Wanda Blanche Bennett Johnson
February 13, 2015
Church has been my life. Soon after my birth, the last of seven children, I was in church being cared for by volunteer baby workers. My parents were very active in our Baptist Church. Growing up in the church and attending Sunday School, Training Union, Sunbeams, Girls’ Auxiliary, and all youth activities, I learned about God’s Word. At 9 years of age, I accepted God as my Savior into my life. I grew in my new-found life through my local church.
Church has still been my life. I attended a Baptist college, was active in a church there and met my future husband. Our life together brought us through many and sometime unexpected ministry opportunities. The “final touch” of this journey brought us to Louisville where Bob served as Dean of the Boyce Bible School at Southern Seminary. We survived without being terminated or pushed out prior to his retirement time.
Upon moving to Louisville, visiting several worthy congregations and thinking, praying hard and long; we joined Broadway in November, 1990. In addition to the attraction of the worship and preaching ministry of the church several people were key to our joining. David and Marilyn Mueller, Bob and Becky Irvine were four such persons. The most influential, however, was Lucy Belle Shuck who never failed to keep in contact with us during this decision time.
The things about Broadway that stand out for me are: The efforts at inclusiveness for all and the intentional care that is offered by the various groups I have known as well as the ministerial staff; our dinner group (still active although this doesn’t seem to have much priority at the leadership level); biblical preaching without contrived guilt trips; all of the music ministry; the challenge of being church without promise of “entertainment” in exchange. Bob and I both appreciated the church’s courageous stand on denominational shift when we voted to abandon participation with the Southern Baptist Church.