lorri shrewsbury

In your life, where have you seen hope emerge from difficulty?

There are many examples I could mention, but our move to Nacogdoches is the most recent example I can think of. When my husband retired from the USAF, we had no idea or plans of where we would end up as civilians. We were stationed in England at the time, and it was early in 2017. The "normal" routes most retired military take were, interestingly and unexpectedly, closed off to us - who says God can't use the government to direct your path? Not us! We knew, in a concrete sense, what we didn't want to do: end up in the DC area or at a law firm where Stephen would be working 60+ hours a week.

The idea of teaching at a college had bubbled up in a couple of scenarios. Stephen started replying to job postings all over the country, with our desire being that God would send us where He wanted us. After applying with a dozen or so colleges, SFASU was the only university to contact him. We walked a convoluted path, which I will spare you the details of. At one point, it looked like our path to Nac ended - Stephen hadn't published an article in 15+ years - but he was able to write something in short order because he had the time; he knew someone who could get his article published with no problems, and he had an interesting topic to write about - all of which happened very quickly!

I can't speak for Stephen, but I know that God granted me a confidence (and hope) about this process that I've rarely experienced. We knew that, regardless of where we ended up, it would be where God wanted us and that it would be the best for us.

How has God used specific people to bring you to this point in your faith journey? 

Have any of these people been unexpected?

We had a pastor in Hawaii who had been a tremendous blessing to me. Our assignment at Hickam AFB was 2010-2012, but we still keep in touch. He is so genuine in his faith and in his interest in people. I laugh now, but I wasn't very impressed the first couple of times we visited IBC-Honolulu. I'm so very grateful we made it our church home. Pastor Stan just provides such good counsel and is always pleased to hear from us. I can't overstate how impressive his servant's heart is, and he is always looking for ways to meet people's needs, whether they are physical or spiritual.

What has “All My Hope” revealed to you about the nature of church family? How has this challenged some of the “typical” ways we view church community?

This song and the accompanying story just reinforces what I know and have had the privilege to witness. My husband's USAF career took us overseas for 15 years, and we have been in some very culturally diverse churches. It's something we've heartily missed, coming back to the US. It grieves me that so many churches - especially in the South - are drawn along racial lines. Heaven isn't going to look like that! This is one aspect of FHBC that we've enjoyed, and we hope is fostered, and grows in the future.

In the film, Ms. Warren says, "I'm just glad to be in a place where I can see the hand of God moving. That's exciting to me.” FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW, how do you see the hand of God moving in our church family and in our community?

Well, being pretty new, I haven't had a chance to observe a lot, especially during a pandemic! I guess I would tag off of my last answer - just growing a local body of Christ to be as diverse as Nac! Serving the community out of love and sharing the gospel. The gospel is the heart's blood of any local church, and any service that we can perform should flow out of that.

I am so happy that Kendall addressed the faulty "corporate views" that churches have adopted in the last 25 years or so. I remember when they emerged. I hated them at work and especially hated "mission statements" and the like connected to my worship. It seemed so "let's package this up" rather than really listening and paying attention to God's direction. I think just realizing that changing tack in this area opens FHBC up to being sensitive to God's direction and following through. That, in and of itself, is exciting!