Like all good preachers I have a file or three of clippings (old school paper and filing cabinet) along with an folder on my computer and cloud storage of bulletin articles, blogs, and newspaper finds. Today’s post is from the hard copy file from an old newspaper clipping. In a letter to Dear Abby a C.W. Kirkpatrick then in Ludlow, Massachusetts submitted this story about a minister search committee:
After sitting through the Minister Search Committee reject applicant after applicant for some fault alleged or otherwise one member stood up to read a letter from another applicant.
“Brethren, Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I have been a preacher with much success and also have had some success as a writer. Some say I am a good organizer. I have been a leader most places I have been.”
The committee was impressed want wanted to hear more, “I am over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places I have left town after my work caused a riot or disturbance. I should tell you I have spent time in jail on three or four occasions, but not because of any real wrongdoing. My health is not great, but I still get a lot done. The churches I have been in have been small even when located in large cities. I have not always had good relationships with other religious leaders in town where I have preached. To be honest, some have threatened me and even attacked me physically. I am not good at keeping records. I cannot recall the names of those I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I will do my best for you.”
The committee was in shock. Why would an unhealthy, trouble making, absent minded, ex-con think they would hire him? “Who is this?” They asked.
“It is signed, Saul of Tarsus, a.k.a. the Apostle Paul”