Houston’s First member Jody Crow doesn’t consider her Life Bible Study group, B.A.S.I.C.S., just a place where she studies God’s Word with fellow believers once a week. For her, it has become like family as they stayed by her side once she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I have been a part of B.A.S.I.C.S. for about two years,” Crow shares. “I started going to The5, the Sunday evening service at The Loop Campus, in May 2017 because I started a new job where I worked Sunday through Thursday. I have never been a ‘fan’ of extremely large churches, but I absolutely fell in love with this service."
Less than a year later, she had a pivotal moment at church that significantly impacted her spiritual growth.
“In March 2018, my fiance of six years passed away and when I returned from Florida after taking care of some of his estate, I went to the altar and Pastor Gregg lovingly prayed with me and introduced me to Ben Prichett,” she recalls. “Ben walked me to the B.A.S.I.C.S. classroom and I was welcomed with love and encouragement. I instantly felt so comfortable that I shared that I am an alcoholic in recovery, about my fiance, and that I was struggling emotionally and spiritually. I never felt judged. I was ‘home.’ My work schedule has changed to Monday through Friday but I still go to The5 to worship with my B.A.S.I.C.S. family."
As the Houston’s First family gathered online rather than in-person due to the coronavirus outbreak, she continued to stay connected to the class.
“I attend the class via Zoom. Of course, it's not as nice as in person but just seeing and hearing the group as a whole makes me feel at peace and happy,” she says about the group’s weekly online gatherings.
“I didn't grow up going to church on a regular basis and I have always felt intimidated by my lack of Bible knowledge. Our teacher Kim Shelby has made our lessons to be easy, she includes group/table discussions, and she has a way of making the lesson interesting for the very knowledgeable and NOT so knowledgeable,” Crow explains. “Spoony Witherspoon has been the organizer of our class activities and she has also been the ‘tech person’ to set up our Zoom and our GroupMe. I could say something remarkable and special about every one of our members. I love them all deeply and I know that they love me too."
When Crow was diagnosed positive for COVID-19, her B.A.S.I.C.S. family created a sense of community for her in the midst of isolation.
“My Life Bible Study continually prayed for me, reached out on a daily basis, and brought me delicious food,” Crow says. “Since I was in strict quarantine from May 11 through early June, I never felt alone."
She eventually received two negative tests for COVID-19 and was cleared to return to work at Memorial Hermann PaRC – Prevention and Recovery Center. One of the first things she did after being cleared was to sign up to serve at The Loop Campus as we welcomed people back to worship services. That was one of the many things at Houston’s First that Crow had been looking forward to since her quarantine began.
“I serve on the Guest Experience Team and I love that. Of course, I looked forward to sitting in worship with my Life Bible Study friends. I help other women in recovery and I have them meet me at the church to do Step work (the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous), so I was looking forward to that, too. There is such a feeling of peace and serenity there,” Crow explains. “But truthfully, I think just the feeling of walking into the church and feeling at home again is what I was looking forward to the most. I have never felt ‘lost in the crowd’ at Houston’s First.”