Time has come for things to change

Seven years ago this month, our little family of three traveled from southeast Georgia to Russellville for Scott to consider joining the staff at Calvary Baptist Church. In July, we drove our U-Haul trailer into town and began serving at Calvary and investing in our new community.

Casiday began middle school with the kind smiles of teachers like Karren Sewell and Diane Maddox and the precious Elaine Haithcock at the office desk. She participated in the incredible middle school fine arts program led by Emily Rush and Patrice Smith.

Three years passed in a blink, and Casiday traded in her middle school cheer uniform and began a two-year stint as captain of the JV squad, where we discovered how much we loved Beth Gilmer – and, of course, Coach Gilmer too. She took two years of chemistry, and I’m pretty sure it was less a love for chemical equations and more a high regard for Nikki Watts. Before I could even imagine it was possible, Casiday was a senior and beginning her second year of working at Dr. Tom Morgan’s office.

Last summer my first book, “Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most,” released, and the support from our Franklin County community was overwhelming! Friends from Calvary and the community joined me in celebrating this big moment – and it was fun to be on the front page of this paper with my daughter.

In October of last year, Scott accepted a new position at First Baptist Church in Florence. We spent the rest of the school year driving back and forth for church and work and beginning a new ministry in the Shoals area. Earlier this year, we began renovating a house in Muscle Shoals, and we moved there just four days before Casiday graduated May 25.

Our time in Franklin County and serving at Calvary was precious. We made many good friends both inside and outside our church – relationships we expect will continue even as we move away. We’re thankful the Shoals is close enough for us to easily keep in touch.

I wrote my first column for the Franklin County Times in September 2011, and today, I’m sharing my last one. I’ve loved sharing encouragement each week and found myself the recipient of countless kind words from people from Red Bay to Phil Campbell.

Franklin County and Russellville will always be a special place to us; Russellville High School is our daughter’s alma mater, and she will be #ForeverGolden. I look forward to hearing how this area continues to grow and develop and how the people here continue to invest in each other and find more places of unity than division.

I’ll still be writing online at www.terilynneunderwood.com, and hopefully there will be more books to write.

And since my parents are in Phil Campbell, it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll see me periodically eating the Fajita Nachos at Rancho. If you do, I hope you’ll stop by and say, “Hi!”

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