Her name was Dolly, a frail child-adult of about 15. I was 19 and the pastor of a small Baptist church in Northern Arkansas. I'd finished college, and could not enroll at New Orleans Seminary until after my 20th birthday. The associational missionary, Jack Lafferty, set me up with the church as an interim pastor […]
Motoring down Highway 2 from Fairbanks, Alaska, your eyes are peeled for North Pole. You see the McDonald's arch first, then the red-and-white striped Santa Claus house and the sign, WELCOME TO NORTH POLE, ALASKA — WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE. Your tour bus driver swings down St. Nicholas Drive and pulls up beside a 20-foot Santa Claus. You pile out with your fellow passengers to buy souvenirs, then to photograph the reindeer cavorting in a pen behind the giant Santa. You hear an excited boy from another group hollering, "Which one is Rudolph? Where's the reindeer with the shiny nose?"
Fairbanks, Alaska. Three a.m. on a cool spring morning in the parsonage of Salacha Baptist Church, near Fairbanks. Pastor Richard Faught is awakened from a sound sleep by the ringing of his phone. The cellular caller is an Alaskan state trooper. "Moose hit three miles south of the town of North Pole on Richardson Highway. […]