How the acclaimed Bible teacher found a new church home.
In March 2021, I made public my departure from the Southern Baptist Convention, the denomination I’d loved all my life and served since I was 12.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a home church. Didn’t have a clue where to go. To Keith, this meant we were footloose, and what could be better than footloose? To me, this meant we were legless. Harborless. Detached. No place nor people of faith we could call our own. The yearning to belong is woven into the human fabric. We had nowhere we belonged.
As multiple churches reopened their doors following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we visited several denominations closest to our tradition, but each time we were faced with an undeniable reality: Our presence was loaded. That’s not to say we weren’t welcome. It’s to say we came with baggage and triggered reactions and opinions. Sometimes we humans are simply too known in a particular environment to have the luxury of starting over. And make no mistake, we were starting over.
One Saturday evening, Keith said out of a concoction of compassion and frustration, “Elizabeth Moore, pick up your cellphone right now.”
“God, help me, woman, you’d exasperate the pope. Google Anglican churches in Houston,” he said, bossy-like.
Keith was at his wit’s end with me and my church drama and knew we were going to have to get off the beaten path to find a place we were less controversial.
“None of them are anywhere near us,” I quipped.
“Well, which is the closest?”
“This one right here.” I tapped the screen with my fingernail. “About a half hour away.”
“Good,” Keith said. “That’s where …