Stephen J. Plating

Diaconate

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Sympathy & Service, Class of 2018

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I spent my early years largely focused on athletics and social activities rather than on academics and biblical learning. I was raised in the Congregational Church and attended various liberal churches throughout several states during my career as a chemist and microbiologist at two large pharmaceutical companies. Sheryl and I were married almost 41 years ago while I attended graduate school in Tucson, Arizona. We have been blessed with three wonderful daughters who are now married and living in various parts of North Carolina. The Lord has also blessed us with seven grandchildren.

The Lord led Sheryl and me to Greenville some six years ago where we wandered into a beautiful church at the corners of River and Rhett streets. The Gospel of John was being preached (taught) at that time and I remember feeling that my heart was opened! It was then that I realized how ignorant and stubborn I had been throughout my life. The Holy Spirit worked on me over the next several weeks and I got down on my knees in prayer and repentance. So, in many ways, I consider Second Pres my first church as it is right here that I came to know the Lord after 58 years. I might add that it is the only church we have attended where, on our first Sunday in attendance, a couple handed a note over the pew inviting us to have Sunday dinner with them immediately following the service. We have felt like a part of the Cooley family ever since! We pray that the Lord will bless us as part of Second Presbyterian Church for many years to come.

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