Newlywed Builders for Christ

Newlyweds John and Heather Thompson look at wedding photos. The couple met in 2000 at a Builders for Christ event.

Editor’s note: Read more stories about Athens and Limestone County churches in a special section in Sunday’s edition of The News Courier.

John and Heather Thompson didn’t meet at school, through friends or at church. In fact they didn’t even live in the same state when they met.

They met while participating in Builders for Christ, a group of people from different walks of life who donate at least a week during the summer to build churches in their area or in another state or repair damages from hurricanes.

In the summer of 2000 the two crossed paths in Bella Vista, Ark. Heather was still attending school at Athens High School and John was a college student in Georgia.

“We just kind of got to know each other that week,” Heather said.

Neither proclaimed the meeting to be love at first sight but rather a chance to spend time together. It was only after the trip, while the two were keeping in contact by way of instant messaging, that they developed a “special friendship,” Heather said.

“Everyday when I got home from school I wanted to talk to John on the computer, that’s what I wanted to do.”

That same year, Heather invited John to visit Athens during Christmas vacation.

“My parents got to know him, and of course, fell in love with him because he’s such a wonderful guy,” Heather said.

After the visit, the two continued to stay in touch and John made yet another visit to Alabama during his spring break.

“We declare that was the visit where we fell in love,” Heather said.

But they had still not told each other of their love for one another.

“He made a promise to me that he would be at my high school graduation,” Heather said. “In return, I had said I would be at his college graduation, not knowing what the future held.”

To keep his promise to be at her graduation he drove from of North Carolina to be in Athens for the AHS class of 2002 graduation.

After graduating from high school, Heather began classes at Auburn University. John and Heather eventually decreased communications, but things picked back up again in 2003. In February, John was planning to visit Heather on Valentine’s Day weekend.

Although she was sick with the flu, “He said, ‘I’m coming anyway,’” Heather said.

“I liked him and he liked me, but we hadn’t told each other that,” she said.

She said on Feb.15, 2003, they had the “talk” about their relationship and decided to start officially dating. Both agree that they believe their faith and religion brought them together.

“I don’t think there’s any other way in the world that we would have met than through God alone,” Heather said.

“God, I just want whoever is at my graduation to be the person I spend the rest of my life with, that’s what I asked for,” John said.

He said he didn’t know who was going to be there but that Heather had previously made a promise to him that she would attend.

Heather said that the two knew from the time they started dating they had something special and would spend the rest of their lives together.

John and Heather, both of the Baptist faith, attend Southside Baptist Church. Southside Baptist is also receiving help from Builders for Christ with the construction of their new church.

John and Heather hope to stay involved with Builders for Christ.

“Something like this isn’t for everybody,” John said.

He said there is also other ways to help, and Heather said mission work is a blessing.

They also hope to raise a family.

“That is our number one desire as a married couple, I would say, at this point,” Heather said. “God gave me a real passion for children, and I love children very, very much.”

The couple married in December of 2005. Currently John works for Teledyne Brown and Heather will soon graduate with a degree in education from Athens State University.

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