As the world faces current issues of epic proportions, it is sometimes overwhelming. We are fed daily a steady diet of information and misinformation. Folks like me usually do not know the difference between the two.

The hate being displayed in our country is saddening. Rather than listening to possible solutions when we look to news outlets and social media, we hear nothing but name calling one might hear on an elementary school playground. Therefore, I rarely watch the news. My social media time is limited. And I believe with every ounce in me, the entire world would be a better place completely without social media. While some good has come from it, it is filled with hate.

Due to our current situation, I sometimes search specific videos to watch that are free of politics. Videos that are funny. Videos of sports. And sometimes, spiritual and religious videos. One such occurrence happened this week. Needing a break from the chaos, I searched Rev. Billy Graham online. One of the videos that popped up was one of him extending the invitation to come and accept Christ as the choir sang “Just As I Am.” He preached in demonstration of the spirit and power of God. Only God knows how many people were saved after listening to Rev. Graham preach. Watching the video took my mind back to when I was a kid. We would watch him as a family on the television in the living room. It’s a good memory and one I’m glad I have. Rev. Graham has gone home now. Our loss is heaven’s gain.

I never heard Rev. Graham in person. Watching him made me think of some I have listened too in person who have also gone home. Though they weren’t on television, they too preached in demonstration of the spirit and power of God. Like with Rev. Graham, only God know how many souls these men truly led to Christ. These are some, but not all, preachers and pastors I had a personal friendship with. Leon Pettit, James McGaha, Ralph O’Bryant, Elmer Stowe, O’Neal Evans, Claude Scott, Carl McGaha, James Gayton, Jim Ware, Alton Martin, and Clyde Chastain. God knows I miss them. I’m sure many of you do too. Besides living their lives leading people to Christ, every one of these men contributed something to my spiritual growth and maturity. How blessed am I? If you knew these men, you know the answer to my question.

With the health of the world on life-support, my carnal mind wonders what these great men would be saying about it. I would love to hear them preach again, each in their own unique way. Since I knew them, my spiritual mind knows what they would be saying. Just as they spent their lives doing, they would stay out of politics and preach Jesus. The death of these preachers did not stop the gospel from being preached. Nor was our world void of salvation with the passing of Billy Graham. God has called other men to step in and continue sharing his Word with the world. Nevertheless, the world was a better place with these men in it. Although time and space won’t allow it here, I have personal stories about each of them that will be in the treasure chest of my memory until I die.

Despite enjoying the preaching of all the men, I mentioned, it was Ray Mauldin who preached Jesus the night I felt the tug to make my way to the altar. Though they all played a part in my spiritual life, it was Monroe Gunter that played the biggest role in my spiritual walk with Christ. They are both still kicking as this piece is written. Time and age have slowed them down. Nevertheless, God has blessed them for their works and continues to extend their years.

It seems like the world has gone crazy. Much of what is going on, I don’t understand. What I do understand is this. While we may or may not ever find a cure or treatment for Covid-19, Christ paid the price for our sins. If we repent and believe in Christ, and ask Him to save us, we will be saved. None of us deserve it. But if we come to Him humbly, just as we are, He will save us. I took a nap before writing this last paragraph. I dreamed I was a kid again living with Mama and Daddy. When I woke up, there was a feeling of sadness. Then I remembered, if we know Christ, we will never really be separated. I hope you will join me in remembering the preacher that preached Jesus to you causing you to follow the call and be saved. With the world in chaos, we all need to remember out first love. Jesus Christ. Amen!

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Chris Collett is a longtime resident of Cherokee County.

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