West Main Baptist Church has been an important part of my life since I moved to Danville in 1971. My love for this church is very deep. These are some of the reasons:
It has helped me grow tremendously in my faith. The enthusiasm and love that past ministers and our staff have shown as they help us understand Christ’s teaching has been contagious. They have made me want to dig deeper in my own understanding.
I have had overwhelming support from WMBC in joyful times (weddings) and sad times (my daughter’s and husband’s deaths). I know I can count on the church if I need help.
The church has allowed me to fulfill a need to serve by teaching children’s Sunday School, serve as deacon, wash dishes.
I love the way our church uses children in the worship service and encourages them to take part in various ministries of the church.
Though we call ourselves “Baptist,” I am pleased that so many members have come from other denominations and feel at home at WMBC. Though we are traditional in many ways, I have appreciated trying new things, such as Compline, which I found very meaningful.
We are a bunch of imperfect people, but I sense we are there to help each other, our community and our world by becoming more like Christ. Lynn Huckabee, age 83
West Main Baptist Church is a family of faith focused on supporting, encouraging and loving each other. The teachings of Jesus are central to West Main’s focus, but theology for theology’s sake isn’t the primary focus. Rather, West Main emphasizes the practical application of Jesus’ teachings to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
We are the sum of all of our parts. A perfect combination of imperfect people, supporting each other as we each seek to spread forgiveness, peace, grace and love. Recognizing that we are all imperfect and that we all bring various baggage to the table is actually acknowledged and encouraged at West Main. Having come from a faith tradition that wasn’t Baptist, or even protestant for that matter, has never been an issue for me at West Main. I have always been welcomed and included in all aspects of church life. That “litmus test-free” inclusion creates a powerful environment for families made of up diverse religious backgrounds, like ours. It has allowed me and our family to worship together without anyone feeling less whole. We have been able to collectively seek the wisdom of Jesus as a family and enrich our lives with the restorative forgiveness, grace and love those teaching profess. What could be more important than spreading more grace and love with those around us, especially with those in our immediate family? We should be encouraging more of that and West Main is.
The members of West Main have been a constant source of strength and support as our family has dealt with the harsh realities that life inevitably brings. West Main is a community of people seeking answers, yet aware that answers only bring more questions. West Main is a community of people ready to be there for you, when their simple presence may be all they can offer. Simply put, West Main has been the visible expression of an invisible God. Patrick Wales, age 37
Fifteen years ago, West Main gave a big YES to hosting children thru the American Belarusian Relief Organization. For a total of 36 weeks over six summers, we provided physical care, clothing, medical attention and Christian hospitality to 15 different children and their three adult chaperones. The families who hosted these kids sometimes struggled with this unusual parenting role. However, life was made a lot easier for the children because they returned home in better health, taking with them necessary supplies for the coming winters. In those earlier summers of hosting A.T., Glenn and I learned to start every day with a sense of humor and a lot of imagination, just to keep up with this bright little boy. It also helped to keep a refrigerator full of healthy fresh food. Fortunately, I had already grown eyes in the back of my head from raising my own two boys, but it seemed more challenging to care for another mother’s child. He was young, far from his home and did not even speak the same language! But the Spirit knew in advance what we have discovered in hindsight: the fact that we the servants would enjoy a greater blessing. Two years ago, A.T returned to us in order to study at Danville Community College, where yesterday, he received his diploma in Precision Machining. Our family and the West Main neighborhood benefit from hishelpfulness and it is inspiring to see his positive work ethic in planning for a future career in this country. Pam Pulley, age 67
I remember the day I moved to Richmond; I was wild, hungry & twenty-one, and I had been dreaming of this day for half a decade. I remember packing my car, withdrawing all my savings & hugging my friends goodbye. I remember driving one hundred & twenty-eight miles away, eager to write a new chapter. I remember planting myself in the arts district right in the heart of downtown Richmond. And there I was: in a city where the kids rolled their jeans up way past their ankles, rode their bikes without holding the handlebars & paid eight dollars for gourmet cookies. I told myself I wanted to do it for a year; for one whole year, I wanted to see life in a different city. I focused on my art, my writing, my photography. And I loved it. But I felt God leading me back to Danville. Three times actually. December 5, 2016, it stuck & I landed back here for good. Immediately after moving back, I began to get involved with the community. There are so many avenues & ways to get plugged in here! I joined a local Rotary Club & a couple boards and dedicated every breath I had to giving back. But I was still looking for a way to incorporate my passion for writing & photography with my philanthropic efforts. I had lunch with my pastor & there I found my purpose. He suggested I start an online magazine to showcase all my favorite parts of this region; from there, Rivertown was birthed. Since then Rivertown has rebranded into a full creative agency, offering photography, writing & marketing services. But my love for this area has not changed. I love the Riverwalk, I love the buildings, I love spending Friday nights with my friends downtown. I love the family I have found at West Main Baptist; without them, the move to Richmond nor the move back wouldn’t have been possible. Our little Rivertown is certainly going through some changes, but I’m excited to see its future. Danville is certainly home & I want people to fall in love with this region for all the same reasons I did. Corey Williams, age 25
When I started my internship at West Main back in the summer of 2017, I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on me. I have learned a lot about church life and how to run a successful children’s ministry. Being able to work in a church and to learn from the staff at West Main has been a true blessing. The lessons I have learned and the “how to’s” I have been shown are amazing. Without this internship I would not have been able to truly see how a successful children’s ministry is run, but more importantly how a successful, peaceful, welcoming church loves and cares for one another. Frances Carlton, age 21
Our family came to West Main somewhat disillusioned with the institutional church after our leadership experiences in other congregations. We began to research West Main primarily by reading the pastor’s sermons on-line. We were struck by the vision of a congregation that seemed to genuinely believe in redemption and, specifically, in being active in redeeming our city and our area. Thankfully, that did not mean judgement and calls to repent of all manner of evil habits. The sermons consistently presented the theme of redemption through an active love. We decided to visit for at least four consecutive weeks. That has turned into about 10 years. We have found an open, accepting and loving congregation. To borrow a cliché, West Main is truly a “big tent” church that makes conscious decisions to follow the example of Jesus by actively engaging in the community and avoiding the cultural war du jour. We have personally felt the love of this congregation, when our son was born prematurely while we were five hours away. While he was in the neonatal ICU there, we received numerous cards and even visits at the hospital from the pastor and church members. As I travelled back and forth while my son, Brodie and my wife, Trish, remained there, the church was extremely supportive not just with prayer but in practical ways as well. As Brodie has grown, he has been able to grow in a supportive environment that stresses Jesus’ love and compassion for him and everyone. Brodie loves West Main and so do we. We have remained and become active because we have found a community of Christians who have consciously committed to avoiding denominational and political battles and focuses on following Jesus’ example to love and service. Jeff Buchanan, age 50