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As Time Goes By With Rich O'Brian: The Dream Unfolds, Part 3

By Rich and Dianne O'Brian

November 3, 2023

Our Odyssey continues. If you do not happen to read this column regularly, let me say that each week we will present a part of the journey that Dianne and I made recently. This is the third portion.

The town is Wilsonville, Alabama. We spotted a group of gentlemen seated at a picnic table under a shade tree on this beautiful September afternoon. One of them, a kind Mr. Edwards with a soft Southern drawl, noticed that we were trying to find directions to somewhere and he stepped over to our car to be of assistance.

“Do you know where Fourmile is?” I asked. I told him that I had served as pastor there sixty years or so ago and had forgotten just which road I should take out of town to get there. “Tell you what,” he said, “Ah’ll get in my car and lead you out there.” “Ah, Southern hospitality,” I explained to Dianne.

Seeing the Fourmile Church was almost shocking. Everything was in its place. The pastor’s residence, which back in the day was tabbed the pastorium, the cemetery and, of course, the church building. “How could it still be so much as I remember it, after all these years?”

It was almost enough to bring tears to my eyes. In fact, it did bring tears to my eyes—then and now!

Our journey is becoming more and more the unfolding dream I was hoping for. It brought back great memories for me and the opportunity to show Dianne what I had been telling her about over all these years.

Next, away we go in our little car to the city of Phenix City. It was there that I became pastor of the Auburn Road Church. It was my first full-time ministry following college graduation. It was during my time in Phenix City that I commuted to New Orleans and Dallas seminaries over a period of several years as I recall.

We’ll have more about our visit to Phenix City and much more next week written from right here in The Garden of Eads.

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