December 17, 2020
When Peace Like a River Attends My Soul
By Ken Sanford
I owe the peace of my spirit to the enlightened churches I attended over the years. At Clyde Baptist Church near Asheville, I didn’t know what ministers there were practicing, but later learned it was ecumenism. The Methodist Church was next door, and because both were small, they saw the need to partner. We had joint Bible schools, some shared services, and many social activities together. Next came West Asheville Baptist Church where the Rev. Nane Starnes was a successful minister, in addition to serving as a leader of the Baptist State Convention. There my father modeled church lay leadership for me by serving as a deacon. Then came my college days at Mars Hill and Chapel Hill where I broadened my knowledge and understanding. Some dedicated Christian professors taught Sunday School at both campuses. When my first work as a journalist took me to Winston-Salem, I became involved in Knollwood Baptist Church which had just been founded under the leadership of Dr. Jack Nofsinger and quickly became one of the fastest-growing churches in our state. Arriving in Charlotte for my career at UNC Charlotte I discovered St. John’s Baptist Church, at which it was my great privilege to have Dr. Claude Broach as my pastor. There were other dedicated servants over the years culminating in the Ministry of Dr. Dennis Foust. Over the years, these inspiring leaders have brought peace to my soul.