As a retired pastor, having just experienced a miserable week of post-chemotherapy, I found much comfort in the article by Conrad L. Kanagy, “Parkinson’s disease and the gifts of dying churches” (Oct. 29). I am also a life-long pastor of a church, now extinct.
The 1950s was a time of great euphoria in our Ohio Conference. The Fall Missionary Conference was the event of the year. Spirit-filled visionaries had turned their eyes to building new outreaches in rural areas of Ohio and as far away as Tazewell, Va. Young men like myself, with limited education, came straight from the farms to I-W service and then found themselves called to these pulpits.
Time marches on, and the visionaries faded out and were replaced by new ones. The subsidies for these new churches were directed to other horizons. Pastors found it necessary to find full-time employment, cutting time away from their ministries. Churches stopped growing and began a long downward spiral, dying out after leaders retired or went to their heavenly reward.
However, as God would have it, there was, out of the spotlight, a faithful spouse raising a generation prepared for future change. There are no more great Sunday sermons but an information technology person insuring the transmission of energy into thousands of homes. A nurse whose caring heart reaches into four counties. A teacher in the local public school. Another IT person in a banking chain, safeguarding financial accounts. A daughter-in-law with a heart for throwaway kids and a businessman providing top-quality housing for seven local families and wholesome off-street activities for many youths. The resurrected Christ is alive and well in southern Ohio — the gift of a deceased church.
Jim Mullett, Wellston, Ohio