For two years after college, I worked as the secretary to the production manager in a cast iron pipe plant in Tarrant City, a suburb of Birmingham. I took shorthand, wrote Mr. Hooper’s letters, typed up instructions for the foundry and orders for the shipping. I worked the teletype and emptied Mr. Hooper’s spittoon.
It was unlike anything I had ever done before or did afterward. I loved everything about those two years. We were young marrieds, and soon with a baby son, and in addition to working at the plant, I was beginning to pastor a small church 25 miles north of the city. Everything was new and fresh, scary and untried, and the adrenalin was always pumping.
In college, I had majored in history planning to be a teacher, so to say my theological education was lacking is the understatement of the year. I had no idea how to prepare a sermon or to deliver it once I came up with one. So every week I re-invented the wheel. The sermons were pitiful, but they were sincere efforts from this eager, naïve, kid preacher. Give Unity Baptist Church of Kimberly, Alabama credit; they were patient. For the entire 14 months I remained with them. Smiley-face here.
They paid me 10 dollars a week. My tithe was twelve. In one sense, I was paying them for the privilege of pastoring. It was money well spent. Another smiley-face.