In September, 1958, I found myself entering Perkins Chapel for Orientation. I was a conscription soldier home from the Korean War, and ready to become a preacher. Our class was large, all men, young and single. I was one of the few married students. That day, as we assembled, a frail grey haired gentleman, Fred Gealy, stood before us and let us know that “this is not Sunday School. This is your Calvary, you have come here to die.” Later Ogden, Harvey, Outler, Hogg, Quillian, Deschner, Allen, Hardin, and Powers reinforced Gealy’s word.

After graduation I served 50 years in the Iowa Annual Conference, mostly as pastor although under Bishop James S. Thomas I did a stint as the first Human Rights Director for Cedar Rapids. Iowa. I was appointed District Superintendent twice (a bit of a slow learner).

In these days of retirement I have authored two books, A Madison County Journal, Seasons of Grace, published by the IOWAN Books. My second book will be in print in late October, Iowa Roots, Ruminations on Iowa’s Uncommon People. I also write a column entitled, “MEMO for Those Who Must Preach” published weekly for the Iowa Annual Conference. I owe a huge debt to Perkins. Those courageous faculty members taught me to love scholarship, gave me a nose for sniffing out the bad stuff, and enabled me to understand that the Gospel is about Justice as well as Mercy.

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