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Leader's Insight: Rev. Parker's Last Stand

Holding his ground in an out-of-the-way crossroads.

Carl Parker died recently. The Reverend Carl Parker. Not heard of him? Then that means you have never praised God in a church that bears the name of Wampee, Little River, or Indian Field. For 50 years he preached the gospel at places like that.

During his last days, when I attempted to comfort him, saying, "Well, Mr. Parker, it seems as if the Lord is giving you a peaceful leave," he roused himself, looked at me from his bed, and said, "With the churches I have served, the Lord owes it to me."

His father before him was a Methodist preacher—barrel-chested, with a thunderous voice, swatting flies in a forlorn little Methodist church while preaching his way through both Testaments in one sermon. His stepmother was also a Methodist preacher, first in the South Carolina Conference in the 1950s, picking up the gospel from the drooping hands of her ailing husband just before he died. Between them they served a half dozen churches at one time. The Reverend Bessie Parker went on to be a legend ...

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