Gail was still laughing about it, some fifty years later.
Fresh from college and seminary, Gail had arrived in Columbus, Mississippi, to be interviewed for the position of director of the Baptists’ college ministry. She would be the BSU director for the local campus of Mississippi State College for Women, now called Mississippi University for Women, or MUW. Since the position was paid by the First Baptist Church, Pastor S. R. Woodson was interviewing her and would be her primary supervisor.
After the interview, Dr. Woodson wanted to show Gail the nice center on College Street, some half-dozen blocks away.
The question was how to get her there without the two having to sharing the automobile. A man alone in a car with a woman not his wife was unthinkable.
“I walked the entire six blocks,” Gail laughs. “With him driving his car alongside to make sure I was safe.”
Changing times? You bet. These days, almost every pastor I know would have said, “Come on and get in, and I’ll run you over there,” and not given it a second thought.
Changing standards? That’s another question altogether.