James and Danielle's Story

James Hyatt is a professional financial consultant. “I did go to church, but then I just stopped,” he shared. “I stopped going to church after college and for some time after college. I was originally from South Florida and moved to New England for 8 years.” Now James is back in Florida.

A little over a year ago, James and his fiancée, Danielle, started having conversations about the importance of practicing their faith together in a community. “We were looking for a very non-judgmental place where we felt comfortable going. From my experience, depending on the church, you can get eyes that look at you and you can just feel the judgment.”

“When we walked into First, it was welcoming. They seemed happy to have us. It was non-judgmental and they were kind and answered our questions. We realized it was a place we could go together. At First, we can practice our faith and strengthen it together.”

Not only do James and Danielle feel welcomed at First where they are practicing their faith together in worship, but they also practice it together when they return home. “Danielle and I go home and talk about the sermons. We talk about the service. The messages I get from Pastor Hood and Pastor Rapier, they are mind blowing how it impacts me internally. It really makes me think closely about my relationship with God and strengthening that. It makes me think about reading the Bible more. They have helped me realize how important faith is in my everyday life.”

Not only has it deepened their faith as individuals, but it has also strengthened their relationship. “Danielle and I have a great relationship. Going together to worship at First has really impacted us in a positive way. We better communicate with each other.”

James and Danielle were married at First on May 14th. They are grateful for the community who welcomed them and the staff and pastors who support their spiritual growth. “The staff and ministry, it is phenomenal how much they care about the people and the community. We know they care about us too.”