The Times West Virginian

Features

May 20, 2006

For Stephanie White ...

Church is always with her

FAIRMONT — No matter where she goes, Stephanie White is never alone.

“I always have a part of church with me,” she says.

Now 22, since she was 6, she has been active in her church. By helping her mother with dinners and Ladies Aid meetings, she became a member of the United Methodist Women at a very early age.

Church has always been important to her, she says.

She first realized this one rainy summer day about 16 years ago. Her mom was cooking for Marketplace A.D., a conglomeration of hundreds of children from many denominations held at Baptist Temple to recreate a biblical marketplace.

“We had so many kids coming, from so many churches, they couldn’t eat inside. There wasn’t enough room.

“Then we had one of the worst rainstorms of the ... well, ever,” she says, laughing. She laughs a lot. “I prayed, ‘God, don’t rain on my church.’

“As we drove to the church, trees were falling down around us. But there wasn’t a drop of rain on the church. There was this light shining on the church.

“That was a sign ... most definitely.”

She and her mom had started attending church when White was just a little girl.

“Mom worked all the time, so I stayed at another church’s preschool. I could go there, and still have some kind of church involvement.

“I’ve always active in church ... the children’s choir, the praise team. With all the experiences I’ve had in life, I had to be active.”

Several years ago, on their way to a horse show, she, a friend and her mom were spared from an accident that could easily have been fatal.

“We were on I-79, on the stretch of road called the wind tunnel. Mom was driving a Blazer and had a camper on the back. A paper truck hit us and we started in a tailspin. She got that under control and then a tractor-trailer passed and nicked her, and we went into another tailspin. We hit the guardrail for the third time and Mom just let go of the wheel and said, ‘God, I can’t do it.’

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