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Welcome to "I Found Church." This is a page with stories of people who have "found church," and church has changed their lives. "Church" is not always what "church" is supposed to be, but this page is for the community of believers that are trying to change the negative stigma, and believe in the sacred community that we call "church."  The stories on this site are the stories of Pitt Chapel's fellowship of believers.  We hope you enjoy! 

"Church has given me hope" -- Michael Walden

"My I Found Church moment was I found Identity. Growing up as a great grandson, grandson, son, and nephew of a pastor was hard to figure out my identity because your conflicted with, do I follow in the Smithson legacy or is there another calling I have? My father pastored his first church in Gladstone, Michigan and that’s where I started my work in ministry. We moved there when I six and when I turned nine the church bought a giant tv screen and a laptop to run the lyrics and my dad sat me down and I began to run it.

At the age of 12 after moving to the south side of Chicago where my dad preached at his second church is where I got the calling to ministry. It wasn’t a call to preach, or music, or teaching but just a call to ministry. I knew that I was somehow, someway going to be in ministry.

I was taught the bass at the age of 13 and after a week a two I was playing on stage, it was there that I was taught to run the sound board and after a couple times I was running it. I began using Microsoft office in school and outsmarted my teachers, I learned photoshop and outsmarted my teachers, I learned movie maker, and after effects and I make logos, videos and more for all kinds of services and churches around.

It was at a later point in my life around the age of 18 I heard my dad preach a sermon and he said everybody has a specific calling in their life whether it’s to preach, teach, pray etc. that was when God spoke to me and said I was called to preach. I am proud to say that I’ll be taking my second to last test in my denomination for my minister License and I am currently the assistant pastor and it was through church that I Found My Identity." --John Mikel Smithson

I was lost; HERE I found peace.

I am a recovering drug addict; HERE I found grace.

I am openly gay; Here I found acceptance.

I don't have a connection with my own family; Here I found family.

I don't have to hide anything about who I am, who I love, what my past is, or what mistakes I may have made. This body of people have shown me what the love of God is really supposed to look like.  Here I found love. Here I found trust. Here I have found truth. My name is Shealyn, and Here, I have found church. --Shealyn Fox

When I was growing up, I was a rebellious child church kid, because I had a pretty skewed idea of who God was.  I was always told that my rebellion was against God, but lately I have begun to realize that my rebellion was actually against the church, because of the things that happened to me and the hurt that I received from church.  Since finding "THE CHURCH" and my true church family of REAL people, I met God, and realized how much he really does love me.  When I found church, I found grace and love, and it changed my life. --Pastor Mark Smithson

I found purpose.  Church helped me realize my life is important and worth more than I could have ever imagined. --Reba Smithson

"and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."  Isaiah 61:3

On Saint Patrick's Day about 7 years ago, around 11:30 pm, I sat in the back of a police car receiving felony charges that I VERY much so earned. Sadly, I can't say that it was the day I stopped getting high, but I can say it was definitely a step closer to the bottom that I needed to take. As I look at photos I can see the crown of beauty instead of ashes. I can see the oil of joy instead of mourning. I don't need a picture to know i covered in a garment of praise and that I have been relieved of the bondage of a spirit of despair. Because of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ I am an oak of righteousness. May the splendor of God be displayed through my testimony.
God has done so much for my family and I. He truly is restoring all that was lost, and all that I squandered away. It is never too late, and if you have a pulse there IS hope. At the end of my addiction I thought I had to die to make the madness stop, and then after unsuccessful attempts at suicide, I felt like I couldn't even die right. Thank you Father for keeping me alive; for seeing what I couldn't see.
I am so blessed today at how much I have grown over the years!!! I love the life I have today. I have an amazing husband and wonderful children. 
THANK YOU JESUS --Aimee Younger

Church has given me a purpose.  Most churches don't let or want the youth to get involved, but this church actually encourages it.  Me being involved in music, drama, and teaching has helped bring me to a new place in my walk with God. --Sarah Smithson

When I found church, I found family.  I found a group of people who I can fellowship with, love, and share life's ups and downs.  We can grow together in our faith, encourage one another, and comfort one another.  If you have not found church, keep looking.  God has a place in His church for you to feel loved and accepted! --Larry Norris

I got saved when I was 8 years old.  Church gave me encouragement.  The Pittsburg Church of God has restored my faith in church as a whole, because even though I grew up in church, I lost myself.  I met my husband in church and we raised our 3 daughters in church.  Praise and worship at church is where I find my strength.  I am so greatful for all the church people who give of themselves. --Alesha Norris

I feel complete and whole.  Without spiritual fulfillment, which the church provides, a part of me is missing in life. --Carlos Matthews

As someone who has been in church their whole life, I have struggled with what to write.  At first, I felt like I found church when I was born, but in all actuality, finding church is more than finding a building to go to a few times a week.  Finding church to me means finding family.  Finding trust.  Finding peace.  Finding support.  Finding love.  If I wouldn't have found the church I belong in, I know I wouldn't be where I am now in life.  I would be lost, discouraged, and filled with anxiety instead of being filled with peace.  I am so thankful for my church!! --Charlotte Smithson

I have found family, a sense of belonging, and acceptance. --Abby Rebello

It has helped me to be a better husband and father, be more giving and thankful of life, and to see a better world with God in it. --Daniel Kincade

Church, this church in partial, has changed my life by giving me a sense of purpose.  Also, by giving me and my children a loving and caring family.  I no longer feel helpless or lost. --Crystal Walden

In many ways it has given me a family.  Not saying that I didn't have one before. --MacKenzie Walden

Church has helped me find many friends, gave me the love for music, and gave me a family. --Riley Walden

I found I have friends to share my beliefs with.  I have found when I ask for prayer people are sending up my requests.  I have grown in knowing the Word as I read God's Word and listen to the Word being preached.  I now know God is the answer for all my and our needs. --Rosemary Bliss

I found church because I can see the Light.  Church has changed me because I have hope and reason to keep moving forward.  Purpose is here.  #SFML --Shawn Edwards

I have came to this church (PCOG) as a baby.  I am now 77 years old.  I found Jesus as my Savior at 8 years old.  I can say my Lord has been with me all these years and never failed me.  I am closer now to my Savior (seeing Him) than ever before.  There is no turning back--no turning back.  I love my Lord. --Shirley Herford

My life has changed in church by finding faith.  I have found hope.  I have definitely found a family. --Paige Moore

Church has taught me to be more trusting!  It makes me want to know God more and more.  I want to do what He has in store for me, whatever it may be.  But to truly know and trust Him, you have to turn from your old ways, and I thank God He is helping me. --Brenda Marcott

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