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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


APR 14, 1996

THE PASS-OFF MINISTER

Today had been an okay ride of about forty-seven miles from Centerville, VA. For most of the day, it was a roller coaster ride on US 250 in southern Virginia. Around six in the evening, I came across the Calvary Baptist Church a few miles west of Shadwell. I decided to stop for the evening service.

The minister gave me an indication that he wanted to talk to me afterwards. This was just the opposite reaction of what happened after the service. Nothing happened. I didn't know whether this was going to be another case of a "pass-off minister".

I was going to ride out in the dark and see if I could locate a place to camp out but my curiosity got hold of me. After traveling about three hundred feet down the road, I turned around and went back to the church to see if the minister would let me camp out someplace in the church yard.

I had to quote scriptures to him even to see if he would give me some water. When I asked him about maybe allowing me to camp out after explaining to him that it really would be to hard to head out in the dark, the minister hemmed and hawed a bit. He told me that the church had been burnt by many people because the highway where the church was near I-64.

He also said that he was frustrated because I hadn't been sent out by a church. There was no accountability in his mind. What got me was that he was an independent Baptist minister. Independent means that he and his church didn't have to account to any earthy body or person. What accountability was there?

After about ten long minutes, the minister finally agreed to letting me camp out in the church ground and have some water. Instead of camping out in the church property, I pitched the tent in the woods behind the church.




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