From preacher to Preacher

Baptist meetings always smell of Aqua Velva, Chanel 5, and casseroles. Musty hymnals tanned with age meet the eye with an almost historic glory. The pulpits many hand made creak and groan with the weight of the ancient King James Bible sitting distintively on top.

I pastored two of these churches. I was the authority. The vicar of Christ for about 70 people. They hung on my every word as if I was another Isaiah or Ezekiel uttering oracles and jeremiads on the condition of sinful man. It was a southern gothic replete with plenty of shouting.

Why did I leave it? One answer only will suffice. I heard a sermon from the Preacher. The preacher was none other than the Christ. Christ alone is the Preacher. He teaches his own. I realized through his gentle touch that, he and he alone, is the only one to speak on God. All my works, Bible reading, sermonizing, and evangelizing was for external religion. Outward forms with no substance. I was led to a book by Job Scott, a saintly Quaker, on the Christ. Then to George Fox. They wrote about what I was experiencing! 

I quit. I left it all. I left the money, fame, and political position for the Eternal Presence. Now, the only sermonizing I do is with a life lived in the Eternal Love. 

Christ speaks, Christ lives, Christ loves, and Christ exists in ALL of us. We just have to stop, drop, and listen. 

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The only one…

It is a truth that Wilson loves its barbecue pork and all the fixings. The golden hushpuppies made from sweet corn meal. The tangy coleslaw. The smoky spice of the bolied potatoes in sauce. The bold flavor of chopped pork dressed with vinegar based sauce. Wilson is unique as the capitol of Eastern NC barbecue. 

I also believe Wilson is unique in being a town with only one avowed Quaker. That would be me. I self identify as a classical “Hicksite” Friend with a love of the Bible and of all things related to England like Yorkshire Tea and the BBC news.

Folks here think Quakers are Amish or makers of industrial oatmeal and snacks. Some know of the Friends Church 20 miles away that is more Pentecostal and Evangelical than Quaker. The CharismaFriends love to salute the flag and all things patriotic. I asked their pastor about the peace testimony and he laughed and brushed it off as an outdated idea. So much for the CharismaFriends…

My wife and two sons share in this journey too. They do not identify as Quaker, but are supportive and they accept the testimonies of Friends. 

Well….

Here it is. My life on display. Living as a disciple of the Present Christ in a town with no other known Friends. Join me. Hope we can learn together as we walk on the road listening to the Christ as He teaches His people Himself. 

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