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Stories from Westminster, Ed Crawford


I, like most everyone of my generation whose youth was in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s (baby boomers), grew up in a family where going to church was not negotiable. I could not bargain my way out of the Sunday ritual with any number of offerings to pull weeds, mow the grass, or clean up my room. Our church was just a short one block walk up the hill, perched on a promontory on the west side of town that used to be an apple orchard. Back then it was one of the newest churches and had the tallest gleaming white steeple in town. My Dad was a general practitioner for 40 years in Waynesboro. When he moved to Waynesboro in 1959, we attended First Presbyterian Church. After he bought a home on the corner of Monticello and Downey Drive, he decided to move his membership to the new church up the street, Westminster Presbyterian, which was a daughter church of First Presbyterian.

Having left town after high school graduation and not returning for 17 years, I can easily say that reclaiming Waynesboro as my home and Westminster as my church was all a part of God’s plan. Like many young adults finding their way in the world, I had left God aside. Marriage, having a family, and a new career (with a move back to the valley) changed all that. A firmer foundation for my life was needed. It was not planned, but probably destined, that we found a house two blocks from where I grew up with the spired Presbyterian church on the hill just steps from my front door. We had tried other area churches but chose Westminster. A faith community where “all are welcome” was not just a slogan, but was at the very heart of this congregation. It was an attractive essential attribute of our chosen new church home. Immediate acceptance into an active Body of Christ where God’s love is lived out into its worship, ministry, and outreach affirmed our choice.

There is no denying that the church where I grew up, got married and celebrated the lives of my parents would be in the running to be the congregation that I would join. What set Westminster apart was the immediate feeling of oneness of purpose and the willingness to strive to be the community that God intends. Nurturing and selfless service come to mind in describing the people who call this church their own. Meeting the needs of young and old, Westminster allows growth in faith while making a positive impact on the community through mission and service. Throughout my childhood I watched my family support this church by doing and giving. It is a natural flow of the Christian human spirit to be gratified and enriched by sharing financial resources that only come by the Grace of God, our creator and Father. The quarters of our weekly childhood offering, which was passed through the Sunday School wall boxes, was the beginning of a meaningful habit of stewardship that continues today. Katrina and I are committed to continue our financial support of the mission and ministry of Westminster. We firmly believe that this vital faith community allows Christ's love to be given freely to each other and to the larger community.

— Ed Crawford

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