Anyone reading this blog even occasionally knows of my love for old books. Recently, while revivaling with Pastor Rob Dowdle in Ocilla, Georgia, I noticed “Memoirs of John R. Sampey” (1947, Broadman) in their church library. And borrowed it. (I promise to return it, Rob!)
Sampey was for over a half-century a professor of Greek and Hebrew at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and for many years, its president. I figured his autobiography would be memorable and it’s proving to be so.
First, a funny story he tells.
At the age of 22, on finishing his basic seminary degree, Sampey turned around and became an instructor and at the same time, pastor of a small country church. He writes:
“Deacon Thomas W. Scott, a graduate of Georgetown College and an old Confederate soldier, handed me a list of seventy-three church members. Opposite fifteen names I found the notation ‘N.C.,’ and I asked its meaning. ‘No ‘count, parson, no ‘count,’ was his reply. Most of them for the work of the church were (indeed) of no account.”
You and I look at that and think, “Hey, that’s 15 out of 73. Pretty good. I’ll take that any day!”
And the other story, the one that prompted this article. About apologizing to your preacher/teacher.