Friday Challenge: Kudos To A Fundy

In our travels in, through, and out of fundyland almost all of us have encountered at least one or two people there who make us wish that more fundamentalists were like them.

Today’s challenge is to recall a fundy or two who encouraged, helped, or showed kindness to you even in the midst of an otherwise terrible time.

109 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Kudos To A Fundy”

  1. I mentioned Earl Hughes yesterday.

    Another GREAT Fundy saint was Mike Hauenstein at Charity Baptist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. If there was ever a truly Christ-like person, it was Mike.

    Mike was wheelchair-bound after being wounded in Vietnam. He passed away January 8,1998 after a battle with Lou Gerhig’s Disease (ALS).

  2. There are a few folks I could talk about but my Fundy U choir director stands out in my mind. She made her choir room a haven from whatever craziness was going on outside and showed us how truth and beauty in music can provide balm for a wounded soul. Unlike so many other talented people, she took the time to show kindness to people like me who had pretty much zero chance of ever going on to do great things in the music field.

    She let me sing. She saved my life.

    (She also doesn’t work there anymore.)

    1. As a choir director in a fundy school, this is very encouraging to me, Darrell. This is exactly what I have aimed to do in my classroom. The choir director before me told the students they were not right with God if they didn’t enjoy singing (it’s a required class in our school), so I had some major walls to tear down when I first started.
      I love my students and I want them to know that. I want the one hour a day they are in my class to be the best hour of their day. My goal is to show them that it really is possible to love God and enjoy life instead of being bound by senseless rules. When the extremes of fundamentalism really begin getting to me, I remind myself that this is why God still has me where I am.

  3. Curtis Hutson once spent a couple of hours talking with my dad after a preachers’ meeting in a nearby town. Everyone else had left to go to lunch. My dad was the pastor of a small church. Hutson had nothing to gain by spending time with my dad, but he was patient and a huge encouragement.

    When this happened, I was unaware of who Hutson was or the stature that he had in fundie circles. Only when I saw him speaking to thousands at a Sword conference (family vacation, but that’s another story) did the realization hit me.

    Whenever I hear the name Curtis Hutson, the image that comes to mind is the two of them talking on the front steps of the church. Regardless of issues others may have had with him, I’m glad I caught a glance at him “behind the scenes”.

  4. I talked about this in the forum, but during intense financial struggles, we received sizable financial gifts from people in our church 2 years in a row.

    Also, my last fundy pastor was a certified counselor, and you could tell him anything about your past and current sin in a counseling setting and there was no judgment, only concern and caring. It’s probably because he wasn’t fundy educated for counseling. I unloaded a lot of things about my past to him one time and it was met with compassion and understanding, no harsh words, no beating me with scripture, just love.

  5. The last pastor my husband served under was a gentle, godly man. He was a BJU grad and had also been given an honorary doctorate, but refused to put “Dr.” in front of his name. He told me to “attack those keys” at the piano because he didn’t want the hymn-singing to drag (and he was in his 60s!). He encouraged my husband, gave him speaking opportunities, and gave him the freedom to develop the youth and music programs. He didn’t micromanage him and constantly change it, but treated my husband with trust and respect. He admitted that he’d been deeply depressed several years before and that medicine had helped him so was not one of those fundies who bashed going to psychiatrists and using pills to help. He told us that he liked every third or fourth sermon to be especially focused on encouraging; he didn’t believe in brow-beating the flock. To this day, my husband and I highly respect this gentle, quiet, thoughtful man.

  6. I feel like I’ve been fairly lucky. PCC was by far as bad as I’d ever seen fundamentalism. Growing up I went to the same school as Mark Rosedale but a diff fundy church. I could not have asked for a better preacher. He spent at least 2 years of my high school years preaching the Gospel of John every Sunday morning, and was one of the greatest examples of self sacrifice I’ve ever heard of. He past away a year or 2 ago, and was just a sad day. He always had this thing that he clearly worried he was getting to modernist or ecumenical or whatever, and would repeat this phrase that “we want to make sure we’re doing everything decently and in order”. I have no delusions that he was egalitarian, or whatever, but was a gentle soul, and loving heart.

    I always had the good sense to not stay long or get to know many people at the hard core fundy churches I visited after college. I kind of felt like I should be getting despite my reservations, but I never overcame them (thankfully). Did find a semi-fundy church that was mostly not so fundies, but had some KJV people around and music rules to appease the members who leaned fundy. Kind of frustrating but a great pastor & membership in spite of some poor practices like that.

      1. When my parents visited my church (once), my mom even tried to sing along. I think she’s keeping my dad soft. But I’m on the worship team now and I haven’t heard a comment (good or bad).Their 2 older sons are professing atheists, so I guess they figure I’m not THAT bad. 😉

    1. My parents will never visit our church again (which is sad, as if hearing 15 minutes of drums and guitars is going to contaminate them), and my mother always disapprovingly presses her lips together and raises her eyebrows everytime I say something like “it’s wonderful showing God’s love in the community”, and she loves describing the “God-honoring” music she heard at HER church, but at least my parents haven’t separated from us or our children permanently, and as long as I don’t do “incindiary” things like praise “The Five Love Languages” (which set my dad off on a 10-minute tirade), we can get along.

      1. My parents visited once. Dad refused to stand during worship and I was just praying that he wouldn’t stomp out and make a scene at some point. He didn’t, but I never heard a word about the whole morning and it was definitely memorable!

      2. Good gracious, the Five Love Languages helped my marriage immensely! I have recommended it to fundy and non-fundy and always received good reviews…

        1. I know, right! My husband gives it out to people all the time. We were all in the kitchen talking at my parents’ house and I mentioned it, little knowing that it would set my dad off. He ranted on and on about how stupid it was and how all he needed was the Word of God. I wanted to tell him that he actually DID need a little psychology to learn the right way to talk to other people, because he was being really rude to me!

  7. Tony: At a 150 member church after almost 10yrs there serving in every capacity asked. I rose to deaconhood! I was miserable. Then God delivered me from fundyland. It was an UGLY departure as you can imagine. Only Tony contactd me and said “thanks”. Tony was considered a nobody. Not in the inner circle etc… I think God has a different “Inner Circle”.
    Thanks Tony

  8. For me it was Uncle Fred. He is the reason I made through grad school and also the reason I left Fundamentalism. But if everyone in Fundamentalism were like him I may not have left. He helped me realize that some things just didn’t make sense. He helped us get rid of the insane. He taught us reality and never pandered to the insane crazy base of his movement.

    His only flaw. He taught us too well. He was too honest. And he was unwilling to take the stand on his own. I remember sitting in his class one day when we were covering the daring first Englishman who was boldly sang songs of human composure (ie hymns not psalms). I remember we all thought it ironic that at one time they were fighting over whether we can even sing hymns and now that is all we sing, to the exclusion of psalms. And Uncle Fred said this, “Of course now we know he was right, but I wouldn’t want to be the first.” My thought was…if no one is willing to be first change will never happen. I think I realized at that moment I wasn’t a Fundamentalist. I wasn’t willing to sit by and do things I didn’t agree with because *that’s what everyone else does.* Or because *that is what they told you to do.* No I wanted to be the guy who stood up for what is right regardless of what anyone else thinks. Regardless if everyone else thinks its wrong or sin. If it is right, it always was right. Why should we pander to the lowest common denominator.

    Of course I don’t know how he feels about all this, but he was a major eye opener.

    1. I felt free to think in Uncle Fred’s classes and his teaching led me to thinking very differently from the party-line about music.

      I also saw how much he was personally invested in his students and in ministries outside of school. When I had him as a teacher, he was also the interim pastor of his church (if I remember correctly) and would often come into class bleary-eyed from staying late with someone at the hospital or a similar circumstance. I learned much from his example.

  9. That’s easy. My uncle. He is by definition a fundy, but he keeps his church independent from any camp that is in fundyland. Some examples: he takes a group from his church to the Billy Graham Library each year, his son is a Pentacostal, he preaches out of the KJV, but doesn’t preach that you can’t use another in his service. You can wear what you want at his church WITHOUT judgment. He knows I’m not fundy, and again, his own son is not, and he accepts us and loves us anyway… as well as everyone else.

    He holds an EARNED Doctorate of Divinity, is a retired Army Chaplain who spent not only a year in Iraq but a year at Ft. Bragg counseling the troops coming back over. He ran a non-denominational chapel in Iraq for the troops to have a place to worship and pray.

    I’ve watched him minister to, love and accept, all kinds of people without judgment, and his church is the ONLY IFB church that I will attend.

    He’s a humble, sweet man who’s a true servant, and I’m honored to be called his niece.

    1. That’s cool Natalie. My dad is a chaplain right now in Afghanistan. He was actually a pretty tight Fundy until he got a Pentecostal chaplain assistant. I became friends with him and he was one of my groomsmen. He helped both me and my dad smooth out some Fundy edges, but my dad is still definitely Fundy.

  10. Though I hold nothing against Uncle Fred for staying in, I can attest to what you’ve said. I suspect I was in the class that day as well. Uncle Fred is responsible for a lot of growth in my life and thinking.

    1. I don’t hold it against him either. I totally understand why someone would. It just isn’t my personality. And thank God it isn’t everyone’s personality. We need people like him and we need people who are willing to stand in the gap. We need both.

      1. maybe i didnt have enough prolonged contact with him, but i quit the sophomore choir because i couldnt stand him… he came across as unbelievably pompous to me. glad to hear that others had a different experience.

        1. I spent several years in his choir (in the old system) and can only wonder if you’re talking about the same guy…

        2. Jason, I also spent several years in his choir (in the late 90s) and loved it. He was great and I definitely wouldn’t consider him pompous.

  11. When we left fundyland, we lost most of our friends because that’s just how it worked at that church (at least until facebook came along).

    Husband had his co-worker buddies, but I felt utterly alone until one very brave lady found out we had left and contacted me to let me know that she was still my friend and sister in Christ regardless of what church I went to. It still makes me tear up when I think of it, and to this day we’re still closest of friends!

    God bless her and folks like her within fundamentalism who really just truly love Jesus!

  12. John Wilkerson is the pastor of the FBC of Long Beach, CA and he became my example of a loving pastor from the first day I met him. I wanted to be a pastor like him. His love for people is so evident and he is a constant encouragement to me. He often rights me notes and will occasionally call just be say kind things.

  13. Rick and Leah Lewis in Arivaca, AZ. I first met them a dozen years ago on one of our music tours. We all hit it off like we’d been friends for years and the friendship has indeed now lasted for years. Rick is pastor of a Baptist church in this tiny border town. Rick is a cowboy. Even on a Sunday he looks like he stepped out of a Charlie Russell painting. And he embodies the cowboy ethic of fairplay and honesty and neighborliness. It doesn’t matter if a guy is a member of his church or not; if he needs a hand moving cattle, Rick is there to help out. He has the respect of the community, not because he is a “man-o-gawd” but because he stands shoulder to shoulder with whomever needs him, whether it’s fixing a roof or a leaky pipe or a length of downed fence line. I’ve seen him help a coyote transporting illeagals change a tire on his over-laden truck, send them on their way, and then call the Border Patrol and them them where they can pick ’em up. Rick has a whopper of a sense of humor. I’ve never heard him raise his voice while preaching. He is tough and gentle. He is KJVO but he doesn’t press it.
    Leah wears denim jumpers because they are comfortable. She wears jeans and capris for the same reason. She is great for those woman to woman talks and is trustworthy with what you tell her. Both of them are.
    Watching TV with them is a trial because one “word” and Rick hits the remote to change channels asying, “Aww, man!!” Too late, we’ve already heard it. So they generally just watch DVDs they’ve collected. Old Westerns mostly. Leah is partial to the Jane Austen movies, especially if their daughter is there to watch with her. They’ve even been known to go to a theater now and again to see a movie once they’ve gotten a favorable review of it.
    These two opened their home to me and encouraged me to take a leap of faith in going to Arizona not knowing really what God had up His sleeve for me at the time. I have spent several winter months parking my RV at their place waiting out the weather to reurn to Wyoming for the summer tourist season. We have laughed together, sung together, served together. Rick came to Colorado to marry my hubby and me 2 years ago. They are not normal fundies, but I think they are what normal Christians should be.

  14. The pastor of my home church during my adolescence. He wasn’t exactly a “fighting fundie,” but was certainly on the right wing of evangelicalism and had no use for “those damn liberals and Catholics” (his words). His dispensationalism made no sense to me. But he was a good and faithful pastor, and a kind and gentle friend at a time in my life when I needed one. He left a good legacy.

  15. We have some quite nice fundies at my current fundy church (FC because I love abbreviations). The co-pastor’s wife, our Sunday School teacher.

    They’re fundy through and through but were always nice and always tried to help me, even when I left the school.

    Which is the “scary” thing. They’re so nice and have really good intentions, it’s just all so wrong….

  16. I have several nice Fundy friends who are still in contact with me even though I have left Fundyism. We don’t agree on every topic, but they are willing to discuss things with me and to “agree to disagree.” Those few people are the only Fundies I’ve ever met who don’t mind that I disagree with them, who are willing to admit that maybe they don’t have all the answers.

  17. I find it ironic that it was the Bible teachers at my Fundy U that I think of first. Ironic in that as the leading Bible scholars on campus you would think that all the rest would follow their lead. In class I would be taught things like the difference between bringing an idea from the text vs putting your own idea into a text. Then we would break, go to chapel and have this idea illustrated to us by whoever was preaching that day.

    Anyway, I am thankful for those Bible teachers who taught me the right way, and even for those preachers who showed me the wrong way. Both I suppose are important.

  18. I would have to say my parents. Yes, they were fundies, but they didn’t buy into a lot of the crazy. My dad drank beer sometimes, and they let me take ballet lessons. And now that I am an adult, they respect the fact that I have chosen a different path. Instead of being horrified that I’m now a (gasp!) Calvinist, they have chosen to be happy that I am walking with the Lord. They always taught me that no man or church was perfect, even ours.

  19. I feel as if Darrell is our teacher, giving us essays today. Dude, it’s a Friday; we aren’t supposed to have to think today! For all my posturing about being kind and speaking good and not evil, this assignment tested the limits. I began thinking and I got …. nothing. So then I started thinking, “OK 30 years and not one bit of encouragement?!?” Then I started to get mad/ angry/ bitter, all the old emotions.

    Thankfully a few good memories popped up, and the red subsided. Ok. First are my parents. When I left church, I was 18 -19, unsaved, and hell-bent on destruction. I developed a bad drug problem, and my parents told me I wasn’t welcomed around till I “got right with God.” Long story short, when I needed help and recognized it, they welcomed me back. They did this without judgment, forced groveling, public pronouncements of regret in church, and they made my life much easier during a very difficult time. They could have pushed me away, and looking back, if they had handled things differently, I would gone back to the old paths (bad in my case).

    The second person I’d like to talk about is an evangelist that used to come to my ex-church. This guy would preach against some of the traditional fundy topics, occasionally hitting on things that I was in “violation” of. I have tattoos and my hair isn’t always deemed to be proper. So on the outside; I don’t look like one of the others.

    This guy never seemed to care what I looked like, and would always sit and talk to me. He approached me like I had a brain, and we had open, honest discussions. I appreciated the fact that he wouldn’t limit our conversations to just Bible topics, but he showed an interest in what i was into. He would occasionally bring up a topic he had preached on (tattoos for instance), and assure me that he wasn’t trying to make me uncomfortable or trying to single me out. He didn’t judge me in these conversations either.

    While I would have to sit through messages that I didn’t always agree with, he was a good guy. I respect the fact that he didn’t hold back in his preaching. He had his beliefs, and he preached what he felt was right, and I get that (whether I agreed or disagreed was irrelevant.) Even though we had differences, we were still able to communicate, and he showed me civility although we had differences.

  20. There are many folks who are caught up in the movement that I Love and respect. Fundies are people just like everyone else. There are good and there are bad. I could speak of many I know personally who are humble, godly folk that show Christ in their lives. I have been thinking all morning about this.
    So far I can count on one hand the preachers/leaders I still have respect for, who are still within the fundie system. This has been a real challenge. It is hard to look back and try and say so-n-so really was a blessing to me at point “x” in my life. I was a Fundie’s fundie at that point and I idolized the pastor/evangelist back then. What may have seemed important then means nothing now. So there are plenty of folks I love and count as dear friends who have been a blessing as various and sundry times… but I have failed this challenge.
    I am the weakest link, good-bye…

    1. HAHAHA … sundry … that a good’ ole’ KJV word. Your fundies are showing!

      I’m not sure i’ve ever heard that word outside of church. I think in a book about apothecaries … maybe.

  21. Reuben Martin. He was a graduate of BJU, and when he took over the reins at a church in a nearby town, my parents decided to go there. I always saw him as a really humble man of God who loved his congregation and was concerned about the souls in his neighborhood. In fact, it was his influence that prompted me to go to BJU; if all fundies were like him, there’d be a whole lot less crazy around.

    He died of a brain tumor not long after marrying my husband and me.

  22. I had a similiar situation happen with R. B. Oulette. He spent time with a pastor friend of a very small Church with nothing to offfer per se. I have seen him a few times truly ehibit humility and concern for the cause of Christ.

    Ditto for Johnny Pope and Ralph Sexton Jr.

    The first that comes to my mind however is Harold B. Sightler, who was always down to earth and empahasized Christ above all. Over the years I had oppurtunities to see him in various situations do the right thing(s).

    Also, Jim Schettler on a personal level. Sad that he put up with the PCC situation so long.

    There are a few others nobody here would know of.

    Kudos for this post BTW Darrell

  23. Most of the people at the fundy church I attend. When my dad passed away last August my church was there the with our family the whole time. I lived 30 miles from my church with my parents and brother yet my pastor was ready to get in the car the night dad died to come see us but my mom did not want any vistors that night. I preached dad’s funeral and the church provided all the food for the reception. And even though my parents have not attended church in 20 years almost everyone came to the funeral.

    One of my sisters has been frustrated by how Christians have treated her over the years. But after seeing how my church acted towards us during our time of grief she called my pastor in tears to thank him. I told her that the way she has been treated is the way phony Christians act. The way my church helped us is the way real Christians act.

  24. When I went to my first fundie camp experience at High Point Camp in Birdsboro, Pa,http://www.hpcamp.org/ the mean fundie kids from Calvary Baptist in Lansdale http://www.calvarylansdale.org/ bullied me unmercifully. One afternoon, Mrs. Parks, the pastor’s wife and camp director’s mother, came alongside of me and asked me why I was crying. She listened, and comforted me, and I’ve never forgotten that.

    Her husband later ran off with another woman, which broke her into pieces.

    My kids pretty much had the same experience when they went there to camp many years after I did.

  25. someone mentioned Harold Sightler. i didn’t know him personally, but my family knew him from his radio broadcasts, and I realized one day that i admired him because he truly loved what he did, preaching, and I could see it and hear it when i visited his church. You have to admire anyone who has that kind of open enthusiasm and energy.

    1. I quite like Sightler’s preaching. His gravelly old voice and illustrations always kept my attention, and in terms of the gospel, he actually preached some good news 🙂

  26. Dr. J. B. Williams;

    I always found him to be thoughtful, fair and compassionate. After what I can only describe as a failed summer missions trip. The missionary on station had been dominating towards me and belligerent towards the locals; then condemned me for becoming romantically involved with a local girl. Dr Willams was the only one who listened to my side of the story. His response, “What did that idiot expect? You are a young Man, she is a young woman, your both Christians you did not do anything improper…he needs to get a life”. I think he put those exact words in his letter to the mission board. Dr. Williams will be greatly missed. One of the last great, sane, voices of Fundamentalism.

  27. I’ll second or third or whatever Uncle Fred. Ironically he was the one that started my exodus by encouraging me to explore the Bible for myself and find out what *I* believed, not what other people told me I should believe.

    Outside of that, I think the best Fundamentalist I know is a guy named Jeff Larson. (His home church was featured a few months back with their ice cream truck.) He and his wife are like family, a third set of grandparents almost. They’re both teachers (in the public school system, no less!) and they’ve had I don’t know how many foster kids come through their home. They’re involved in their community in a way I’ve rarely seen in Fundamentalism. They’re genuinely quick to love and put themselves out for others. They’ve seen firsthand (with their foster kids, and because they were both saved later in life) the ugliness of sin and what it can do to people, and because of that I think maybe they have more compassion and understanding than perfect people raised in perfect homes who live in perfect insulated Christian communities.

    I don’t know that I’d want to join Fundamentalism if everyone were cloned from this family, but if we’re giving kudos then I have to give kudos to Terry Snow and his family. I traveled with them for five years singing in his gospel Quartet. They’re pretty fundy in most (not all) of the typical fundy things, but they have the concept of investing in someone down pat. I started traveling with them my first full year of grad school, and they bent over backwards to accommodate some of the resulting weirdness that went along with dragging a grad student all over the country. When my dad got sick he was the first person to pipe up and offer me whatever help he could to get me back home to PA. When my sister came down to start school, his wife figured it was a given that she would give her rides to the store or whatever as long as she was in town, and they’d met her I think once before. Whatever I may think about some of their fundy responses, I wish more fundies out there could learn to love and invest in lives like Terry and his wife.

    1. Compassion and understanding – there’s the key. If someone really loves, it comes through. If someone doesn’t love, all their knowledge, strict standards, and separated stance mean NOTHING!

    2. Yea same experience. Go find out for yourself what you believe. He started the exodus, and to be honest, the exodus is still on going. But it was radical and upheaving right after grad school. It was good, and scary, exciting and nerve racking.

      1. I wonder if he didn’t want to see us stay in Fundamentalism like he did.

        I’ve talked to other thinking Fundamentalists who indicate they would leave, but they’d have to establish whole new circles of friends and colleagues and possibly get another advanced degree in order to keep teaching, so they stay.

        1. That is an interesting thought. Could be. It is difficult changing the longer you stay. When I left college I had a fresh start and used it wisely.

  28. Several come to mind…

    James Baker who now pastors a church in Virginia Beach. He was our pastor for several years before he took the pastorate he’s in now. He and his wife truly loved their “flock”. He was with us for many of our major milestones in the first years of our marriage–married us, saw us add to our family twice. His family will always hold a special place in my heart for their gracious attitudes and the way they balanced so much responsibility. If they hadn’t left the church we were attending, it would have been much harder to leave fundamentalism.

    Another that comes to mind is the awesome youth group my husband and I lead–not that we were awesome, but they were. We regularly had a dozen or so teenagers squeezed into our house. It was a joy to get to know them and watch them grow spiritually, just keeping our fingers crossed that we were having a positive influence on them. They allowed us to be real and we allowed them the same. Most of those “kids” are now finishing college, getting married and starting families of their own, but they will always be “our kids”.

    Last, but not least…my friend, who may actually read this today. She had the courage to be my friend even after we left fundamentalism. We often have discussions from conflicting perspectives, but I consider our friendship as “iron sharpening iron”. I’m thankful for her friendship and that God allowed our paths to cross.

  29. Probably the Peterson’s. The whacked out IFB church we went to was pretty extreme. Women were expected to cover their heads, never wear pants and be quiet in church. We were new to the church. My dad noticed that they didn’t follow those rules and asked them why. They gave logical reasons and my dad agreed. (Thank God!) Mrs. sang specials and played the piano and they owned the local DQ and were probably big tithers or they probably would have been ostracized. 🙄

  30. John Bishop was the nicest “fundy” that I ever met. Not sure if he counted, though, because I’m not sure he held to everything fundies do (I only heard him preach a few times, and he always talked about God’s love instead of anything else). He was a really positive guy, and just very endearing.

    1. I heard John Bishop last year and he has picked up much more Fundy rhetoric than he had several years ago. His tone was angrier, in my observation. Maybe it was a bad day. I love John and his kindness and simple faith has left quiet a mark on me.

  31. Dr. Caren Sylvester at BJU, and Dr. Dan Forrest at BJU. They taught me to think for myself and they were the only reason I even thought about staying (besides my few non-fundy friends of course). I’ll never forget sitting through Dr. Sylvester’s Philosophy class and thinking: “wait… practically everything she’s saying contradicts BJU’s stances and she’s absolutely right! What is she even doing here?”

    I wish the very best for both of them.

  32. >>Charles Shafer at Trinity Baptist College. Dan Shafers dad, not the other Charles Shafer. Anyway, I will NEVER forget his influence in my life. He was full of grace and wisdom, and knew how to teach in love.
    >>George Grace in Rochester New York. Knew how to teach doctrine and methods without making methods into doctrines if you know what I mean. (thanks J for that little tidbit…)
    >>My father. Balanced, loving, loves his God and the people he ministers to. Instead of “beating” the sheep, he is very good at “instructing and teaching” the sheep.

  33. Just yesterday, I went back to my old fundy church for the funeral of the pastor, Teddy R. Steele (“Bro. Teddy,” we all called him). He was my pastor during the ten years that I was there. He was a kind, humorous, gentle, godly man. Aside from my parents, he was probably the main reason that I avoided the ugly side of fundyism.

    My favorite story during his eulogy was when the music minister (named “Dennis”) told a story of when he was first music minister and first met Bro. Teddy. They went on visitation to a local hospital (they were only visiting one person, but Bro. Teddy just had to stop and visit and encourage everyone on the floor, whether he knew them or not). Afterward, while heading back to the church together, Bro. Teddy pulled over to the corner liquor store and said, “Dennis, were out of wine for the Lord’s Supper. Go buy some, please.” THAT, my friends, was an EPIC WIN. :mrgreen:

    God bless you, Bro. Teddy. Rest in peace.

  34. I have a real friend that has been an encouragement to me over the years. God has used him to work on things in my life. He accepts me for who I am, not for who he might be able to change me into. I cannot give much specifics because I know he has enemies lurking online, but he is a strong fundamentalist, but very caring, and very honest.

  35. Harry and Linda Smith (seriously, that was their names) They ran the Christian Servicemen’s Center in Norfolk, Va. when I was stationed there (1981-84) what humble, lovable servants of the Most High God. I mean they were very good christian friends to me when I really needed them, what a great ministry. Harry died several years ago at a very young age and Linda I think is still in the Norfolk area. They ministered to me in a powerful way and were friends when I needed them, and isn’t that what christianity is all about?

  36. I had the opportunity to have dinner with Pete Rice and his wife several years ago. I had played all week as a substitute pianist at a neighboring church’s revival meeting and it was exhausting. At the end of the week, Mrs. Rice approached me and asked if I would like to join them for dinner. It was a pleasant evening at the Golden Corral and they were very encouraging to me.

    Also, I had the opportunity to play for Tim Lee as a pianist and his ministry gave me a large check at the end of the week of meetings! I had never been paid for playing before and was speechless. That check was exactly what I needed at that moment.

  37. Mr. Ward, freshman speech teacher at PCC, late 80’s. Three years later he still spoke to me and called me by name when he saw me. He was an awesome guy — who didn’t stick around PCC too long.

    I also once had an evangelist notice my tires were bare — he bought me a whole new set of tires. He will always be a wonderful man in my book. (I wasn’t even attending the church he was preaching at.)

  38. Two jump out in my memory, both from my first church, Mission Blvd. Baptist Church, Fayetteville, AR.

    Tom Hardin, teacher, preacher, and friend. He taught me that just because a man believes in error, it doesn’t mean that everything he says is wrong. And his loving heart.

    Robert Johnson, preacher, head of drama ministry and friend. He performed my wedding ceremony. He is almost always with a happy countenance. Plus his testimony had no verbal prayer involved, it was a heart thing.

    All the leadership in that era (late ’70s and ’80s) believed that to truly answer someone in error started with understanding why they believed that way. As the years went by, MBBC seemed to drift more into standard fundyism. 🙁

  39. Patrick Grindly

    He thought all girls on my campus should be forced to wear skirts. He wore a suit every day and thought every other guy should too. When he found out I walked away from Christianity and hated God, he would stop me when he saw me, ask me how my school work and life were going, and never said a thing about my beliefs. He was very concerned that I was emotionally ok, but beyond that, he minded his own business. Too many fundies seem to think that if they don’t closely monitor everyone’s spiritual well-being, then their dog will explode.

    Not Patrick.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.