Ten Years Ago

by Steve Hale

‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you’ ( Philippians 1:3, NKJV).

I was in class at Graduate School at Southern Christian University when I got a phone call from Cindy. She said one of the elders from the Mt. Juliet church of Christ had called me, and asked that I return his call.

The elder was Ronnie Sneed, and he suggested that I send a serrnon tape and a resume as the Mt. Juliet church was looking for a preacher. I explained to brother Ronnie that I was happy at the Scottsville church, and had no reason to leave. He said: “I’m going to tell you like I would my own son, this is a wonderful opportunity. I hope you’ll give it a try.”

Well, I gave it a try, and the Lord took care of the rest. The Scottsville church hired a fireball by the name of Mitchell Covington, and the work there took off. The Lord has similarly blessed the church here. In those days, our elders were: Tommy Dixon, Albert England, Paul Hunter, Johnny McCulloch, and Ronnie Sneed.

When we moved here, I told Cindy I hope this could be our last work … a work of a lifetime. Work, work, work! After about nine months, toward the end of an eldees meeting, brother McCulloch said: “Son, you’re

doing a fine job. I only have one criticism.” My thought process was, ‘Uh oh….’ One of brother Johnny’s mannerisms, when he was about to say something critical, was holding his hands together, fingertips touching, and play them up and down against each other, like a piano. Yes, he was doing that as he offered his criticism.

“What is it,’ I asked? He said: ‘You work too much. You have two small children (Kimberly wasn’t here yet), and they need you now. Spend more time with them and Cindy.’ Needless to say, I was stunned. But, when I told Cindy, she rejoiced! I just hadn’t realized it. I took his criticism to heart, and have tried to be more balanced.

Many funerals, weddings, and people have come and gone in the last ten years. I’ve been blessed with wonderful co-workers: Ken Thomas, Bill Speight, Jr., and now Joey Davis. Joey is like a younger brother, and so talented and industrious. I’m sure the new youth minister will also be a blessing. Leroy Martin was the treasurer when I took the work in ’88. Now, Buddy Pickler does a fabulous job as our treasurer.

The only one who has been on staff longer than I have is Dorothy Zumbro. She has just gotten better and better through the years. I love and appreciate Dorothy. And, where would we be without Pat Huddleston? She is not only superb at her job, but a delight to be around.

Ten years ago, I did not know a preacher could be so blessed. Thank you for your love, patience, and encouragement. Lets keep on climbing!