Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)
- TITLE: Memories At the Pulpit
By Larry Whittington
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Memories can start at the pulpit. It did for me.
Forty-six years ago I was at the pulpit doing my thing as a student preacher from a local Christian College. I had started college at the University of Nebraska on a small scholarship. During that first year friends from the church kept talking up the small Christian College they were attending. Since I had no idea what I would do with my life, I decided to change colleges and go there.
The next year I enrolled in Bible classes besides the usual classes. I enjoyed the classes and did well. There were several boys who went on weekends to preach for local churches that didn’t have preachers. This was good practice for them as some had decided to become preachers.
During the second year, it was suggested that I also do some preaching as there were still towns with no preachers. I agreed, partly because one of the towns was where my parents went to church.
There were three small churches in three towns in the same general area so three of us “boys” would head out in the same car early Sunday mornings. The driver would let each one out at his church and then go on to his. We always were invited to someone’s home for dinner and then sometime in the afternoon the driver would retrace his route and pick us up to head back to college.
During that second year at the Christian College, I decided to become a teacher so I transferred to a teachers college close to where my folks lived.
After enrolling in the new college, the church where my folks went again needed an in-between-time preacher. Since I had done it before, it was natural for them to ask me. I accepted and now was going to school full time and preaching on the weekends so now I was at the pulpit.
And now, the memorable moment at the pulpit.
I was leading songs before my sermon and in walks what I thought was a large family – eight people in all. This was great, visitors! There was a mom and dad, an older girl, a high school looking boy, a grade school looking girl and three real small kids – one walking and two being carried.
Come to find out, they were two families. The mom and dad were the parents and grandparents of the group. The older girl was actually the 22 year old widowed daughter with three children all under 4 years old.
We were happy for their presence. Their singing and the dad’s Bible input was insightful.
Each week I continued preaching and leading the singing. At times I would get invited to member’s homes for Sunday dinners. I remember one embarrassing time. I had been invited to Mrs. N’s home. My parents as well as the new family were also invited that same Sunday. This, though, was not the embarrassing thing as we all were on good visiting terms at our Sunday services. What was embarrassing was Mrs. N’s direct question to me. That question was, “Have you ever considered dating Carol?” You probably guessed it. Carol was the widow with three young children. The truth was that it had never crossed my mind. I had dated a few times in college but I was the studious type that spent most of my time in the books and then working on my Sunday sermons. It is strange, though, how some questions get a person to thinking.
Later, I was again invited for dinner but this time it was to the Mom and Dad’s house. The Mom was a real good cook, having cooked for a family of six kids. Carol and her three children were also invited. Here I was again in a social setting with Carol. Thoughts began to surface that maybe I should be thinking about dating Carol, even though she was a widow with three children.
After some thought, I asked Carol if she would go to the College Open House with me. She agreed. This was in April. After this date, I would see her some times besides on Sunday.
I remember the thrill of holding her hand for the first time. It was during a walk down by a little lake near where she lived.
Come June 30th of that same year we were married and it all began at the pulpit.
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