Friday, August 09, 2013
For us three boys it was high adventure. We were driving two hundred miles from Lawton, Oklahoma to Abilene, Texas. Our mission: to visit what we hoped would be our college home and to see a rising star named Elvis Presley. The college was in Abilene. Elvis was in Stamford.
Elvis's career was just getting started. We thought he was wonderful. Abilene Christian had been around for a long time. We liked it immediately. We later learned to love it.
I would like to tell you about Abilene, Texas. But the truth is, I know very little about it. My time in Abilene was spent almost entirely out on the hill where Abilene Christian College, now a University, was located.
My business in Abilene was to learn as much about the Bible as possible and to become a preacher. I didn't learn as much about the Bible as I could have, because like most college students I didn't study as hard as I should have. I did become a preacher. But that's another story for another time.
For me, the heart of Abilene Christian wasn't the Bible Building or "The Bean" as the cafeteria was called―but Mabee dorm. Mabee was home. Mabee was where "the rubber met the road" in real living and learning. It was in the dorm where I met and made friends that have lasted a life time. It was there that I learned the give and take of daily living.
Chapel was a big part of life at ACC. It was required. Attendance was checked. Some students resented being "forced" to attend chapel. I never felt compelled to attend. There were many colleges to attend that didn't have chapel. We could have chosen one of those. Chapel was a good thing.
"The Bean" is another story. I never went there for breakfast. And if for some strange reason I did, they always had creamed eggs―always. I hated the sight of those eggs. So lunch was always something I looked forward to. It wasn't wonderful and the same could be said about dinner but I have always enjoyed eating and the fellowship was fantastic.
In 1957 when it was time for me to graduate, Dr. Frank Pack, one of my favorite Bible Professors wrote me a splendid letter of recommendation for a little church in California and I headed West. Over a span of thirty-two years I preached for three different churches in California. For fifteen years I preached in Phoenix, Arizona. I retired nine years ago. When asked by many where I was moving to upon retirement, I always answered the same: "Move? Why would we move? Arizona is where people come to retire. We are already here."
So many memories of Abilene Christian flood my soul. The one thought that always comes to mind is, that while a student there I thought I had died and gone to heaven.