Thankful for my church family

I know that Thanksgiving is not affiliated with any religion, but during a holiday when I am reminded of all the things I have to be thankful for, I am particularly reminded of my church and how blessed I am to have it, and the people affiliated with it, in my life.

I have been going to Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in Ider since I was a baby. I was saved at vacation Bible school there when I was 8 years old. I was baptized that summer by our current pastor, Steve Lea, and have been a member there ever since.

Chestnut Grove is the only church I have ever known; it is home. My dad is an ordained deacon there, my mother is a member there, my sister and brother-in-law were married there and are also members there, and I go there to get my strength each week.

I realize that it is easy to get caught up in the food preparation and the television marathons this time of year, but Thanksgiving, as its name suggests, is about giving thanks.

I should always try to remind myself, and others, what I am thankful for, so I just wanted to write this column as a way to publicly express how thankful I am for my church and my church family.

If there are any members of Chestnut Grove reading this, I want you to know that I am thankful for you and I feel blessed to share such a beautiful place of worship with you.

To our subscribers, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends, family and loved ones. Just as my church brings me countless blessings, I hope the things you are thankful for do the same for you.

— Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal. She can be reached at

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