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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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A PREACHER WHO WOULDN'T DO

A church was in need of a preacher. One of the elders was interested in finding out just what kind of preacher the church wanted. In order to do this he composed a letter as though it had been received from an interested preacher and read it to the pulpit selection committee. The letter read as follows:  "Gentlemen: Understanding that you need a new preacher, I would like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications that I think you would appreciate. I have been blessed to preach with power and have some success as a writer. Some say that I am a good organizer. I have been a leader in most places I have gone.

"Some folks, however, have some things against me. I am over fifty years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years at a time. In some places I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I have to admit that I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any wrong-doing. My health is not too good, though I still get a good deal done. I have had to work at my trade to help pay my way.

"The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities. I have not gotten along too well with the religious leaders in different towns where I have preached, and I am sure that they will not recommend me. In fact, some of them have threatened me, taken me to court, and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known even to forget whom I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I hall do my best for you, even if I have to work to help with my support."

The elder read this letter to the committee, and asked if they were interested in the applicant. They replied that he would never do for their church. They were not interested in any unhealthy, trouble-making, contentious, ex jailbird, and were insulted that his application had ever been presented! But one of them did ask the preacher's name, and the elder replied, "The Apostle Paul."

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ