**Our Sunday Worship services occur at 10:45am, in-person in our sanctuary following CDC Covid-19 guidelines. The services are also live-streamed to Facebook. Children are welcome to sit with their families in worship as child care is currently not available. Although not mandatory, we ask that you please wear your mask if requested, and respect social distance guidelines while inside the Church. Sunday school class is at 9:30am in the Adult Sunday School room.**
Sunday Mornings At
Rev. Michael Townsend
Rev. Michael Townsend is a Ordained Minister, ordained on July 10, 2021, with standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) under the care of the Christian Church of the Southwest Region. He earned his Master of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary, and served as an Associate Minister at The Woodlands Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from 2010 to 2021. He recently completed a career in Nuclear Medicine, after 27 years as a Specialist in that field.
Michael has been married to Karen 30 years. They have one daughter, Megan, who graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor's degree in vocal music education; and she currently lives in the Temple, TX area.
Michael has a rather unique sense of humor. He might show up as Elvis, or wearing a Tu-Tu, or... both. He’s been a Girl Scout leader, plays bass and tickles the ivories occasionally, sings beautifully, rings bells, and prioritizes Pastoral Care over all other ministerial duties. More than anything else, though, Michael’s real gift is making people feel safe and at home.
Mary Richards was born in the Bryan area, and lives on the family property in Kurten with her husband, Bob, whom she married in 2013. She grew up in a small U.C.C. church in Kurten, then began coming to First Christian Church in 1991. She plays harp, and is a member of the choir and handbell choir, in addition to being the church’s first Composer In Residence. In December of 2017 she became Administrative Assistant/Financial Secretary for First Christian. Mary is very detail oriented, and enjoys a creative challenge.
In addition to making music, Mary loves to watch birds – and photograph them – and go geocaching with her husband. She loves reading, and also looks forward to traveling to new birding and geocaching locations.
When I was 12 years old, I became the organist of a small rural church. I had been taking piano for 11 years, but had never played the organ. It was a small spinet Hammond organ and my cousin gave me three lessons and then told me that I just needed to practice until I felt comfortable playing. Every Saturday, my mother would drive me to the church to practice for a couple of hours. That was just the beginning of a long career of playing worship services on Sunday morning.
God gave me the gift of music and it has always been so rewarding in knowing that I have been able to give back to God what he gave me and to share my music with others. I play by ear as well as read music and without a doubt, it continues to bring me great joy.
Trained in Cell Biology, Microscopy, and Genetics, Dr. Karl Aufderheide did research and taught graduate and undergraduate students at Texas A&M University for 40 years until his retirement in 2018. He is now Emeritus faculty and continues his activities on campus. Dr. Aufderheide has also had a life-long interest and training in music, especially choral work. Trained by several professionals, including B/CS native and Metropolitan Opera star Emily Pulley, he has been Choir Director at First Christian Church since 1998. His philosophy of choral music is, “If you can speak, you can sing,” or learn to sing. The music ministry of the church choir extends beyond just the making of music during services, and includes support and growth of talent of the choir members as well as ministry to others in the church family, as a choir, but also as individuals. Much of this philosophy can be condensed into an old Medieval adage, “Those who sing, pray twice.”
The Christian Church Disciples of Christ is a movement that began with a handshake in 1832 between representatives of two movements seeking Christian unity in a nation deeply divided by church tradition and doctrines of the early 19 th century. The movement became a recognized denomination after unprecedented growth and is considered one of the ‘mainline’ American protestant churches of the later 19 th and 20 th centuries. Known for its emphasis on biblical literacy, education, service, ecumenism and community building, the Disciples of Christ adopted the following identity statement: “We are the Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one Body of Christ,
we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”