When I was a young girl, my parents often took me to the Catholic church I grew up in. I knew God, but I didn’t have a strong personal relationship with Him. I never really felt a spiritual presence…

In middle school, I was happy when we started going to Chestnut Ridge, a church that was bigger and seemed to have more for me. But I was an intimidated 11-year-old, too afraid to get involved. I kept seeing ads for a middle school group, though, and kids my age hanging together in the lobby. Eventually, my curiosity and desire for connection overtook my fear, and I decided to check out dv8 [Deviate]. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I met some of my very best friends there, including the guy who later became my boyfriend. I was so lucky to have some amazing leaders who pushed me to go deep in my faith and encouraged me to serve. That push to serve really opened my eyes to see that even a kid like me could make a big difference in growing a church. As a result, for most of the time I’ve been here, I have served in some capacity—from kids ministry all the way through college. And now I’m even co-leading my own Wired small group [high school]. I have been fortunate to see, both from my parents and my small group leaders, a clear image of how important it is to give back and to support your church family. With the season I’m in, I can’t really give a lot financially…I’m a broke college student. But I can give my time. And I believe that is, sometimes, the most valuable.
Maria

People of the Ridge: Tokunbo

I grew up in Nigeria, and after college, I got my master’s in Sweden, and then my Ph.d. in statistics at WVU, where I’ll be a visiting assistant professor this fall. Growing up in Nigeria, my family was Muslim, but religion didn’t really play a role in our home. I...

People of the Ridge: Liz

When my husband and I received Christ as our Savior in 1987, we were in a difficult financial situation. Even though we weren't aware of it, the Holy Spirit led us to a church where tithing was preached. These are times when our eyes roll in our heads and we thought...

People of the Ridge: Steve

I was recommended The Ridge about two and half years ago by my tattoo artist, Patty. I was attending a church in Masontown where I was the young guy. I came here for the first time on a Saturday night and suddenly I'm the old guy. I love listening to K-LOVE on the...

People of the Ridge: Sara

In 2010, I graduated from college. I got a job almost immediately but was really unhappy with it and where my life was going. I attended church off and on my entire life. One Sunday, I decided to go to Chestnut Ridge. I was lonely. I needed something, I needed...

People of the Ridge: Justin

HOPE...that is what kept me going when things looked bleak. In January 2015, I noticed my neck started to swell. I went to MedExpress and was referred to an ENT. In February, the ENT conducted a biopsy that came back diagnosing me with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. A...

People of the Ridge: The Hernandez’s

New to town from Colorado, we started attending Chestnut Ridge Church in August 2014. Last year, we became small group leaders. In November, our group threw us a “sprinkle” or baby shower for Clara at our home. That evening, at 38-weeks, my water broke during Bible...

People of the Ridge: Joe

I'm a work in progress, that's for sure but I'm a different person now. My wife always asks me where the old Joe went. I remember there would be times when I would get so mad I would burst capillaries in my face. Since I have been coming to The Ridge I find myself not...