Seven years ago, a man knocked on the door of Eric Kepler’s mobile home. He was going door-to-door, handing out meals and inviting people to Morningside Baptist Church, and he asked Eric if he needed any food. At the time, Eric had enough to eat, but he pointed out several other trailers—single moms and elderly people—who might need some extra help.
The man returned twice, bringing much-needed food to the mobile home community.
Eric was going to another church then, but the man’s invitation stuck with him for years.
Eric married Susan three years ago, and when the time came to look for a new church, he thought of the man who was so kind to his neighborhood a few years before. The couple planned on visiting several churches, but changed their minds the second they walked through the door of Morningside Baptist Church. They knew they were home.
“Everybody was so welcoming,” Susan said. “It felt like family as soon as you walked in.”
Over the next two years, Eric and Susan grew to love the Morningside congregation and everything they stood for. They had been looking for a group that would accept them unconditionally, and they found it at Morningside Baptist Church.
“Come as you are,” Eric said. “Morningside is one of those places that is going to love you for who you are, not what you were. To me that is a beautiful thing because I’m like most everybody. I have not so great of a past. To go in and be relieved of that, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Susan is originally from Mobile. She moved to Huntsville three years ago and had been searching for friends.
“I had a hard time connecting with people and making good friends,” Susan said. “I found that. There are five women that I am really close with in the church…The pastor’s wife is just so sweet and down-to-earth. She’s a servant of God for sure.”
Eric and Susan have preteen sons, so they were looking for a place where their kids could find friends who would be good influences as they enter their teenage years. Morningside has that, too. Every other Friday night, Morningside Baptist Church has a youth get-together where they have a short class followed by games and just hanging out.
“Our kids have responded to it so well that they don’t ask to do anything else on a Friday night,” Eric said.
Easter is April 16 this year, and many families will be heading out to church for the first time this year. Eric and Susan encourage families who are searching for a place to worship to check out Morningside. Pastor Marty Jordan’s sermons relate to everyone, Eric said.
“Every Sunday, it seems like Brother Marty’s sermon is just like, ‘Hey, I know what he’s talking about. I never thought to deal with it this way,’ ” Eric said. “He does it in a way that everybody can understand it. If you don’t understand it, you don’t speak English.”
This year there are several ways to get involved at Morningside Baptist Church during the Easter season. All events will be at the church.
On April 9 at 10:30 a.m., the choir is putting on a musical.
On April 13 will be the Maundy Thursday Lord’s supper at 6:30 p.m.
On April 14, they will have a Good Friday worship service at 6:30 p.m.
The next day, April 15, at 10 a.m., the neighborhood-wide Easter egg hunt will take place.
On April 16 at 10:30 a.m, Morningside’s Easter Celebration worship service will feature the sermon,“The Day Everything Changed.”
The following weeks at Morningside are set to be equally beneficial. Pastor Marty Jordan will launch a series called, “The Pursuit of Happiness: Keys to Real and Lasting Happiness.”
By the way, Eric never found the man who invited him to church, but he sure is thankful he ran into him that day.