By Martha Williams

It was 1952. I was 14, and a freshman in high school.

My family, (grandparents and sister and I) did not attend church. They were good people, just not church goers.

One day, my friend Harriet, an eighth-grader, invited me to the Saturday evening youth group at her church and from that point, I began attending church regularly.

One of the first things they did after I started going was to take our group on a trip to Syracuse to a Billy Graham Crusade. That was the place of the birth of my faith in Jesus Christ.

I will never forget that trip. Between Billy Graham’s preaching and the wonderful music, it was some service. It was the beginning of a faith that has sustained me through all the ensuing years, some of which were anything but easy.

I’ve heard many other evangelists since then, some with well-known names. But Billy Graham will remain to me the best of them all. I’m glad I had the chance to have heard him in person.

A lot of living has carried that little school girl through thick and thin, and across the country as well as the years, from teenager to great-grandmother, from New York to California. The one consistent thing was the steadying ability to fall back on that faith — a faith that, had I not had it, would have most assuredly ended in a much different outcome.

Grace Lutheran Church will continue Lenten suppers/Vespers on Wednesday evenings through March 21. Prayer service/vespers begin at 5:15 pm, followed by supper, family devotions and activities.

Going back to Christmas, there will be a meeting at Pelican Bay EVFree church on March 3 from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a light lunch. The focus will be the Operation Christmas Child program and a chance to learn more about the shoe box program. It will be a good opportunity to learn what God is doing throughout the world as a result of the shoeboxes.

If you aren’t familiar with this project, it’s a part of Samaritan’s Purse under Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham.

If you plan to attend this meeting, you need to rsvp either Bill Ross at 707-464-2034, or Judy Rowell at 707-464-1689.

Please continue to send the things your church would like mentioned.

To contact Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email .