I wanted to share a few things with you from the Faulkner University Lectures, but I want to begin with a few caveats! First, I was only there for two days, and I’m sure I missed some great stuff. I would like to have heard the Friends of the Restoration lectures on Monday, and may purchase those CDs. Second, any lectureship or workshop has a wide variety of speakers who are there for many different reasons. Anyone can find things they do not like about any workshop or lectureship, so pointing those things out is really not all that interesting. Third, I was there with a wolfpack of old friends (including Danny Dodd, Les Ferguson Jr, Gary Kirkendall, Cecil May 3, and Richard May) and we would have had a good time no matter what. So yes, I had a great time at the Faulkner Lectures. But, I did hear some really great stuff and saw a lot of old friends.
I really enjoyed Richard May’s message, “If God is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?” Richard is an old friend who preaches at the South Yukon Church of Christ, Yukon, OK. He and his wife Jeanna Lynn have a marriage mentoring ministry that is very successful. They would love to come to your place and hold a marriage seminar! They do marriage retreats for their congregation on a regular basis. Richard’s message was very encouraging. He did complain that he was not on my “must read” blogroll. Well, his blog is excellent and contains consistently good short articles.
Richard’s brother in law is Andy Miller who now preaches for the Starkville Church of Christ. (Starkville has been an immensely helpful partner in the Katrina recovery effort.) Andy had a great message about Reaching The Harvest. He said some very helpful things to me personally. His background as a person raised in a non-religious home who was converted to Christ in an effective and loving Campus Ministry is inspiring. That makes him an interesting choice for the Starkville church which serves the Mississippi State University population. Andy’s wife Rosalyn is an old friend as well and she has not changed a bit over the years. She is just as kind and sweet as always. We’re glad to have them back in our home state after two stints in California. Rosalyn had a ladies class but I did not want to test the waters and try to sneak in! I do not think Andy nor Rosalyn have a blog. I’ll have to work on that.
A two-hour open forum was hosted by fellow blogger Phil Sanders. I have known of Phil for many years because he once was a youth minister in Mississippi. He always treats me kindly when I see him and he also allows my comments on his blog. So he is a good guy. But Phil and I do not see eye-to-eye, and this was very evident in the open forum. I do give him kudos for opening the floor for questions, however the crowd was mostly likeminded and there were not any challenges to anything he said until the last fifteen minutes. An elderly brother stood and suggested that we have been wrong about instrumental music all these years and called on Phil to explain a few inconsistencies that I also noted … but there was not much time. Phil was kind to his objector … and the objector was kind in his remarks as well. I see no need to debate this issue any more. It is decided in the hearts and minds of those who choose to see it one way or another. However, I think these gentelmen decided to have a debate. Phil’s on his way out of the country for a few weeks so we’ll have to wait and see what develops there. Regardless of what you think of the issue, that little spark at the end made things interesting.
John Gaines had a good message on The Eternal Scheme of Redemption. John is a long time Pensacola preacher who is moving to the Great Northwest … Washington State. He has some sermons online. He may have a blog, but I’m not sure. He does have a Yahoo Group but I can’t remember what it’s called. I was on it years ago but I think I broke a rule of the list and I was booted off. But he was still my friend the next time I saw him. I consider him a friend, too. I wish him well in his new home on a different Coast.
I also enjoyed Cecil May III’s message on Jesus: The Word of Life. Anyone who has heard C3 will know that he is an excellent preacher, homiletician, and has that great radio voice. I did encourage C3 not to go to his hotel and change from his regular clothes into his preacher suit, but there he was with pink shirt and tie looking spiffy anyway. But his dad is head of the Bible Department, so I reckon he felt obligated to fit in. He also said that my series of posts working through Richard Foster’s book was “killing the blog“. I forgive him for that. He had a great message and we enjoyed hearing that before heading home.
But what makes any lectureship, workshop, gathering special is friends. I was able to reconnect with old friends and enjoyed that so much. It is always a joy to see Cecil and Winnie May. Unfortunately, Cecil was very ill during the lectures and was unable to be himself. He did manage to speak during his assignments, but that was about it. I love the May family…every one of them! During my years at Magnolia Bible College, Cecil was mentor, father figure, friend, teacher, confidant, sometimes employer, and always shining example. Any faults I have were not inherited from him. Winnie was my friend as well, and we had many long and enjoyable conversations about the church and the college. Connected to those MBC days was A. L. & June Franks. Their Magnolia Messenger is received by thousands and regarded as a blessing. They also are like family to me and I love them. Other MBC family folks included Fenter and Sue Northern and current MBC President Garvis Seymore. In fact, four former Presidents of MBC were in attendance at the Faulkner Lectures (in order): Rod Tate, Cecil May Jr., Gary W. Kirkendall, and current President Garvis Seymore. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the four of them. It was great to see George and Wanda Merritt. They were located at the South Main Church of Christ in Greenville, MS when I was 45 miles up the road in Cleveland many years ago. The Merritts are such kind people and have a wonderful family. I think George’s radio program is aired in several markets now.
I was also glad to see Prattville, AL preacher Brent Missildine. That church helped us tremendously in the relief effort and I will never forget the personal help they offered when one of their members gave my daughter and her daughter a camper to live in. Mobile ministers were in attendance, but I only saw Marshall Underwood. Marshall is a gentleman whenever you meet him … considerate, kind, and interested in you. I ran into Coast preacher Jerry Davidson as he was entering a lecture and I was glad to see him. It’s been a long time. He was a partner with Gulf Coast Bible Camp for many years (as was Marshall). And I also shook hands with Jack Zorn, whom I met in Belle Chase, LA when I was about 12 years old. He encouraged me to be a preacher. And here I am … along with thousands who were trained in the Lads to Leaders program.
This is probably like looking at someone elses’ vacation slides. Sorry if it’s boring! I was thankful to have the experience. It was my first time at the Faulkner Lectures. Now it shouldn’t have taken me 15 years to make that trip!
Back at home, we have about 40 skilled workers in town under David Kilbern’s direction. Most of them are from Peace United Church of Christ in Missouri. And we’ve been in the News!
*David Kilbern has been on the WLOX news a few times recently (there is both print and video here).
Workers at Mississippi’s Largest Private Employer Went On Strike Today at 9:00 a.m. This is severe economic news for a community already crippled and in recovery from the hurricane.
How to Win A Holman Christian Standard Bible … Plus Hear The Daily Audio Bible. I listen daily from my iPod.