Maryland Governor Has ‘Homecoming’ at Takoma Park Church
Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Photos by North American Division Communication
“It was a long overdue homecoming,” said Maryland Governor Wes Moore during his visit to Potomac Conference’s Takoma Park church in Maryland this past weekend.
Addressing the packed congregation, he said, “I’m thankful, not just for the congregations of today, but the congregations of the past as well. I’m thankful not just for this church, but for the Spirit that guides this church. Because 41 years ago, it was this congregation, this church—it was this house of the Lord that reminded me and my family how loved we were in our time of greatest pain. The reason I love this area, this church so much.”
Moore shared the story of how members of the church stepped in to provide support for his family after his father passed away suddenly. “In that moment that things were the darkest … It was members of that congregation who came to [my mother] and were the first ones to tell her you’re going to be okay. This was a congregation that saw pain and tried to soothe it. It was a congregation that saw suffering and try to heal it. … And because of that, that woman 41 years ago, in her darkest moment, had a chance to see God’s love. You all did that.”
He noted that church members came to spend time with the family without asking what church they belonged to, about their background. “You simply saw us in a way that many people did not,” he said, added saying his entire family benefitted from God’s love as felt through the church. “You saw a three-year-old child without a father. And you said he needed to be supporter. He needs to be loved and we are going to be sure that we are the ones to do just that.”
Moore added, “I’m here to say thank you because that message was received loud and clear by both me and my sisters. So I come to you today with humility. I come to you today with gratitude, not just on behalf of the state of Maryland, not just because I’m proud to be the 63rd governor of the state. I come to you on behalf of my family.”
During the service, Church leaders joined former Takoma Park Pastor Henry Wright as he prayed a prayer of blessing over Governor Moore.
Moore also thanked local community and Adventist leaders for their service and presented the congregation with a governor’s citation because of their "continued support and service to the community."
Orlan Johnson, director of Public Affairs at the North American Division, his team, and Potomac Conference and Takoma Park church staff worked with the governor’s team to help the momentous moment happen—noting that the governor approached him at an event, asking for the opportunity to attend a service.
Daniel Xisto, pastor for community engagement and church operations at the Takoma Park church, also presented Moore with an Andrews Study Bible and a red t-shirt that Takoma Park members wear whenever serving in the community.