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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: A Letter To The Editor
By Mariane Holbrook
11/20/07


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Letter to the Editor
Journal Star-News

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your coverage of the fire which destroyed the old Milltown Community Chapel last week. Following is a profile of one of its beloved pastors, George “Bub” Dailey, who ministered there from 1942-1944.

One day in 1942 at his job as pipe-fitter at the Lehigh Railroad, a fellow employee said to him, “Bub, I enjoy your Bible studies here during our lunch hour. Why don’t you come on over to the Milltown chapel and preach on Sundays. We haven’t had a pastor in years.”

“But I’m not ordained and I’ve never been to Bible College.”

“That may be true but you know the Bible backwards and forwards. Will you at least think about it?”

Bub thought about it and prayed about it. Constantly. He and his wife had six children, they had lost
their home during the Great Depression and now the country was at war. His wife had been ill for years with advanced arthritis and pernicious anemia. Pain was her constant and unwelcome companion.

After much discussion, Bub decided to continue attending his family’s church but to hold Sunday afternoon services across the tracks in Milltown.

Indeed, Bub had grown up in Milltown. His parents had taken him to Sunday School at Milltown chapel nearly forty years earlier.

Bub’s youngest children walked the three miles of tracks with him after Sunday dinner at home in time for the 3:00 pm service in Milltown. Occasionally they would have supper with a church family and were offered a ride home so they could attend the 7:30 pm service at their own church.

The only suits Bub ever owned were given to him by the widows of newly-deceased church members.
Often they were thread-bare but Bub wore them because it brought comfort to the grieving widow to see them put to good use by the new pastor at Milltown.

Even though the services were only held on Sunday afternoons and occasionally on Sunday nights, the attendance began to grow appreciably. Bub’s delivery was quiet, his demeanor humble and affectionate. He was a man of great intellect though he had not been given the opportunity of studies beyond high school. But behind the pulpit, he used simple illustrations and stories to present the gospel in a way his working class congregation could understand and embrace.

He used his white handkerchief often to wipe the tears from his eyes when he described in detail the suffering of Jesus on the cross.

Bub used objects for illustration, reaching under the pulpit for a small box which he held aloft, removing one item at a time to make his point and to be sure his beloved congregation understood the
message.

He purposely avoided words in his vocabulary that he knew his listeners wouldn’t understand, always presenting the gospel in such an appealing manner that on a few occasions, members of the congregation couldn’t wait until the end of the sermon before finding their way to the altar to receive Christ into their lives.

Bub loved to preach about the Second Coming of Christ, assuring the congregation that it could occur any day, at any hour, and was an event to be anticipated with great joy for the hope that it gave to all who belonged to Him.

He read two or three books a week, filling many spiral notebooks with sermon outlines and illustrations gleaned from his reading. He would expand upon these notes after carefully searching the Scriptures. He poured over his Bible, spending at least two hours a night in sermon preparation.

His photographic memory was legendary. Another pastor in town was overheard to say that if you asked Bub where a particular Bible verse could be found, he not only told you where that verse was located, but what the verses were before it and after it.

On Saturday afternoons, he visited Milltown church members in the hospital or at home. He became not only their pastor but their confidante and friend.

After two years, the church was full and still growing. It was evident that they needed a full-time pastor.
Bub resigned but stayed until they found the right man to fill the pulpit.

At the farewell dinner one parishoner after another stood to tell what a difference Bub had made in their lives by leading them to Christ. Bub finally told the congregation a tearful and loving goodbye.

I was in attendance that memorable night. Bub was my father.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 11/24/07
This is a nice tribute to your father. Good job portraying your MC so that the reader really cares for him.
Laury
Sharlyn Guthrie11/24/07
What a wonderful tribute to a pastor, and a nice surprise to learn he was the narrator's fahter, too.
Debi Derrick11/25/07
This is a very special piece, very heartwarming. And very well done.
Dee Yoder 11/27/07
What a legacy your father left you! It's a wonderful thing to see a man so dedicated to others that he sacrifices much of his free time just to be a servant to those he loves. A lovely tribute!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/29/07
What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful Godly pastor/father. Reading this, I felt like he was someone I had just met and loved. I can see you share his love for God, as well as his love for people. He did, indeed, leave you a rich heritage.
Edy T Johnson 12/07/07
I love your stories about your memorable dad. I hope this is another chapter in the book about him that I want a copy of when it is finished. You paint such a beautiful portrait of a wonderful man.
Linda Watson Owen01/14/08
Oh, my dear friend, Mariane! What a lovingly powerful tribute to your father! I'm moved to tears at the eloquence of your writing that brings your precious father to life on this page. What a remarkable gift you have...and are! Thank you for the privilege of reading this straight to the heart and very inspiring true story.