invitation to church, but mostly my opinion of the church was formed by the scandals in the Catholic church. My wife wanted us to be Christmas-and-Easter churchgoers (like many people in New England). And while I was not against my wife wanting to go to church, I was in no way interested in going with her.
Kerri: One night just before Easter, I found myself in our one-bedroom apartment, living paycheck to paycheck, with a brand new baby, and I knew my life needed to change. An undeniable urge came into my heart to repent. I didn’t know what all that meant, but I knew that I needed to find a church. I started googling churches in Weymouth, and—predictably—the search results were dominated by Catholic churches in the area. However, one non-Catholic church, Discovery Church, showed up. They were a brand new church that had been meeting in Weymouth High School, which was literally around the corner from where we lived.
Tim: Kerri sought out a church for Easter and I told her she could do whatever she wanted. I offered to stay home with Noah. She came home that afternoon and told me how much she loved the message and that everyone was very friendly and welcoming. Also, it was literally a 1/2 mile from our apartment, blah blah blah. It was in one ear and out the other for me.
Kerri: I went to Discovery Church for Easter 2011 and every Sunday after that. I started letting God's Word transform my heart. In fact, it began to change who I was altogether, so much so that Tim took notice! He would occasionally visit church with me on Sunday just to see what was going on at this place that had me so excited.
Tim: I can't remember the day that I first agreed to go, nor do I remember why. To pacify her? To see why she was so enamored? To see who was brainwashing her? I didn't get why someone could love church so much! To me, church implied nothing but bad: having to act perfect, boring services, possibly crazy people…
When we arrived, I remember walking in and thinking “church in a warehouse?” (The church had moved out of the high school and was meeting in a converted warehouse by this point). It was small with concrete walls and there were not a lot of people. I thought, I guess I can stick this out.
Immediately I was greeted by a gentleman named Warren. He was very kind to me, as were others that I met. The service started and the music was unlike anything I had heard in a church. I told myself, I guess I could come once in a while and see what happens. Maybe I'll learn how to be a better person. At the very least, Kerri will be happy.
Months went by, and my sporadic attendance became more regular. I was learning a lot and I had befriended some people. We even started regular financial giving! I would meet with Pastor Chris, and as he answered my questions and skepticisms, we built a friendship.
The church continued to grow, and as we approached Easter 2012, it became clear that the church would need to seek out a larger venue to hold the Easter services. Even though we had our own building, the church decided to hold the Easter services back at Weymouth High School so that we could fit all of the extra friends, family and coworkers who had been invited.
That Easter Sunday, Pastor Chris gave an amazing message about Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection in a way that I could understand. I cannot describe the feeling that came over me, the unraveling of my doubts, the pain I felt in my heart over what Jesus had done for me, for everyone. I felt ashamed for denying Jesus for so long, but that day the shame washed away as as I released control over my life and gave myself to Jesus. Nothing was ever the same.
Kerri: That Easter Sunday, in the high school auditorium, my husband gave his heart to Jesus. Since then, I have seen his whole life change—our marriage, our parenting, our finances, everything!—as we sought to honor God first. We started serving the church not long after that and continued right up to the time that we moved to Seattle.
Tim: It's not the building that makes a church, it's the people. People who know they can’t do it alone. People who submit to God. People who want to grow to be more like Jesus. People who want to reach others with God’s love. It’s not about a building. I know this because I went to church in a converted warehouse, and I was saved in a high school auditorium... Need I say more?
Kerri: We know what this whole mobile church thing is is like and we will be praying diligently and intentionally for Sound City, the elders and the body. We are actually excited to be part of this all again! I hope this part of our story is an encouragement. God is sovereign over it all, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.