Why I Tithe

My husband, Darin Gehrke, and I tithe because our parents tithed.

We tithe because our grandparents tithed.

We tithe because we want our daughter, Brynn, to tithe.

  • Honey, my grandmother, drilled into me “To whom much is given, much is required.” Honey taught me the Lord’s Prayer beside my bed and on her knees.
  • As a child raised in this church, I experienced so much love, a lifetime of friendships, and a belief in a loving God even when a spiritual leader’s choices failed their congregation.
  • From my earliest days in the kindergarten with Helen Ellis to being baptized by Don Rose to Donna Forrester stopping me in the hallway as an awkward 11-year-old and saying to me, “Come visit and let’s talk.” She saw me trying to grow up, and her thoughtfulness made a difference in my life.
  • As a young woman growing up in SC, it mattered that my church called female leaders to the pulpit, it mattered that Dr. Louise Stanford was the head of the deacons. It mattered that Becky Bouton and Carol Ann Bell, aka “Ma Bell,” endured our antics and laughed with us in the hollows of West Virginia. It mattered that my grandmother and I taught Vacation Bible School in the “once tough and tumble” neighborhood of Viola Street.

We choose to tithe because my childhood friends are now leading FBG:

  • Laura Shelley Stout and Bootie are part of my daughter’s FBG village.
  • Mary Carol Anderson, the younger sister of my peer Thomas, is our Youth Minister. I’ve promised MC that we will chaperone ski trips and mission trips just like my mother, Pam Shucker, “Sweet Lou” and Gene Morin did for us and Don Flowers.
  • Matt Rollins and others are holding space for individuals that may have disassociated with church even though they are children of God, too.

We tithe because THIS church’s positive impact reaches far beyond these walls. While living in Birmingham, Pittsburgh and NYC, we crossed paths with people who know the good works and progressive faith of First Baptist Greenville.

  • Don Flowers and David Woody showed me how to love compassionately, and their dynamic leadership undergirds churches in Charleston and Canada.
  • Dr. Buddy Nelson, son of Dr. Dotson Nelson Jr., of Riverchase Baptist took me in as his own during college in Birmingham.
  • Greg Dover, former FBG youth and dear friend, is leading a progressive congregation in Greenville.
  • Deb Richardson Moore leads Triune Mercy.
  • Tony McDade leads United Ministries.
  • The Alliance of Baptists is welcome.

We tithe because First Baptist Greenville matters to my family, my community and countless others who rely on our light to shine in the darkest corners of our world.

— Cherington Shucker, Stewardship Committee