The Deacon Class of 2022




Matt Cook

I believe in one God; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that God created Heaven and Earth, the sea, and everything in them. I believe the Bible is the Word of God and the ultimate authority of the church. As Christians, it is our responsibility to live by the Lord’s commandments. Fortunately for us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus Christ made this possible by dying for our sins on the cross and rising again. By confessing our sins and asking forgiveness, God accepts us as his own and fills us with the Holy Spirit. God is omnipresent, yet only intermittently sought out and acknowledged by many of us; myself included. In this day and age, it’s easy to go to Google for answers instead of the Good Book. By serving as a deacon, I will be challenged to ensure my focus remains on God and not the distractions around us. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve our community by ministering to those in need, building relationships within the church family, and expanding my comfort zone by following the Holy Spirit. Finally, I would like to thank my parents, who are incredible examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ and a servant leader of the church.



Leigh Ann Hamlin

My faith has only become stronger each and every day I am here on this earth. I believe that God, the Father Almighty, is the creator of all that is seen and unseen. I believe that God has walked by my side every day of my life; and although I may not always reach out, He is always there. I believe that God forgives us for our sins and rejoices when we seek Him.I believe that the Holy Spirit is in all of us helping us to be disciples of Christ in our everyday lives. I believe that Jesus’ life has laid the foundation for how we should live to create God’s Kingdom on earth. I believe that the Holy Spirit provides strength and opens our hearts and minds to follow the ways of Jesus and experience the love of God.Lastly, I believe in living a life in God’s grace. Romans 12:9-12 states, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I am grateful that my parents instilled a Christian foundation in me at a young age. I joined Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church eight years ago when my husband and I got married. Both of our children have been baptized here and I am looking forward to watching them grow in this community. I am honored and humbled to serve and grow within the Church of the Open Door.



Rosita Paul

I grew up in the Catholic Church. My parents, my siblings, and I always went to church every Sunday, but it was like only visiting a church because there was never any involvement, and no one knew each other. But I always still believed in God. After I got married, I became stronger in my faith when my first child was diagnosed with typhoid, malaria, and meningitis at the age of 21 months. While she was in the hospital, I was hoping she would get better but instead she got worse. I started to get discouraged and doubt God. At that time Haiti was politically very corrupt as it continues to be today. There was much violence as people protested in the streets every day. Most of the time the doctors could not come to care for their patients because they were scared to leave their homes. God always finds a way! My daughter was in a coma for three months. During that time, she was transported to the morgue on three different occasions, but by the spirit of God, each time there was a man who did one last check and found she was still alive. While the doctors rarely came to the hospital, there was a nurse who came every day and was dedicated to help the more than 20 sick children located in that hospital room. I know that she must be a Christian called by God. Many people, including the doctor, my family and me thought my daughter was going to die, but after three months she woke up. We were all in shock and surprised. After that, I never doubted God again!I’ve learned that God can do anything and everything He wants with our lives because he created us. I believe in God, the Father. I believe that he sent his only son into the world to save all of us. He died for our sins and for our salvation. On the third day He rose again, He ascended into heaven and His life has no end!



Anna Sganga

I believe in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe he is a loving, gracious, and forgiving God. I believe the Bible was written in God’s perfect word and is the source of how we walk our journey in life. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, and was sacrificed for the good of man so that we could have everlasting life. I believe we are all sinners, but God still loves us and accepts us as we are. There are no boundaries to God’s love. God’s grace works within us no matter what we have done and no matter our strengths or weaknesses. I believe the Holy Spirit lives in us all and can lead us to do acts of good. I believe that the Holy Spirit works through our church and its people.

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