Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

My Life–The Beginning

Posted on: February 13, 2008

2f-copy.jpg(My mom at her baptism, around 1940)

My life experiences are nothing exceptional, but I want to share the events that moved me down the road to writing And You Invited Me In 

I came from a fairly regular family. My father was a denominational minister and my mother was a pastor’s wife, mother and occasional college student (and eventually a teacher). Dad also taught high school math wherever we lived. In my first decade of life we lived in Mayberry-type communities in Kentucky, and then we moved to Alabama for Dad to get his doctorate. Life was just about to begin… 

While you wouldn’t think of Kentucky as the “north”, we were labeled as Northerners when we moved to an extremely rural area just south of Tuscaloosa (as Dad was still preaching to support us). Since it was the summer of 1964 we also learned first-hand about Civil Rights movement. My family was very pro-integration, and the welcome from this tiny KKK community wore out as soon as they met us. To put this on a historic timeline, we were living less than 40 miles from Selma when the infamous march happened.  

I was questioned about integration by teachers at my tiny rural school. I had never met people who considered another group of humans as non-people. These same people pressured my father to join the KKK by threats of a cross burning and, eventually, by kidnapping our dog. (Dad stood firmly by his beliefs in spite of all of this!) That era is forever encapsulated in my mind and heart. Relief came in 1966 when we moved further north to my spiritual destiny… 

In my specific religious tradition we believed in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My grandparents were like most conservative Christians born in the 19th century, and while my parents were more liberal, they were still typical of conservative Christian’s of the late 1950’s and 60’s. Things began to change for me in the late 1960s with the Jesus Movement. Remember those hippies called Jesus Freaks who got high on Jesus? I embraced this when I switched high schools my senior year. I changed schools for several logical reasons: the first was to get away from the senior English teacher at the high school I was attending. Next, I would be at the school where my mother taught. Now I see that it as more than a simple move, but was a divinely-inspired move.  

In the summer of 1970 a Billy Graham associate minister held a revival in our town and many people in my future senior class “got saved” (i.e. asked Jesus into their heart; repented of their sins). That fall I found a new depth to my religious beliefs as I renewed my spiritual commitment and moved into a doctrinal stand that has names like: the inerrancy of the Bible, fundamental perspective, and—within a few years—the Moral Majority. While my heart and motives were sincere I would became the “conservative of the Conservatives”. I was the “Jett Taylor” or “Gerald Eubanks” (to know more about them read And You Invited Me In). Little did I know that God had me on a specific journey to bring about this book….and that’s the second part of my life….

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