Gonna do a series in the AM of this week to re-introduce myself and my blog to new readers. Something new in the afternoon each day…
I had decided to become a Christian, but I still had never met one – at least not that I knew of. I went down from Buffalo, New York (where I was in college) to Florida to visit my father, who had just gotten out of prison (long story – he had “misappropriated” funds from a company he co-owned with Ted Williams – the famous baseball player) and I told him, “I’ve decided to become a Christian.” He said, “Really. Who have you been talking to?” I said, “No one. I’ve never met a Christian.” He said, “I met a minister in jail, do you want to meet him?” I say, “Yeah, I’ve got to talk to one of those guys.” So this minister comes over, we spend the night talking, I get baptized the next morning.
A few minutes later that minister asked me, “Vince, when you get back to Buffalo, where are you going to attend church?” I said, “Church? I hadn’t even thought of going to church. I don’t think I’ll go.” He said, “Well, I know a minister up in Buffalo, maybe you’d like to go to his church.” I said, “I guess. That’s the only church I’ve ever heard of.”
Let me show you how truly new to all this I was: I went back to Buffalo, I called this church, and a woman answered, and said, “Clarence Church of Christ, Judy Beers speaking, may I help you? I said, “Yes, could I please speak to the minister, ummm, Jim Walker?” She said, “He’s not here today.” I said, “Ohhhhhhh.” She asked, “What’s wrong?” I answered, “Well, I wanted to come to church this Sunday. I’ve never been to one, and I really wanted to come.” She said, “Great, come!” I said, “But how will I get in?” She said, “How will you get in?” “Yeah, how will I get in?” She said, “Do you mean how will you get here? I can give you directions.” I said, “No, how will I get in?” “How will you get in?” “Yes, how will I get in?” She said, “Well, you just walk in.” I said, “What?!? Don’t you need a permission slip, or an invitation, or a note or something?” She said, “No, you just show up and walk in.” I said, “Is this just true of your church, or of every church?” She said, “Every church.” I said, “Let me get this straight. I can just walk into any church in America any Sunday?” “She said, “Exactly.” I was like, “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard.” She said, “You’re the strangest person I’ve ever talked to.”
That Sunday I went to church for the first time, and you can hear all about it next time. Until then … avoid cran-drinks.
– Featured on newchurches.com