Published Sunday, August 05, 2012

Privileged to be 8 years on a beautiful island

We spent eight wonderful years on St. Simons Island when I was pastor of the First Baptist Church there. It was a great place to live. The children loved it and so did we.

Only a few places around the world are more beautiful than the island.

When I often gathered with pastors in other parts of the state, someone would laugh, point at me and say, “He has it rough. Can you imagine? His church is on St. Simons Island.”

I would smile and with tongue-in-cheek reply, “Yeah, it’s tough duty, but somebody has to do it.”

Not only was St Simons a gorgeous place to live, it was rife with history. There was the Battle of Bloody Marsh of long ago, Fort Frederica, General Oglethorpe, and the great John and Charles Wesley, founders of the Methodist Church, who added much to the history of the island.

There is a very inspiring story of John Wesley which underlines the character and integrity of this outstanding church leader.

As the story goes, one of the laborers was caught committing what might today be considered a smaller offense.

General Oglethorpe was furious about what had happened and ordered that the laborer be taken to trial and shot.

John Wesley heard about it and was heartbroken over what had happened. He made an appointment with the general and went to see him to plead the cause of the man.

“Will you please forgive him?” Wesley urged.

“No,” the general said. “I never forgive!”

“Then, sir,” Wesley said, “I hope you never sin.”

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