Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Our entire lives are driven to find a place where we fit. It is a need we all feel – to know others and be known by others. Everyone needs to BELONG!

Southeast Christian Church wants you to know that you belong!

Below are stories of people who found a place to belong at Southeast.

Submit your story of belonging by clicking here.

Larry Hines

December 25, 2016

I was raised in the Lutheran church, including catechism, and accepted Jesus as my Lord while I was a young boy. As a young adult I drifted away from church for many years but always felt that Jesus was with me. When   I was 25, I spent a year hitchhiking to India, putting myself in many precarious situations. I was searching for meaning, purpose, spirituality, as well as my own identity. No matter where I went, there I was Jesus! or his guardian angel, was always with me. I knew I was watched over and protected. I learned that what I was looking for was always within me by God's grace. 

When I got married to Pamela and started a family in the early 1980s, I wanted to find a church family where we were comfortable and felt loved. My neighbor brought us to Southeast Christian Church. What a blessing! We felt welcomed, included, and loved. We have had the pleasure of three ministers and have been attending SCC since that time. My daughter Sarah went on two mission trips to Honduras as a high school student. I, my wife, and daughter were all baptized at SCC. My granddaughter Nixie now loves to come to Sunday school. 

When my wife died in 2010, we were devastated. She was only 56 years old and Sarah was pregnant with Nixie. The wonderful people of SCC were there to help us heal, move on, and give us the support and love we needed. It was my salvation. I am blessed to be a member of the SCC family. We belong! 

-Larry (Sarah & Nixie) Hines 

Pyper Thole

December 18, 2016

I believe God purposed his creation of man to belong!  

Our family story has read out this way-  We both were raised in Mormon homes but on different spectrums. It was a Sunday after we had our      appointments for a LDS temple recommend; we both were very excited but at the same time very unsure. I had been walking in the mornings with the new neighbor and she was sharing with me about her pastor and helping their marriage. She always had an open invite for us to join her to church. The question she would ask me is how do I know if I had never gone to a Christian church- and so I met her here at SCC and this was where I heard the gospel of the Bible for the first time. I wept! 

Just couldn’t wait to share with Jeff what I had heard and felt. He and the boys had woke with ear aches that morning and went to the doctors. Jeff and I had been married just about seven years and our sons, Walker was 5 and Rex was 3 years of age. The following Sunday we came to church as a family.  The kids church was so welcoming and so fun with Miss Dee!  Walker came every Sunday in boots, chaps, hat and a stick horse- and he was very much excepted, never asked to leave his horse home :-) 

It was four months later that we were baptized just right above us and and the kids church brought both of our sons in to see their parents being baptized. What an amazing day April 9, 2000 is for our family!

I will never forget that was the day we “belonged".

Studies show that people need a sense of belonging. That we thrive as humans when we are in a like-minded group of people. You are our people. We feel devoted, blessed, encouraged, and renewed every Sunday that we get to join together with our people to worship our Lord God.

-Jeff, Pyper,Walker, Rex Thole


Abbey McClain

December 11, 2016

Derek and I moved to Salt Lake City in June of 2009.  Three days before that we married.  And a month before that we learned we needed to relocate to Utah. 

I should start with how we met.  We were co-workers at a company located in Jersey City and met in 2005.  After some time, we began dating and I invited him to my church in New York City, the church I grew up attending my whole life.  About a year and half later he was baptized.  We made  wedding plans for November 2010 in Indiana where Derek is from, and life was good.  Then, in May of 2009 we found out we had one week to decide whether to relocate to Georgia or Utah.  We scrapped our original wedding plans and instead got married at our Church in NYC after Sunday   service where my father "gave me away" over speaker phone.  It was everything we dreamed it would be (Joking). 

Shortly after buying our home in January 2010 we attended Southeast Christian Church in February.  Rick   Stewart and everyone at SCC welcomed us like we were family.  We eventually became members and since then have been part of the SCC family.  It's the perfect place for imperfect people like us.  And we wouldn't have it any other way.

-Abbey (Derek, Tatum) McClain

 Jerry & Sharon Adamson

December 4, 2016

It always helps that feeling of belonging when you arrive at your destination and folks are just plain glad to see you.  That’s what  happens when we come in the doors of SCC, whether I’m getting coffee or Jerry is looking for his pew. But there is more…

We are long time believers, with many Bible studies, books, and  conversations in our journey toward growing in Christ.  The last 9 years have been at SCC. 

The Longs have been our neighbors for nearly 20 years now. More than 9 years ago Barry and Linda invited us to their church, Jerry shared with Barry what he believed … Jesus is God’s Son and it is through Him that we are saved and there is no other way!  Barry said that was what they believed.  With that introduction we visited SCC for 6 months and then joined this congregation of believers.  

What mattered to us then, and now, is that the gospel is preached from the pulpit, studied in groups, and thoughtfully considered on a daily basis. This is the binding strand of belonging, that the word of God is rightly divided for those coming through SCC’s doors.  We are grateful to those men who have stood and now stand in our pulpit delivering the Word of God with love and clarity.  The preaching of the Word at SCC reflects a discipline to prepare and passion for all to come to Jesus. We are lifted with the preaching of God’s Word and so grateful.

-Jerry & Sharon Adamson


Tara Heiden

November 27, 2016

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”  Colossians 2:6-7 

This past week our Southeast Christian missionary Michelle Peterson taught Bob Randolph’s Bible Fellowship.  She talked about how Wycliffe Bible Translators has created a Christ centered curriculum to help people overcome war, terrorism,   traumatic events and loss.  It is only through the saving grace of Christ that anyone can overcome such pain.   She used the analogy of a tree, one that is deeply rooted in Christ. With these strong roots it can weather any storm. What a great truth! It got me thinking about my roots and how Southeast has played a part of that growth.  I have attended Southeast with my parents, husband and children for nearly 40 years.  This place has loved and championed our greatest triumphs and helped us survive through the hardest storms that anyone can endure. But it’s much more than mere friendships that have made us strong.  It has been the weekly investment in strong biblical teachings. Countless Sundays God has used a sermon or Bible Fellowship lesson to correct my heart or revealed a great truth.  How many of you have sat cringing in a pew, realizing that God intended to use this sermon for you?  It’s all too easy to be taken captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which the world will readily provide.  Over the 40 years that I have attended I testify that Southeast’s leadership has always been deeply rooted in God’s word.  I have the freedom to ask the hard questions and ability to have a lively biblical debate. Thanksgiving I give to our creator for the strong foundation Southeast provides.  For when I see storms brewing;      I know that will not only survive, but will thrive. 

-Tara (K.R., Nygelle, Tehya) Heiden


Hank Salis

November 20, 2016

Hello my Southeast Christian Family. Yes, as far as I’m concerned this church is my family! It’s been several years since I’ve come to Utah. Being Polynesian and raised a majority of my life in Hawaii, walking through the doors of Southeast Christian Church gave me a feeling that I belong here.

The  nickname for Hawaii is the “Aloha State.” Aloha means Hello,          Welcome, but it also means Farewell and Goodbye. Though I say goodbye when I go home, the Aloha Spirit, or the Love of God stays with me because the humble, loving people of Southeast.

The last church I went to, even though there were Polynesians going there, I never felt that “I belong” like I do at Southeast. I was involved in ministry dealing with hardcore people. Though the gifts from God was used to minister to those people, somehow the “I belong” spirit did not stick with me.

My mother is doing fine, although she has cancer, I believe because in the prayers of Southeast being           answered. Though my sister, my mom, and I are from Hawaii,  I feel the family love at Southeast Christian Church, I belong...

-Aloha Hank Salis


Dana Stearn

November 13, 2016

From as far back as I can remember my family always attended church on   Sunday.  I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 7 years old and took      communion.  Not long after that my parents divorced and we no longer went to church on Sundays.  I had times in my life that I did regularly attend church but it was on and off, kind of like my relationship with God. Sometimes I ran to Him but other times I was running from Him.  Looking back it was like I was putting God on a shelf and reaching for Him here and there when times were tough or when it was convenient.     

I felt God calling me to go to church once again.  Southeast happened to be right up the street from my house.  I’d attended service there before and really appreciated the truth in the
preaching so I decided to give it another go.  That was about 5 years ago.  I got involved in women’s Bible study on Wednesday nights and signed up to be part of a Heart to Heart group.  I had no idea what was in store for my life moving forward but God knew and because of His great love for me He prepared the way.  He put people in my life that cared about me, prayed for me and encouraged me.  He kept drawing me closer to Him and I found myself wanting to follow him whole-heartedly.  

I had always wanted to get baptized but never felt at home in any church to do so.  Every Sunday there was a call to come forward and one Sunday I felt God strongly urging me to get out of my seat.  I really did not want to go up but I knew it was time to be obedient to His call.  I finally felt like I belonged and in December 2012 I took the plunge.  Something deeply changed in me after that day. I became bolder about what I believe and less afraid to tell others how Jesus was working in my life.  The road since has been anything but easy.  My life has been filled with loss, heartache and pain but my faith never wavered.  God carried me through it all.  There were times I didn’t believe I would survive.  God continues to show me how much He loves me through His abundant grace.   

-Dana Stearn


Don Smith

November 6, 2016

I came to Salt Lake City to work for Western Airlines in April of 1983 as a ramp agent. I was just divorced from my first wife and I needed to get myself going again. The work was long hours and very physical. Hard work seemed to help me through the tough times. A few years later I married a wonderful lady (Barbara) and we were a wonderful and loving couple.   Barbara suggested that we start looking for a church to go to on a regular basis. We visited several churches but we were not comfortable with any of them. Barb saw Southeast Christian Church’s sign and we decided to visit the next Sunday. I do remember that we were loved by everyone as soon as we walked through the front doors. We felt very comfortable and decided to continue visiting S.C.C. Soon we were asked by Ernie & Arlene Phillips to join the missions committee and that was a sure blessing to us. Later I was asked to be the Missions Committee Chairman and I accepted immediately. Barb and I lead the   Missions Committee over the next ten years together. We had a wonderful love for our supported missionaries and we went on several mission trips to Juarez, Mexico to help build small 500 square foot homes for needy Mexican families that had basically nothing.

 We enjoyed and learned a great deal from Bob Randolph’s Sunday school class and Steve Packer was always there to help me with the many questions that I needed answers to. These two men have schooled me in   wonderful knowledge of the Holy Bible and how to live it to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. Barb past in 2012 and I feel she is in Heaven with Jesus. I have slowed down some as I get older but I still love S.C.C. I remember after having stomach cancer in 2010 and going to church for the first time in about 6 months. I walked through the front doors and I said to myself “I’m Home at Last.” Yes, I do Belong to Christ and S.C.C.  

- Donald Smith


Jean Hudspeth

October 30, 2016

Jim and I were married in October of 1986.  Since then we have lived in Hawaii, California and Utah.  We have three children, Jimmy, Joanna and Jaycob. In June of 1997 we moved our family from Hawaii to Utah.  We have attended 3 different churches since moving to Utah. Both of us have always felt that Christ was in our lives and calling us to do more to love Him.      

Jim and I were both raised in the Catholic church, baptized as infants and observed all of the traditions and holidays of the Catholic church, however we never felt that we have belonged anywhere.  When we attended the Catholic church, we tried to read the Bible, but never really understood it or how to apply it to our lives. In July of 1997, after studying the Bible with some people from our old church and really understanding that God loves us and wants a real relationship with us, we were baptized.  

In 2003, the church we had been attending went through some changes. Those changes did not align with what we felt Christ wanted from us.  We decided to give Southeast a try.   

We visited Southeast a few times with a group of people from our old church. Several of us loved it so much that we decided together to place our membership with Southeast.  There were so many friendly, warm and welcoming people at Southeast that helped us make our decision.  In December of 2003 we placed our membership with Southeast Christian Church and never looked back. 

In the years that we have been attending Southeast, we have had many lasting relationships.   Sadly, many people we love have come and gone from Southeast and some from our lives, but Southeast Christian Church is our home and the people here are AMAZING!   A wise man once said to me, “Don’t be so sad when people move away, God will always bring people in your life, because we all belong to one giant family!”  This has held true throughout the years here, because at its core, Southeast Christian Church is a wonderful example of Christ’s love and generosity. 

- Jean (Jim) Hudspeth


Ken & Lea Lane

October 23, 2016

Ken's and my story began later in life after the death of our spouses.  We each had answered God's call to belong to Him early in life.  Separately, we experienced God's love, protection and saving grace.  Came to know God is the same God through dark  nights of lonely death as He is in the bright sunny mornings of precious birth; came to know He is always with us even through deep valleys of despair and jubilant mountain tops of victory. 

We met at church, introduced by Ken's brother and knew we belonged together.

One Monday morning we stopped in at SCC with the hope of obtaining some literature about what SCC believed and taught.  We were met my Bob Gibbons; he introduced us to Bob Randolph. When we told told them why we were there, they said something like hold on, we know Rick would like to meet you.  Rick asked the staff to hold off on their Monday morning meeting; invited us into his office and visited.  We knew we belonged. 

Yes, we belong - to each other, to each other at SCC, and most importantly, to God.  Our desire, our goal, with God's help, is that He be in our thinking, in everything we see; in our hearing and every word we speak; in our loving and doing, each moment we live. 

--- Ken and Lea

Joey Dressler

October 16, 2016

After finding myself in jail for a third time. I realized I needed a change. A major change. And not coming from a religious background. I thought that I had to figure it all out on my own.

I started going to the Good News Bible studies that were available to me in jail. The more I learned about Jesus. The more I found Hope, happiness, and forgiveness.

I decided to come to Southeast as soon as I was released, to continue to learn about Jesus. Not really knowing what to expect, because I have only been to church a handful of times my entire life. From day one I have never felt more welcome than I do at Southeast. I love it here and I plan to continue building my relationship with Christ here also. 

In just under a year and a half in coming to know Jesus. He has been my Rock, my solid foundation of a new found Hope and happiness for my life and my future. Jesus has brought me out from the dark and brought me to light. Someone so far lost has been found in the arms of Jesus. All my praise is for all his glory. Amen.

–Joey Dressler


Cyndi Standow

October 9, 2016

How I came to Southeast Christian Church was more than God designed and shamefully I dragged my heals all the way. Back in 2009, I was cutting hair at a Great Clips and whatever I said or more than likely the Spirit was moving through Rick Stewart but the words, "You need to find a church," came out of his mouth so clear. He didn't tell me where he ministered or even that he was a minister. I think it was a couple of weeks after this that I tried out a couple of different churches, the 3rd being Southeast. It immediately felt like home. I attended a few times but came up with one poor reason after another to not commit myself to what God was graciously coaching me to do. I popped in, here and now; mostly from despair and asking somebody in the office to pray for me. 

I was listening to Charles Stanley once and he said, "When God wants us to wait... there's three reasons:
1) He is readying the circumstances. 2) He wants our motivation to be right. 3) He's getting us to trust him.
So I am finding myself more and more encouraged as I see evidence of my heart changing. Here I was amidst this raging storm being blessed by Christ to love my husband who 4 years earlier I had hated with everything inside of me. Then after four ugly separations, that left me completely broken but I could not bring myself to leave him though I knew he was stealing my joy. God in all His mercy and grace helped me let go of all my senseless baggage. And was blessed basically with a 2-month healing retreat. When I came back to Utah,            I found a new sense of purpose and had no problem at all becoming a church member through the body of Christ. I want to thank Southeast Christian Church and our part of the body of Christ.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,are being transformed into the same
image from one degree of glory to another.For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”   2 Corinthians 3:18  

-Cyndi Standow


LeeAnna & George Ventura

October 2, 2016

Both George and I (LeeAnna) were raised Mormon, but in our adult lives we have not been active – it didn’t feel right for us and it always seemed that something was missing.  (Regardless of our on personal feelings, we have always been     respectful and loving towards all of our family members that are active in the Mormon religion.)  In 2012, I started coming to Southeast off and on, and listened to Southeast’s sermons every week online – often times more than once.  I began attending Southeast more regularly, finding it a bit scary not knowing anyone, as   I was used to attending church with people from the neighborhoods where I lived. 

Every time I attended Southeast, there were always the same few people that remembered me and made me feel welcome, giving me the desire to return.  It’s strange, but I always felt that the messages in the weekly sermons were prepared just for me and they always inspired me for the week ahead. 

During the same time I was attending Southeast on my own, George was busy traveling to and from Latin America for work, and he hadn’t really put a lot of thought into spiritual matters.  On one  flight returning home, George started a conversation with a woman who had just completed a service project in Guatemala.  They talked about religion, Mormonism and how his wife (me) had been attending a church that focused on the Bible and Jesus Christ.  George was tired after a long week and fell asleep, never expecting to see or hear from the woman again. 

Upon the flight’s arrival in the States, the woman placed a hand-written note in George’s hand, and wished him safe travels for the remainder of his trip home.  At some point during his last flight to Salt Lake, George opened the note that this stranger had left him.  It listed four truths (with biblical references) that said: Truth #1, “God loves you.”  Truth #2, “Man is sinful and separated from God.”  Truth #3, "God gave His one and only Son,  Jesus, to pay the price for man's sin and to forgive us of our sin.”  And Truth #4, “We each must individually choose to receive Jesus Christ, God’s gift, into our hearts.” 

This note from a total stranger – truly an angel from God – inspired George to follow me to Southeast, and we started attending together.  It took us awhile to feel that we were ready, but we are now proud to say that we were baptized last month and have both chosen to receive Jesus Christ.

-George & LeeAnna Ventura


Bruce Larner

September 25, 2016

I was born and raised in a Jewish home way back in 1944, which was in the last century.  

In 1995, I began communicating with a woman in Kalispell, MT, because she wanted to know more about her ‘Jewish roots.’  Over that summer, I tried very hard to explain why her Christian beliefs were erroneous.  Needless to say, that did not work too well, because as I studied the Bible with her, I could not explain my Jewish beliefs against Scripture. 

In April, 1997, I looked hard to find a good, solid Christian church.  That church was Southeast Christian Church (SCC).  I joined Bible studies on Sundays and Wednesday nights.  The congregation was terrific, and I became very happy with SCC and its’ teaching,  I accepted our Lord and Savior, and was baptized, in August that year.  In 1998, I was asked if I would like to become Bible study teacher.  I accepted, taught, and have been learning ever since.

Also, in the fall of ‘97, I met my future bride, Marianne, and we were married in 2001.  In 2006, we moved to Florida, and joined a Christian church in Lakeland, FL.  However, Marianne and I are still members, and continue to help support our ‘Home Church.’  Marianne and I will always Belong to SCC.

-Bruce (Marianne) Larner


Cindy Wright

September 18, 2016

I grew up in a Christian home, attending an American Baptist church during my growing up years, and was baptized at age 11. When Bob and I moved to Utah from Arizona in 1982, we were excited to start a new life here in this spectacular mountain climate. However, I didn’t find a church until my friend Joni Short invited me to SCC to hear her sing. I found that I liked the message and the amiable feeling of our gatherings here.

 When we became parents, I especially felt the need for help instilling in our little son the Christian values that we ourselves had grown up with. I joined Southeast in 1988 and became active in VBS and children’s Sunday School while our kids, Eric and Anna, were growing up. Here at Southeast, we have encountered an attitude of humility, encouragement, and love. 

A few years ago, I began organizing our MealMaker Ministry.  MealMakers has become a faith-builder for me, as I experience this amazing team of people pulling together to serve people in need: providing meals as well as prayers, both so necessary for healing and spiritual sustenance. Southeast is a true church family of people who support and uplift each other.  And as we extend our outreach beyond our congregation, we acknowledge a vital connection to all who seek God’s word. May we all live by the Greatest Commandments: “Love God, and love each other.” (Matthew 22:37-40) I’m thankful that I belong.

 -Cindy (Bob, Eric & Anna) Wright


Steve Leistner

September 11, 2016

When I moved to Salt Lake City November 1981, I initially began attending Southeast out of convenience because it was a Christian church close to my apartment.

Shortly thereafter, the church presented a film series titled "How Should We Then Live" by Dr. Francis Schaeffer. It introduced me to Dr. Schaeffer and met a special need in my life at that time. It was as if God had orchestrated the timing of the events just for me. I continued attending Southeast and it has now been some 35 years and counting.

The people of Southeast had always made me feel welcome but it was when I became involved in different ministries of service that I really felt connected. When my son was born and growing up  I helped in the nursery, later assisted in teaching children's classes, later assisted in what was called children's church, and at different times served in the music ministry playing guitar for children's and adult worship. I do not mean to imply that I did anything extraordinary or more than anyone else, just that being involved at some level was key to my sense of belonging.

Our church family has experienced many blessings and joys over the years but also some heartbreaking losses that are so very difficult to understand. Only our abiding faith in our Lord Jesus could see us through those difficult times. This, then, is what binds me most to Southeast: through good times and bad, our unyielding commitment to the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and we claim him as Master and Savior of our lives. I belong at Southeast.

-Steve Leistner


Jeremy & Susie Shi Tian

September 4, 2016

We found Southeast Christian Church from the internet. Before we came in, we have listened to the sermons online, and echoed with what Pastor Mike delivered. 

We love the worship, the music, and the band; we also love the children Sunday program, Coni, Christy, Brad, Russ families, and more... are all   wonderful teachers. 

In addition, the adult bible fellowship is another highlight.  It is a great place to meet with people, to have thoughts collided, and to have questions asked and answered. 

As a family from a very different background, speaking imperfect English, we wondered about our  identity 
in the church. Yet there was one Sunday we listened to the sermon by Mike speaking of racial issues after
the shooting tragedy happened in Charleston SC. He said there is no white church, and no black church,
there is only the red church that is stained by the blood of Jesus. From that moment, we decided that SCC is
the place for us to stay.

'For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were (Psalm 39:12).' It is ordained by God. So 

we look forward to an even more beautiful place to stay in heaven, while we belong to a local church and
take care of each other on earth.

-Jeremy, Susie, and Ruth Tian


Blake Burns

August 28, 2016

I grew up going to Holiday Baptist Church (now called Risen Life).  We went there until I was eight.  As my sister and I grew up more my parents were starting to look for a new church with a better youth group.  They were worried we wouldn’t have many friends at our old church during our teenage years.  For over a year we would go to various churches across the valley trying to find a good fit for our family.  After all that time we decided to make Southeast our home.

My family has been coming to Southeast for 11 years now.  My first year here I was in Debbie Bender’s class.  I grew up through the youth group under the leadership of Cody and John.  I now attend the University of Utah and am connected with Tommy’s Impact group on campus. 

With the support from our church family, Impact has made my college life so much better.  I lost all of my high school friends to missions and through the Impact family I have been able to meet new friends.  Weekly meetings with Tommy were the highlight of my weeks during my last year of college.  It was one of the only times that I knew that I belonged to a much larger group.  The church family has always been there for me even through the lowest times during the school year.  It really was God’s direction for me to come to this church and make such good friends and develop a strong relationship with Him.  I am very thankful for all the people here that have been with me as I have grown up and are still here as I move on into my adult life.  

-Blake Burns (Larry, Amy, Brooke)

Esther Israelson

August 21, 2016

We serve an Awesome God! AMEN!! 

I belong- to Southeast Christian Church -about 5 yrs.  Why? Because, We are encouraged in the Lord! We share beautiful things about Our God & Savior!! You can feel God’s Spirit!

I love- When I had only visited a few times, I went in the hospital & several people from the church came to visit me & Pray for me! When we take communion together it’s a thoughtful process that we all participate     together in unity, it’s not just a “ritual” type thing the focus is on God our Savior.

 Many years ago, I went through a chain of events & struggles and felt like I hit rock bottom. I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, actually I just couldn’t see God’s Light- HE IS the Light of the World after all right! Maybe it was God’s way of having me look to HIM.  My spirit longed for GOD, I wanted to experience GOD’s Love & I wanted GOD to do Great Works in my Life! I wanted to see Changes for the Good, because “All good things come from the Lord.” I was sick of all the negative without Hope.

I re-Dedicated my life to Christ Jesus! Wow!!! What a difference as the Lord began working in my life…it didn’t just become easy, but it’s an amazing ongoing refinement - in knowing the Lord as My Personal SAVIOR. Knowing GOD is very alive & HE has a Plan for Our lives! My relationship with God began to develop as I communicated with Him more & more! I began to understand HIS Great Love, Understanding & Care. His Protection. HIS blessing’s on my life!

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

As a Realtor Professional of over 30 years, GOD has Blessed me & been actively involved in my work helping others* I pray for every transaction! GOD is Good!

Southeast Christian church Worships GOD & Follows GOD’s Word-the Bible. That’s Important! Great lively   Classes! A church that welcomes you as you are! That shows great Love for GOD & You! Come join us!

~May GOD grant HIS Blessings upon your life today! 

-Esther Israelson


Brian Boner

August 14, 2016

I was not raised in church and can only remember attending church twice growing up. In college, I started a journey that would lead to Jesus. It was during my sophomore year that I accepted Christ, but it would be a long time before I really felt like I belonged in the Body.

When Katie and I first entered Southeast, we saw Everett and Irene
Bristow, and we knew there was something special about this church. The Bristows had been members of our previous church, had attended our wedding, and were people of deep faith that we looked up to. Irene asked us to sit with them, introduced us to several people, and introduced us to Rick Stewart and Tommy White after service. We met with Rick a couple times over the next few weeks, and went to a class on what Southeast believes. I challenged some of what he said, we discussed it openly, and though we did not agree on everything, I came away with a profound respect for him.

Katie and I had been leading a small group that included people from several churches. The moment I really felt like I belonged was when Andy and Christy Clark took that small group into their home. Their concern for everyone in that group, regardless of where they worshipped Christ, taught me a lot about belonging to the Body of Christ and not just a particular congregation. I learned that I belonged when people of faith went out of their way to help me belong. Irene, Rick, and Andy were some of the first to step purposefully into our lives, but many others have done so in the ensuing years. I know that I belong because the people of the Body show me that I belong. (Romans 12:4-13)

-Brian Boner (Katie)


Karen Geertgens

August 7, 2016

Hi, my name is Karen Geertgens and I'm a single mom of two
amazing boys, Skylar and Bryan, aka BJ. One boy claims to be atheist and one loves Jesus. All 3 of us are loved by my church family. I was raised in another religion that you had to be perfect and like everyone else or you were not allowed to belong to this church.  I have been trying to remember when I first felt like I was really a part of Southeast, and I've come to the conclusion that it was the first day I walked through the door!

Being a part of Southeast has taught me that its not about religion, its about a relationship with Jesus. Its about being lifted up by imperfect people. Its about loving each other. No matter what trials we encounter, we do it together. I feel like being a part of something special like Southeast is crucial to your walk with Christ. Even though you do a lot of praying and studying on your own, I find it hard to pick yourself up when you fall. People are put into our lives for a reason. Southeast is made up of so many different people, personalities and gifts, that it's hard for you to stay down. Someone can always bring something to the table to help lift you up. Southeast will always be our home. We belong......


-Karen Geertgens (Skylar Meyer, Bryan Geertgens)


Matthew Stevens

July 31, 2016

Good morning all! My name is Matt Stevens and I belong at Southeast Christian Church. I have been attending since I was 8, but I wouldn’t say  I really picked up on things and started coming regularly until 7th grade. Through those years I have been baptized, gotten to go on 5 summer trips while in high school, gotten plugged in to the worship team playing bass and the occasional soundboard, and occasionally helping out in the Children's Ministry.

Since I graduated this year I have been loving attending all the Impact group things we do. However I didn’t just start out being this involved, in fact when I was younger I hated church I wasn’t as our great pastor would say, a BUICK (brought up in church kid.) So then what made me start to feel like I belong? The Church being the Church did, meaning that the more I came the more people started to notice me, coming and talking to me, getting to know me. Over time because of how great our Church did its job BEING the Church, I stopped becoming a newcomer and just seamlessly made the transition into being a regular member. And the same goes for how I became so involved, whether it was the older guys on the worship team making sure I felt welcome on the team, or it was the Frameworks leaders telling me something as simple as “Hey thanks for helping out today man!” The Church kept being the Church and they gladly made me a part of the church body, and furthermore let me work and use my talents to the best of my abilities to help grow the body and hopefully make others belong at Southeast Christian Church just like I did some years ago.
A blessed day to all.

-Matthew Stevens


Nick Young

July 24, 2016

My name is Nicholas Young. I grew up in the church for most of my life and was baptized when I was in middle school. Even before I was baptized my hometown church had made me feel like I belonged. So when I graduated high school and was planning to move away for college I was a bit nervous.   I was afraid of not belonging anywhere again like I had at home where I had spent 10 years developing relationships with those at church.

To my very pleasant surprise, it was always the church that came around me and helped me to belong in each new area. Since I have moved from home I have been to 6 different churches. Each time I went to a new church, each church family helped to include me helping mefeel like I belonged. That’s why I really  appreciate coming to Southeast    Christian Church.

-Nick (Tiffany) Young


Joanna Hudspeth

July 17, 2016

Hi! My name is Joanna. I'm 22 years old. I was raised by two wonderful   devout Christian parents who surrendered their lives to Christ when I was very young. So I basically grew up in church and a lot of people at Southeast Christian Church have watched me grow from a little girl into a woman. I have always had a sense of belonging from that. From weekly small groups being hosted at our house to Christmas Eve services and other various church actives. I've always known that I belonged to a church family. A    family who doesn't necessarily share blood, but shares a Faith, a Lord, a Savior. But it wasn't until the age of 17 that my eyes were opened to an even greater sense of belonging. Growing up in Utah, I really didn't know any other Biblical followers of Christ outside of Southeast Christian Church. But in the summer before my Junior year of High School I attended a CIY (Christ in Youth) Move conference with my youth group in Durango, Colorado. God moved in my heart in such great and numerous ways that week. I watched as all these young people surrendered their lives to Christ. Person after person, boldly professing Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is something I really had never seen before and God used this to speak this new sense of belonging into me. I realized that I didn't only belong to Southeast Christian Church, I belonged to something so much bigger. I belonged to the Body of Christ, the believers in all  of the World. I belonged to the Kingdom of God. And, being a part of that I realized that, along with receiving an eternity with Christ, I also received a special     purpose, a job that Jesus wants me to do. I have now since, enjoyed becoming a youth leader myself and have actually had the honor of accompanying a group of junior high and high schoolers to a CIY Move conference just this past week (front picture is from that). I love seeing young people become so on fire for Christ at these events and helping them find their sense of belonging in Christ just as I did.

-Joanna Hudspeth


Zed Cherrix

July 10, 2016

I grew up in a small town in Maryland. I went to a Methodist Church and joined it as a teenager where I was sprinkled. Penny was saved at a Billy Graham crusade.
As soon as I graduated High School and got on my own I was a big strong guy who thought “I don’t need God for anything.” I thought I could handle anything even though my grandfather who I loved deeply (who was as close to Bob Randall as anyone I’ve ever met) was a devout Christian.
After two failed marriages I met Penny and moved to SLC. My first wife and I had twin sons and I left them in Maryland to move to SLC when they were 13.
Penny was a member of SCC and tried to get me to go to church with her. She started an advertising agency after we married and our biggest client was Cream O’Weber. Bob Gibbons worked there. Back then he was one of several who got servers for communion. Penny had made a deal with Bob to call to get me to go to church and I would because Cream O’Weber was our biggest client.
Around 2000 something came up with my twins that I couldn’t handle and Penny talked me into giving this problem to God. Penny told me about a woman (Linda Abel) who asked her after a Secret Sister meeting if she was married to me. Long story short, Linda and I grew up about 30 miles from each other and we knew each others’ families! Mine from race horses and hers from sweet potatoes. Linda was hosting a Small Group and after meeting her we started going to their group.
My next visit back to Maryland I went to a Methodist church with a friend and when I got back to SLC I told Penny I wanted to go to a Methodist church here. I told Jerry our preacher that I wanted to meet with him to tell him about me looking for a new church. Jerry said he couldn’t fit me in that week and I said fine.
That Sunday I was serving and back then Communion was at the beginning of the service. I am standing there with my hands full with the grape juice and the bread crumbs and the hymn they played was “In The Garden” which was my mother’s favorite hymn. I was crying like a baby and trying to hide it. As we started serving the next hymn was “The Old Rugged Cross” (her other favorite). That was God’s way of saying SCC is my church.
Jerry left and Rick came and I met Barry Long at a men’s breakfast and I got to know Linda who invited me to Sunday School and the rest is history.
I started working with Linda in the kitchens and she taught me not to be afraid to cook and now I do most of the cooking in our home.
I am so mad at myself for not getting to know this HUGE family I now have at SCC sooner! I am so thankful that God had patience with me and He had to take a 2x4 upside of my head to get me to come back to the church.
Now I know I belong here.

-Zed (Penny) Cherrix



Carolyn Chavez

July 3, 2016

I grew up in Las Vegas, NV in a family of 4 girls and a single mom.  My mom was a strong Christian woman and found her strength in her faith.  Jesus was her fortress and her rock, and she was never alone in raising us because of Him.  I am blessed to have a close family and siblings who are my best friends. I moved to Salt Lake in 2005 to start my new career in real estate.  I met my husband to be, Matt, shortly after     I moved here. He was also raised in a Christian home, and I fell in love with his kind and tender heart. We had attended several Christian churches in Salt Lake but could never find quite the right fit. In 2010
I got to know John & Mirjam Curry when I sold them their home, and they invited us to attend Southeast       Christian.  Matt & I fell in love with Pastor Rick and his humble and caring personality.  His words always spoke to our hearts.  Then we fell in love with the people at Southeast. We have always felt warmth and welcome from the people of Southeast.  We have formed friendships and feel that the people here are   genuine and sincerely love Christ and each other.  We are happy to have a church that we can finally call home.

 -Carolyn (Matt) Chavez Longanecker


Kathy Bennett

June 26, 2016

January of 2013. After moving to Salt Lake from Indiana in October of 2012,          I immediately began to search for a new church home but left it up to God to lead me. I had visited another church but felt it wasn’t right for me so I was   happy to hear from my grandchildren about the “very friendly” church that had opened its doors to their group, The national Christian Forensics and Communications Association; NCFCA, speech and debate club.

They were right. Southeast is very friendly and I felt welcome on my first Sunday. I knew I was in the right church when I was invited to join the community group led by Brandon and Chae Holmes and hosted by Dana Stearn. The membership of our group changed over the three years we met for Sunday suppers but there was always the diversity that characterizes Southeast. I found that same diversity in the Sunday morning Bible fellowship led by Bob Randolph where I have learned so much about the Bible by sharing ideas with so many different people.

My community group, Bible fellowship, and the outstanding sermons which have given me an even greater understanding of scripture, are still only some of my southeast experiences. I was also included as a member of the Prayer Team and the hospitality team took me on as a greeter. I have had to give up some of these because I live several months a year in Ohio now but I know that I still belong and will always belong to this part of the body of Christ we call Southeast Christian Church.

-Kathy Bennett


Lauri Carter

June 19, 2016

My daughter, Alison, and I first attended Southeast on February 7th, of this year. Right from the start we were greeted with friendly smiles and given information about youth ministry, adult Bible Fellowship classes and Worship service. We separated, Ali went up to Gary and Vicki’s Jr. High class and was pleasantly    surprised. I remember because afterward she commented to me on how the room felt like a coffee shop with the comfortable couches and donuts. Then, during Worship service she leaned into me and said, “I love this church let’s come back here.” That’s the moment when I knew our quest to find a new home church was over.

My younger son, Conrad, joined us the next week and he also has been blessed with meeting new friends and enjoys his class. He was especially happy to find out about the basketball court and have the opportunity to play ball at the end of class.

SCC has felt like home to me from the fist day we attended. I can’t say enough great things about Mike Packer’s Bible Fellowship class. I love the open discussion format and through that class God has planted a seed in my heart for more intense Bible study. When I recently reached out to Mike for information on Bible colleges, he offered to head up the new IBS program that just started. I’m so excited about it!

Isn’t it beautiful? Jesus ALWAYS meets us right where we are. He can use comfy couches & donuts, he can use basketball and community groups… whatever it takes to get our attention, Jesus is alive here and that’s why we belong.

-Lauri Carter (Keith, Nathan, Alison, Conrad & friend, Christina)


Karen Goler

June 12, 2016

I never grew up going to church on a regular basis, but I always knew there was a God who loved me.  The song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” was my constant go to during difficult times.  Throughout my teenage years I drifted to and from God.  I always knew He was watching over me, and His constant love gave me peace.  In college I met Mike and God was completely put on the back burner.  I still believed, but He was not a priority.  Mike and I eventually got married and almost 6 years later became parents.  During this time    I would only pray when I needed something. Then when Kenny was about 3, he informed me that he wanted to go to church.  I was worried because he wanted to go to the church his friends in the neighborhood told him about.  I once again prayed to God for help, and He put Bill and Debbie Pazos in the picture.  We were neighbors and I knew they belonged to a Christian church.  I asked them if I could join them one Sunday.  From the     moment I walked in Southeast I knew I was home.  The people were wonderful and the message even better.         I became a member and have raised both of my kids here. Throughout the years of volunteering and attending Bible Study classes, my relationship with God has dramatically changed.  My prayers are now different, instead of just asking for things, I praise, discuss and try to meditate on His word.  I have developed a relationship with God and have given my life over to Him.  I believe this change happened because of Southeast.  I am so blessed to be a member of this church, and most of all I am proud that I belong to a wonderful church family. 

-Karen (Mike, Kenny, & TJ) Goler


Dale & Polly Chapman

June 5, 2016

Dale and I joined Southeast about 25 years ago, shortly after getting  married and moving from California.  We were blessed to find a church with people who cared about us and made us feel like part of a family.  This meant a lot to us, as all our "real " family was back in California.  

Twelve years ago, we were surprised with the beautiful child we had wanted for a long time.  He was born with Down Syndrome and a severe heart defect.   The Southeast family knew of his differences, and supported and encouraged us even before he was born. You, our  Southeast family, have continued to love and support us, and have embraced Ryan and his different path: through life and through kids church.  I am not sure any other kid spent 5 years in the 4-5 year old class.  

Sometimes I worry about what the future holds for Ryan and our family.  Earlier this year I came across a verse in Psalms that was apparently written just for me (and maybe you too).  "The Lord protects the simplehearted: when I was in great need, he saved me." Psalm 116:6.

We are grateful that even though we are different in some ways, we know we belong!

-Dale & Polly (Ryan) Chapman


Ann Maurine Frink

May 29, 2016

When I was young and raising my children I decided I didn't believe in God anymore.  I thought as long as I was in control things would be fine.  That reasoning lasted fairly well (Thank God!) until my 3 children became teenagers and they each rebelled and turned to Jesus!  I have no idea how that works in God's economy but I am eternally grateful!   Thank God, I followed their lead!!    Looking back, that was 29 years ago, I can see God's hand on my life all along! 

When I moved to SLC, my daughter, Elizabeth, actually "discovered" SCC and excitedly told me about it since it was near their home.  My first Sunday here was one of our beloved Pastor, Rick Stewart's last times he was able to preach.   I enjoyed, with sadness, getting to know him.  I joined his wife, Reenie's Sunday school class where we were just starting Genesis .   As I was getting to know the incredibly friendly congregation, l tried Christy Clark's Wednesday morning Bible Study and found her to be a wonderful teacher and friend!   There, l met a terrific friend, Kathy Bennett, who has been writing a biography of my father for the past 3 years!  I volunteered to help with the coffee & bagels and  welcome people in the Hospitality Ministry which Is a good, fun way to meet new friends!   The search for our new Senior Pastor was long and diligent but culminated in Mike Packer--- who was raised at SCC, his parents and family are still here and he came back after leading a church in Oregon for several years.  John Curry, the Youth Pastor, sent a whole team to help me move and has been helpful many times since!   Needles to say, SCC has been an integral part of my life and move to SLC.  I think you will find that to be true for you, also, whether you are a young single, a family, or a great grandmother, like me!  I know you would be  welcomed into the   Southeast  family as I have been.

> P.S.  The Christ centered, Biblical teaching is excellent as well !

-Ann Maurine Frink


Cindy Brown

May 22, 2016

Rocky and I were born and raised in Spokane, WA.  We were high school sweethearts who will be celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary in October.   Neither of us were raised with parents who attended church.  He got a touch of the Catholics from his grandmother.  My family lived across the street from a Presbyterian Church, so at times my mother would walk my siblings and I across the street and drop us off at Sunday School and the summer vacation activities.  I overheard a couple adults one day, talking about my parents just “sending” us and not attending, except at Easter and Christmas.  While I was hurt at what they were saying, I made the decision right then that I would attend church as a family when I grew up.  There were times also that a Baptist Church in the neighborhood would send a bus around to pick up children to attend Sunday School.  I enjoyed that as well.  It was during my Jr. High  years that I really came to learn more about and love Jesus.  I attended First Church of the Open Bible with a friend and became active in their youth group.  When Rocky and I got married, we did not actively attend church, but after the birth of our first son in 1984, we began attending a small Presbyterian Church and it became our church home until we moved from Spokane.

In 2003, my department with Qwest Communications closed.  My job carried our insurance and I was 7 years away from a 30 year retirement.  We made the difficult decision for me to continue my career in SLC.  It wasn’t a good time to move the entire family so we took on the challenge of being a split family for several years.  Our youngest, Spencer would move to SLC with me and begin Jr. High here.  I was fortunate that my company, flew us back and forth frequently. 

As I struggled with living away from Spokane, cancer resurfacing with Rocky and other issues, I knew I needed to be at Church.  Jesus was the constant in my life.  I moved into the Cottonwood Heights neighborhood and SCC caught my eye.  Church was a place of comfort for me, but it was also where my emotions would rise to the surface.  The music would touch my heart and often I could not sing because I was silently weeping.   I attended for numerous years, just slipping in and then slipping out. 

I really didn’t feel that sense of “I belong”  at SCC until I actively decided to embrace opportunities to meet people.  The” Heart to Heart” Women's  group  was my first decision to try and meet others and make this my church home. That grew to other areas, Women’s Wednesday evening Bible Study,   the Women’s summer hike and most recently Rocky and I have started attending a Sunday evening community group.   We have gotten great joy assisting in the kitchen for many wonderful  fellowship events, as our schedules allowed.  Through all of this we have gotten to know so many wonderful people, made new friends and can now say “We Belong.”  We look forward to continuing to grow in Christ with the Sunday Worship Services and learning and studying God’s word. 

- Cindy Brown (Rocky, Derek, (Kaitlyn), Spencer, Joseph, (Bri))


Jeff & Sheri Addington

May 15, 2016

When Sheri and I got married I was Catholic and she was Presbyterian. Therefore, we had to choose a church. Through prayers and other considerations, we decided to worship at a non-denominational Christian church in Houston, TX. From that point on in all the towns we have lived in we have attended a non-denominational Christian church. At some point in our growth we both decided that we needed to be baptized again (full emmersion and our decision). Therefore, we were both baptized by my father in November of 1999.

When we moved here to the Salt Lake City area in 2010 we had already heard of Southeast     Christian Church due to connections with others from our church in Oklahoma. It just goes to prove that Christians are sometimes a small community. We really enjoy worshiping here at SCC.  One of the reasons we chose SCC was Breauna really enjoyed attending Club 56 when we first started here.  Another reason is the receiving of communion weekly. That was very important to us both. We knew this was where God wanted us. We were welcomed with open arms.  We have been blessed as a family to be able to serve in many ways throughout the Church.  We are excited about the future at SCC.

 - Jeff & Sheri (Breauna) Addington


Emilie Wallace

May 8, 2016

Hello! My name is Emilie Wallace and I’m 21 year old. I grew up in a small town called Carthage in Missouri. I have been attending church for as long as I can remember. I had always been involved in our youth groups and found myself helping with many events within the church. I loved my church family and always felt like I belonged. Fast forward a few years. 

My parents, sister, and I moved to Salt Lake City about a month after  I graduated high school, in 2013. Shortly after, I started school at The Art Institute for a degree in Baking and Pastry. I struggled to fit in with the predominantly LDS families in our neighborhood and I also struggled with the majority of people I went to school with. I knew what I believed but I spent the majority of my time at school and with a lot of non-believers. I soon found myself not really knowing where I belonged or what I was supposed to be doing with my life.

About a year ago, I started to get involved with Impact Ministries. I used to think I didn’t belong there because I didn’t go to the U or Westminster. But, being a part of Impact has given me the chance to have the close relationships that I had with my Missouri church. I am very thankful for Tommy and Jen White and Southeast for giving me the chance to belong.

 - Emilie Wallace


Shaniece Brazwell

May 1, 2016

I have been regularly attending  Southeast Christian Church for about 8 months. I moved to Salt Lake City from Arizona in August of 2015 to attend the University of Utah as a transfer student. I was excited about my journey to this city to pursue my love for dance, but I was nervous about finding a Christian church in  a predominately Mormon city. Considering my desire to grow in Christ,    I immediately began my search for a bible believing church. I went to a few churches near the college campus but found none with a strong sense of community or deep desire to dive into the word of God to deepen their understanding. Eventually I became discouraged because I was not sure I would find a church family to become part of. One day, after searching the Internet for yet another Christian church I could visit, I came across Southeast's website. That morning I decided to visit and as I sat through the sermon I heard a       message being preached that explored the deeper things of Christ; things that would actually push the saints to grow in Christ. Following the service I was introduced to Emilie Wallace who invited me to the Impact Bible studies which I began attending a couple weeks later. Ever since joining the Impact Bible studies, I have not only learned a great deal but have also developed strong relationships with members of this church. Tommy and Jennifer White have also had a major influence in me having a sense of belonging to this youth group and church as a whole which I truly appreciate. I am beyond grateful that God led me to this church and I would encourage anyone who may be searching for a home church to consider getting involved at Southeast. You surely will belong in this Christ centered, loving community.

 - Shaniece Brazwell


Cheri Barker

April 24, 2016

I was born into a Catholic family, later becoming a Jehovah's Witness in grade school. I attended a Baptist church with my neighbor's eventually getting baptized at 14.  I moved 17 times by the time I was 17, it was then that I joined the Navy.  As an adult, I knew what I didn't believe in, but needed to figure out what I did believe in. I turned away from God after years of struggle, thinking that he didn't care or that I wasn't worthy. When I realized what      I had been doing wasn't working, I decided to try God once more. It was better than the  alternatives I had in mind.

My first Sunday at Southeast was two days before 9/11. Needless to say, I showed up the next Sunday as well.        I remember holding hands in a large circle around the sanctuary and singing “God Bless America. I sang along as the tears flowed from myself and many others. A few years later my fourth son came along. I longed to repair my relationship with God and desired to be a part of a church family. As I drove past Southeast, I saw a sign regarding the 40 Days of Purpose; it grabbed my attention and drew me here once again. I made a commitment to the 40 day challenge and in the end, I came forward and placed my membership.

 I have been blessed by this church family through many ups and downs.  God has repaired my heart and soul and wrapped me in the warmth of his love through Women’s and Children’s Ministries and healed my broken heart through worship songs and his Word. God called me back to him and welcomed me with open arms and used the people of Southeast to love, serve and embrace me and my family. Out of love and gratitude, I serve my Savior and his people. May you find peace and love and a sense of belonging here as I have!

- Cheri (Dwayne (not pictured), Brandon, Dustin, Dylan, Devyn) Barker


Shelly Davidson

April 17, 2016

In February of 1971, we moved from Cumberland, Maryland to the Salt Lake City area – now Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Culture shock for an eight-year old wasn’t as difficult for me as it was for my soon to be teenage sister, Cindy. Even so, I faced things concerning my faith that I wouldn’t have faced had we not moved to Salt Lake City.

We decided to settle in at SCC which at that time was located on Highland Dr.  and 6900 South. I was brought up with Pat Tsuyuki singing those heart-enriching hymns, laid-back Sunday evening services and God fearing Sunday School teachers like Jim Godsey. Blessings increased as I was given the opportunity to be a “story-reading and candy bringing” babysitter for Robin Resler (Bob and Shirley Resler’s daughter), Tara Phillips Heiden, (Ernie and Arlene Phillip’s daughter) and all three of Steve and Linda Packer’s kids.

The Fall of 1978 we moved into our current building. Eventually, Southeast allowed me to begin what has long been the blessing of working with the Children’s Ministry. Later I was allowed to work with the Youth Group as a choreographer for their theatre productions which they showcased several years during the annual Ski Fest.

My greatest blessing, apart from Jesus as a Lord and Savior of my life was growing in friendship and later marrying my husband, Russ Davidson. We’re coming up on our 23th wedding anniversary this year. God has blessed us with three great kids – Olivia, RJ and Anna Grace. Russ and I absolutely believe God placed him at SCC in order for us to meet. 

In Summer 1997 my sister, Cindy pushed me into an uncomfortable adventure. She wanted me to go before the   Elders and encourage them to start a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at SCC. When Cindy pushes, you feel like you’re on wheels with no brakes in sight. Thankfully, the elders believed MOPS would be a great fit for our church. MOPS, was supported by Linda Packer, Bonnie Hoopes and many others.  Through MOPS I formed friendships that supported me in Christ as I encouraged our children to have a heart for Jesus.

Those youthful “Shelly grows up” years are long gone, but God continues to grow me through my church family. Needless to say I feel at home here. Through the years the leadership at SCC has always encouraged a true             relationship in Jesus and growing that relationship through the family inside and outside these walls. Thank you     my Southeast family for “growing” me in Jesus. I look forward to many “growing” years to come.

- Shelly (Russ, Olivia, RJ, Anna Grace) Davidson


Christy Clark

April 10, 2016

BELONGING:  to be a part of

As an Air Force family, the Clarks have been a part of many churches and known and loved hundreds of Christians all over the world for years.  Church is central to our life.  Both of us grew up and started our spiritual journeys in Christian Churches elsewhere similar to Southeast, one of the reasons we came “back to our roots” here a decade ago.  But, true belonging is much more than attending a      service on a Sunday or even saying, “we’re members.”  It is being an integral, “plugged in” part of the Body of Christ where we live out our faith through service.  I love teaching and kids, so I serve in kids’ ministry and lead a women’s Bible study on Wednesday mornings.  I also serve on the missions    committee, and when our Southeast team recently went to India, I felt like I was there with them!  Andy responded with others to our Haiti mission after the earthquake, serves here in the kitchen, and helps keep up church’s facilities and grounds.  But wherever, however we serve, Christ is at the heart of our service-- as He is the center of Southeast and we are in Him.  What a mighty God we serve!

- Christy (Andy) Clark


Louise Gibbons

April 3, 2016

What does it mean to belong? I’ve always felt that being accepted and      understood is very important to all of us. I grew up in a big family in Idaho.  I spent my college years here in Salt Lake City where I met my husband, Bob. We married and started a family.

I became baptized by immersion many years ago at the “little” SCC on Highland Drive. At first, however, I didn’t feel that I really belonged. It seemed I was invisible and painfully shy. Then I stepped out and joined a  Bible Study which seemed to whet my appetite for the desire to search out God’s promises in His word. I no longer felt the need to “hide” and started reaching out and forming strong lasting friendships with more and more folks at SCC. About this time, through the influence and prayers of close friends. Bob accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior!

We prayed about hosting a small group Bible Study in our home. What a blessing! Aside from studying the Bible in depth, we pray, laugh, and east. We share our joys, needs, sorrows, and frustrations. Just knowing that other folks care and that they’re praying becomes vitally important. We’re no longer a “small” group but we always have room for one to two or three more!

I think God for bringing people into my life who have counseled and nourished my soul and thank Him for   leading me to SCC. I (we) belong!

-Louise (Bob) Gibbons 

Brandon Holmes

March 27, 2016

Four years ago, Chae and I arrived in Salt Lake City from Dallas, Texas knowing that we needed to find a church home.  We knew we needed a church that would teach and help us grow in our relationship with the Lord.  As a young couple who knew no one in the state, we began our search online.  We found Southeast and we were instantly attracted by the community groups and proximity to our home.  Upon entering the church for the first time we were greeted by a smiling Bonnie Brown.  Seeing that there were loving people at Southeast encouraged us to  begin learning about church membership.  It did not take long for us to make the commitment that this would be our church home.

Truthfully, we always felt like we belonged at Southeast, but feeling and knowing are two different things.  Chae and I started leading a community group about six months after joining the church. The relationships developed in our group really answered our prayers that we’d find a place where we belonged.  We added the need for prayers due to our troubles conceiving a child to the prayer list and the church began praying for us fervently. We have no doubts that the prayers of our church family helped in God blessing us with our son Liam. Liam truly belongs to the family of Southeast Christian Church. Because we live states away from his biological      extended family, the members of Southeast Christian Church have assumed that role to him and my wife alike. When she didn’t expect she’d have a baby shower for the baby, Mirjam Curry and several other women in the church stepped in and gave her the most beautiful shower anyone could ask for. Cindy Wright coordinated meals to bring to us when the baby was born and the visitations received were wonderful.

We have tried our best to contribute to the body of Southeast Christian Church as much as we can over the last 4 years, but we could never make up for the love, true love, that has been poured over our entire family by this church. Southeast Christian Church is God’s Church and we are so proud to say we belong.

-Brandon (Treichae & Liam) Holmes

Betty Barnett

March 20, 2016

I went to church with my family through early grade school. I stopped going when I was young and decided that I was fine as long as I was a "good person."  My mom moved here from California and had been living with my family for about a year. She invited me to go to church with her again when my daughter was two years old.  It was the first time that I had set foot in a church in over 15 years.  I remember crying when I heard the song "Amazing Grace."  It was then that I realized it was the missing piece in my life.  I was taught that I didn't need to be perfect and that God accepts me just the way I am.  I was baptized when I was 33 years old.  I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people since then, who have helped me grow in my faith. They helped me realize that I was a part of God's family.  

I have been through many changes since then and I have felt God's presence with me along the way.  My family and I lost my mom after suffering from complications due to liver and kidney failure a little over 3 years ago.  

God surrounded me with the love and support of family and friends.  He gave me a sense of peace that I know
I could not have had without Him in my life.  That was a time of change for me and I was looking for a new church family to call my home.  Both my daughter and I had friends invite us to Southeast.  From the minute I walked in the door, I knew it was where I belonged.  I am grateful to be a part of the Southeast family. 

My favorite bible verse is from Isaiah 64:8, which says:  “Yet you, LORD, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”  This reminds me that God is making me new.  He is shaping me into the person that he wants me to be.  

-Betty (Jay & Christine) Barnett   


LoriAnne Tryon

March 13, 2016

My family has been coming to Southeast for almost 20 years now. Throughout the years we have had our ups and downs. Through it all there has always been people at Southeast who loved us through our troubles. This was  especially  evident when in 2012 my husband, Bill, had a heart attack while working in   Sacramento. Our grown kids and I left as soon as possible to be with him in  California. With lots of grace and mercy the Lord held Bill through surgery and consequent healing.

Meanwhile, back at Southeast, people pulled things together in the office where I work while we waited for Bill to get released for travel (over a month later). I was so grateful for our Southeast family who prayed for us, sent get well wishes and even money to help get us by, for our friend, Kathy, who found a way that Bill could receive disability pay while he was recovering. Our community group even cleaned the house for our homecoming (sweating  while doing so as our air conditioning had gone out!). 

The prayers of our church family has seen us and our family through a lot over the years. If knowing that doesn’t give us a sense of belonging I don’t know what will. 

But our family at Southeast has not only seen us through the bad times but have celebrated with us in the good. So many people came together to help us celebrate special birthdays, our children’s graduations, weddings, and the births of our grandchildren.  And we have celebrated with many of theirs also. This church family prays together, studies God’s word together, cries together, laughs together, celebrates together, and loves our community together. We are so blessed to belong to this family of believers!!

- LoriAnne Tryon


Sue Hill

March 6, 2016

Growing up in Salt Lake City with parents that were older and over protective I was a shy, quiet, but content little girl.  Jesus was always my best friend and he was always very real to me.  Starting school and being thrust into a strange and hostel new world was hard.  Jesus was always there for me. 

I grew up in a Christian church, was baptized at twelve, got married at 19 had two sons that I dragged to church until they were out of high school.  After that I had done my part and kept my private friend (Jesus) to help me through life's ups and downs. 

In 1993 my mother developed a chronic illness.  She was checked into the hospital for "four days."   That four days turned into more than a year.  Finally I had enough and Paul agreed to sell our multilevel home and my mother’s condo and move into a house where I could take care of Mama.  Having only one sister who lived a thousand miles away, it was my great idea to do this.  Jesus would see me through this too.  He gave me the strength to deal with giving injections, changing adult diapers, use and later discard a feeding tube.  They told me she would live from two to six weeks.  I thought Jesus will never give me more than I can handle.  She lived more than two years.  People would say “I could not do it Sue."  "You are so Strong!"  It actually got easier and again Jesus not only helped me, but I felt blessed and privileged to be able to do this for my Mom. But I could not leave the house, let alone go to church. 

After a few years, after my Mom passed away, I thought maybe I should be part of a church.  You never know when you might need a funeral or a wedding and that should be done at a church, right?  I started attending church at Southeast Christian.  Later I started going to Wednesday morning bible study.  Wow!!  Learning about Jesus in the bible was exciting and eye opening.  No longer was Jesus just my friend, but I realized he wanted me to share him and his words with others.  The ladies in my bible study are wonderful and enlightened, caring women.  Thank you All for making it possible for me to be able to proclaim Jesus as my Savior and share that with my world..  I really do belong, not only to Jesus privately, but to His church as well.

-Sue (Paul) Hill

Bill & Sharol Burnam

February 28, 2016

Being a Christian is a huge part of our lives, but it hasn't always been that way.  As a child, Bill grew up in a Christian church but never gave his life to Christ.  I came from a Mormon background , but during my teen years it just didn’t feel right so I became inactive.  As we grew older and raised our family, church was not a part of our lives.  We both believed in God and Jesus, but you would never know that. 

Things started to change when our first grandchild was born 28 years ago.  Our beautiful little grand-daughter was born with a life threatening health         problem.  The night she was born, Bill and I found the hospital chapel and spent time in there crying and pouring out our hearts to God, asking Him to spare this little baby.  God blessed us, and after several weeks, our grand-daughter was able to go home and has been healthy to this day.

 This started a discussion (and guilty consciences) with Bill and I about how we sought out God when we needed Him, but seemed to ignore Him when everything was going well.  We started reading the Bible and after a few months, began looking for a church. We heard about Southeast and decided to give it a try. After about a year, we were baptized and became members on a Easter Sunday.  We attended church and Bible study every week but never really got involved and didn't build many relationships. 

We left for a season and when we returned, we knew we had to stop being "spectators" and needed to start getting "involved."  We accepted several ministry assignments and started feeling like we "belonged."  The greatest feeling of belonging came when we were asked to join a community group.  We started attending that group and after a short time, we felt like we were part of a loving family.  They are truly our family - we belong to them and they belong to us. For, Bill and I, getting involved in ministries and then joining a community group were the keys to "belonging."  Thank you for letting us belong to this great congregation.

-Bill & Sharol Burnam


Susie Brittell

February 21, 2016

Rick and I attended Southeast Christian for the first time in May of 2014.  We knew we were home.  We didn't know at that time that we would face some of the hardest trials we would ever go through in our lives. We came to Salt Lake City from Boise for medical reasons. 

Rick got his LVAD in May and we were part of your family for the next three months.  We could feel your prayers and your concern but knew that this was just the starting of our journey. 

April 2015 we moved back to wait for Rick's new heart.  We had prayed that the Lord would use us in anyway that he could while we waited.  We never knew it would be to minister to heart patients at the         University of Utah.  We did not feel prepared or in any position to do this.  But he said “Go” and we went. 

The prayers of Southeast Christian have held us up through Rick's heart transplant, my knee replacement and the ministering of many, many people at the hospital.  Our ministry here will soon be over but not our journey to help others.  We will continue that in Boise.  Southeast Christian Church has been with us in prayer and has helped us all along the way.  Thank you to each and everyone of you.  WE BELONG!

-Susie (Rick) Brittell


Wes James

February 14, 2016

God has placed each of us on this earth with a certain    purpose. We are to live our lives in service to HIM and those around us. If you have ever felt that you don’t belong somewhere it is because you are not able to fulfill God’s purpose for you at that place and with those people.    However, when you align yourself with the people and places where you do belong, you become strengthened and supported in the purpose you’ve been given.

When my wife Jeannette and I first came to Southeast Christian Church we were looking for a place that fit our needs. We tried a lot of churches in the valley, but none of them were what we were looking for, including Southeast.  We attended a large church that played rock music, had over 400 people and no communion or community.  We tried Catholic, Lutheran and several others I’ve forgotten.  Finally, we stopped going  altogether.  Then we had kids (it changed a few things.) 

We wanted to bring them up in Christ and began to realize that it wasn’t about what we needed anymore, it was about what they needed.  Beyond even that, it was about what God wants. So we began attending Southeast again and it felt  different this time as we saw it through different eyes.  I doubt the church had changed, but we certainly had.  The ladies that watch Max and Veronica during service are amazing and wonderful and we truly thank them for their kindness and education.  Originally we felt like visiting guests, now we started to make friends with similar values and beliefs. When I stopped asking what the church could do for us and started asking how I can serve, we found a place that we belong.    Thank you to everyone at Southeast!

-Wes James


Michelle Walker

February 7, 2016

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NKJV

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12 NKJV

“If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?” 1 Corinthians 12:15 NKJV

There was a time in my walk that I believed regular attendance of church was not essential to my faith. I believed that a Christian could still be a “good Christian” and not go to church. So I didn’t.

I did fine on my own for a time. Fine, but not great. What I failed to understand was that although I still had my personal relationship with God, I was nevertheless missing out on other blessings He had for me. Other believers keep us honest about who God is. They help to keep us focused on God. They help us to grow. Perhaps most importantly, together we are designed to serve a higher purpose than any one of us can fulfill on our own.

What caused me to seek out a home church was an obvious fact that I had managed to miss for several years. I may have thought I didn’t need church (I was wrong about that, by the way), but I couldn’t argue the fact that where I belonged had so much more to do with the purpose I was failing to fulfill. You see that’s the other part of the equation. I belong to the body of Christ, and therefore I serve a purpose for the rest of the body.

By not allowing myself to be part of that equation I was missing out, and I was neglecting my responsibility to others too. I know for a fact that God has a place for you in his body of believers! I know you have talents, abilities, wisdom, and love to offer people who need it! Pray about it. I hope you realize that God does have a purpose for you and that you can belong too.

- Michelle Bauer


Sondra Schuyler

January 31, 2016

I am so blessed and thankful to belong to the family of God!  Where ever I am, when I find another Christian there is an immediate bond.  Our biological family is small.  I’ve always envied large families thinking how fun the family reunions must be.

Through Christ, I belong to a large, continually growing family!  People who are there for me in times of difficulty or sorrow and when I celebrate the grace and goodness of our Lord.  Romans 12:5 states, “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others...”

Several years ago, I found myself working with Jeannette James.  We seemed to connect and began visiting and having lunch frequently.  Through the course of conversations, Jeannette told me that she and her husband, Wes, were interested in finding a church home.  They had two small children, Veronica and Max, and wanted them to learn about Christ not only at home, but through a church setting.  They had visited a few churches but didn’t find a place they wanted to call “home.”   Jeannette and Wes visited SCC and I was thrilled when they wanted to come again the next Sunday.  Then they met Christie Wallace, wearing her Broncos jersey.  As they say, “the rest is history.”  (Wes is a huge Broncos fan too.) Thank you SCC for being my family and for welcoming others into the family!

- Sondra Schuyler


Mike Fausett

January  24, 2016

Do I belong? Well that was a good question for me two years ago. Living in darkness and for only me, me, me; not knowing the difference between light and dark. But I did know there must be a better way than living in shame and guilt, feeling that something was missing. One summer  afternoon my car battery died after replacing it and starting my car, the radio tuned to 870 am. On my way home a   sermon about forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ by Andy Stanley came on the radio and I listened. My initial thoughts were “Are you kidding me? After all that I have done Jesus still loves me? I am not worthy.” For the next couple of weeks after that, I couldn’t wait to drive my car listening to the radio playing sermons about this amazing God who is full of grace and mercy. I had heard plenty of stories of how people had been saved, everyone unique. And as I look back I can see how many times the Lord was knocking but I refused to open the door. But after listening to these messages over those two weeks I realized that I had been in the pit way too long so  I opened my heart’s door, fell on my face before the Lord begging for His mercy and grace. Now back to the question Do I belong? I can say “YES!” Jesus finds a way to touch our hearts… even through a car radio.         Amazing.

 - Mike Fausett


Myrna Phillips

January 17, 2016

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 

Although at times I question our Lord’s plans, this verse has given me so much peace and hope in the past eight months! My husband and I moved to Utah in April of 2015, when he was told he had heart failure and would be needing a heart transplant. I went to a LVAD support group at the University of Utah and met the best couple I believe God meant for us to meet; The Brittell’s! 

We didn’t know anybody in Utah, and that can be a very scary and lonely feeling especially with all that we were going through. We were introduced to SCC  by the Brittell’s. 

I’m very happy to say that after eight months my husband is well and recovering. Rick and Susie    Brittell are the family we didn’t have here and the loneliness and scared feeling we once felt has left since we joined in at SCC. We say, “Thank you God for all our blessings!” We Belong!

-Myrna phillips



Justin Wallace

January 10, 2016

I belong to the body of Christ!  While we will never reach the perfect community that the Trinity dwells in, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it is through community with other members of the body that we truly experience our belonging…

When I started going back to church, I was a young father of two and wanted nothing to do with it.  It was one less day to sleep in, get stuff done, they wanted your money, and sang stupid songs!  I did really well at playing church for a while to appease my wife.  Through a men’s bible study, and reading through the Bible in a year, God transformed my heart through discipleship with a great group of men.  So I grew in my faith…

A great friend of mine that I met through a friend at church started attending as well.  He signed up to serve coffee on Sunday mornings.  I figured if he was going to do it, I might as well join him.  Not only did we serve coffee together, we started greeting people at the door.  So I started serving the body…

There was a young youth pastor that came back to his home church to replace the one leaving.  Since my oldest attended on Wednesday nights, and my youngest would be a few years later as well, I thought I might want to check this Wednesday night thing out to see who he was, what he was teaching.  We became great friends and I started helping out on Wednesday nights being an adult leader.  So now I started leading…

There was a mission trip to Honduras that was being formed through the church and we were asked to join them.  There was a LOT of hesitation, I had never been out of the country myself let alone taking my oldest and my wife with me!  We prayed a lot and felt called to go so we signed up. So now I was on a mission…

I accepted a job offer here in Utah, so our family packed up and moved out West.  What a hard thing to do, solely leaning on God to get us through it!  Low and behold the youth pastor had moved back from Utah and said I have the place you need to attend church when you get there.  They are a strong biblical church with some great people.  On our trip to Utah, I had a few missed calls and voicemails from people at Southeast.  We became members and were embraced in a new community, all under the body of Christ…

We joined a small group and it was great getting to know people better.  We really enjoyed meeting and studying together!  At one point all four families were going through a difficult time.  So we broke from studying, we would listen to each other’s burdens, pray for them, and repeat.  God showed up in a big way answering all of our prayers!  It was awesome to see God move through His community, caring for His people…

I felt like there was a class needed at Southeast so I reached out to the lead minister and we talked through it off and on for a while.  I thought I was just making a recommendation but was asked to lead that class.  I had my reservations and thought surely there are people more qualified to do that but I accepted.  So now I am teaching…

I tell you all of this so you can see how God uses opportunities, friendships, discipleship, community, the church, to shape you, mold you, lead you, and guide you to what He made you for and called you to.  None of this should be taken as boasting nor should you use it to compare against, I am just a classic example of God using a nobody to try and tell everybody about a somebody!  His name is Jesus and I belong to His body seeking His will and His purpose for my life!

-Justin Wallace

Jennifer Millgate

January 3, 2016

“To belong, in the Cambridge dictionary is defined, "to be in the right place/to feel happy in a situation." I will be honest when I say that I have not always felt like I belong. Maybe even, I have not always wanted to belong. Belonging is something bigger than me. It isn't a feeling that comes and goes, even though the dictionary says, "to FEEL happy." I have   belonged to Southeast for 24 years. There have been happy years and sad years. Easy years and    incredibly difficult years. Do you know the one thing that has never changed?...Jesus.

We are a church dedicated to a Holy God. The problem sometimes is that we get in the way of the   ultimate goal and let our own sense of belonging get in the way. Maybe that person didn't acknowledge us or that other person said that thing that really irritated us. It's funny to me that Jesus chose 12 disciples, knowing full well that Judas Iscariot was going to betray him. Yet He still chose him...Ultimately I    belong to Jesus and if  I am living my life following Him, won't belonging just become natural? We need each other, to help lift us when we stumble, to pick us up when we fall. We need deep  relationships. Acts 2:42-44 "They devoted themselves to the  apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common." I am thankful to belong to Southeast and pray you will "belong" also!

- Jennifer Millgate