I did not know a soul in Florence when I moved here in February 2015. Leaving Asheville, NC, I was single and trying to gain work experience. I thought what brought me to Florence was a job but the Lord was working a bigger plan. Before moving here I was being discipled in my faith by a lady named Rebekah Lilly. When preparing to move she recommended FBT as a church to visit.
On a rainy Wednesday night in February, I walked through the front doors at FBT. My church back in Asheville is a fraction of the size, so when I saw how big FBT was, I was nervous and wanted to sit in the back.
While making my way to the auditorium a man stopped me in the foyer and said “Brandy Ball?” Again, I didn’t know anyone in Florence so I was taken aback which I’m sure my face showed. He explained how he had received an email from a lady named Rebekah that said I would be visiting the church and included a picture. I had no idea she sent that email. He introduced himself as Ryan and wanted me to meet his wife Jennifer and insisted I sit with them. Unfortunately for me, he and his wife sit at the front of the auditorium! I initially hesitated, but made my way to the front.
The rest is history. The Caudill family took me in and has become family to me. I sat with them every service and was embraced by many others in the church. I left my family in Asheville but at FBT have found a brand-new church family… and much more.
Several months later a guy named Allen Duffy came and sat on our pew. He summoned up the courage to ask me on a date and a few months later we were engaged. We were married in 2016.
Fast forward to 2023, and now, the Lord has blessed Allen and I with three precious girls (Baker, Lacey and Esther)
However, there have been challenges along the way. In 2021, I lost my daddy. I got the call at 6 in the morning that he had passed and immediately left for Asheville. Before noon that day so many of my FBT family had already sent texts telling me they were praying for me. People also mailed me letters of encouragement. I remember feeling so loved. The Lord has been so faithful to me.
I was a little scared when I walked through those church doors for the first time. That fear was quickly replaced by love and acceptance.
Every year, our church’s anniversary is called “Friend Day.” Friend Day at FBT has always been special to me because it’s the day I joined the church that has changed my life in so many ways. I was a little scared when I walked through those church doors for the first time. That fear was quickly replaced by love and acceptance. I encourage you to come to FBT and experience the same welcoming atmosphere that I found.