She sang to soothe their spirits. She preached to inspire their faith.
“Beautiful! Beautiful!” the congregants called to her at the Wednesday afternoon service at Brown Memorial Baptist Church in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn. “Amen!”
Ms. Atchison mingled with the parishioners afterward, exchanging hugs and handshakes, good-to-see-yous and how-are-you-doings, and she took quiet solace in the fact that no one knew.
To them, she was still a promising young leader, an ordained minister with a master’s degree in divinity and an unpaid position in the church hierarchy. No one knew she had just lost the only paying job she had.
No one knew that she would be searching for work when she walked out of the red brick church, or wondering how long her savings and severance package would cover the bills. When she had urged the faithful to search for growth and possibility, even outside their comfort zones, she might have been talking about herself.
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