Rockin’ For Jesus. (Effort Baptist Church)

Disclaimer–this website/blog is IN NO WAY affiliated with the Fluvanna Review other than some pictures which appear here may also appear there.

Effort Baptist Church is certainly one of, if not the most, prominent church in this county. They exert a very positive influence for good in this area. I attended it for close to a year some years back but stopped going largely because of a perspective on the part of many people I met there which is what anthropologists call “Tribal Religion.”

This is the notion that there’s only one true faith and only one way to get into heaven and that’s my way—my faith—my approach to God. I remember speaking to a person one Sunday some years back—on this subject—who flatly said everybody in the world who is not a fundamentalist, protestant Christian is going to burn in hell no matter what they did with their lives while they were in this world. He said, and this is a quote, ”All those Hindus and Catholics and Jews are wasting their time—they’re all gonna burn in hell—don’t matter how good they were while they were here.”

Effort certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on these people—they’re well represented in all churches, all faiths. I’m firmly convinced Osama Bin Laden is one of these “I’m right—you’re wrong” people—people who seem to think they understand the mind of God. “God is a God of love, all right—he just loves me and people like me.”

My own belief is there are lots of ways to “get into heaven” if in fact there is such a place—I don’t believe there is anything like a heaven or hell—my own feeling is these are just necessary devices to convince people they need to behave themselves in this life and oh yes–put money in the collection plate.

I do believe in a creator—or Prime Mover—and a spiritual presence in our lives.  It seems to me it is a fundamental aspect of awareness–the source of  mystery.  But the bottom line is it’s up to each of us to find our own path. A lot of people need the (social, ethical, psychological and theological) structure formal religion provides—that’s their choice. They can even believe their way is the only way—I just don’t want to hear about it—don’t want to be around these people. So I don’t go to church.

For those who do ascribe to a given faith (Christianity for example) for whatever its worth—I like the idea (I stress–the idea–not necessarily the actual doing) of in-home prayer, discussion and study groups—“Wherever 2 or more are gathered in my name…”

Well, enough of that.

Effort has a tradition I think is wonderful. They are partners or sisters (whatever) with a church in Liberia—also called Effort Baptist Church. The two churches visit back and forth several times a year and local people from the Effort here go over there to do missionary work—try to improve the lives of people in this third-world country.

I love it—now that’s Christianity! Here’s the link for the local Effort Church if you’re interested:

Today, the senior pastor from the Liberian Baptist Church came to visit and preach at the American Effort Baptist. The paper I work for—The Fluvanna Review—wanted photos. Here’s the paper’s link if you’re interested:

I spent most of the morning at their service—and had a nice time—despite myself.

I talked to some people who seemed glad I was there—told me to fire away—take all the pic.s I wanted. I got to meet the Liberian Pastor—very impressive guy—and his beautiful wife and spoke a bit with the senior pastor at the local Effort—David Clay—another very impressive guy.

And they had a rock band—Christian of course—a regular feature of their services. They were good—really rocked out.

I took pic.s of the pastors and some of the congregation and got a few cool shots of a couple of band members. It was time well spent. Hope you like the slide show. If you want to view them bigger and stop them to have a closer look, go to the gallery called “Effort B. C.” 

So enjoy—and I wish you well on whatever path you’ve chosen—and if you think yours is better than mine—just keep it to yourself. Thanks.

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