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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bama House Speaker Mike Hubbard a "Soul Molester?"

      I had a good chat with Hubbard's longtime staffer Boone Kinard last week in advance of this blog. And this morning had brief conversation with new Auburn FBC pastor Tripp Martin about Hubbard's oped carried statewide last week about school prayer. I am look forward to a public conversation between Hubbard and Martin on church state and justeice issues as they were raised almost neighbors in NE Georgia, Hartwell and Augusta; and Martin's wife is a product of First Prez, Greenville S.C.

     In late 90's the grand Baptist Will Campbell coined the phrase "soul molesters" to describe the fundamentalists who took over the Southern Baptist Convention and threatened good schools like Samford and Furman. Now Hubbard is playing up to these fundies in the Tea Party playing the same game Jesse Helms and Albert Lee Smith--the Bircher whose wife was central in Hubbard's draconian immigration bill.

     Here is how Campbell addressed the matter just 8 years ago.

    Hubbard, a Methodist in good standing at FUMC Auburn seems willfully ignorant of all this in the face of Auburn proff Wayne Flynt and recent FBC pastor Jim Evans addressing it for ten years and more.

   Hubbard, like Helms and Albert Lee Smith is playing Bible politics now that his kind of politics can't play the race card anymore, all the while pimpin good folks like Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker and the 17 athletes of color who take the field for the Auburn Tigers every week.

  How is that voter suppression strategy playin in their hometowns.

   Hubbard has a little soul work to do. I suggest he have a weekend with the new UMC Bishop of North Alabama and see how the Wesleyan commitment to social justice is playing with his strategies. The presentation I heard Debra Wallace-Padgett make at FUMC Ft. Payne last Monday has nothing in common with Hubbard's politics that I can see.

   The summer issue of Oxford American Magazine--founded by John Grisham-- has a review of Brandt Ayers and Tray Thompson recent books about Tea Party politicians of Hubbard's stripe. Reviewer Hal Crowther burns Hubbard's brand of sheened up Wallace 60s politics and does so righteously.

    My friend Randall Balmer of will deliver the Holly-Hull lecture Thurs morn October 3 at 10:00 am in Reid Chapel at Samford University. Will be interesting to see what of Hubbard's strategy is left standing after that presentation.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Doll Baby, Yeah We Ran his Ass out of Town"

UMC Bishop Noon Lunch in Ft Payne

   Here is letter I submitted to the Ft Payne Times-Journal on the new UMC Bishop's recent presentation in our vicinity, her Listening Tour:

   Here is a letter I just submitted to Ft Payne Bama Times Journal re the New Bishop:

Letters for Publication
Ft Payne Times-Journal

The Editors:

My Dad was a Baptist preacher and fond of the motto Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing. The New UMC Bishop for North Alabama Debra Wallace-Padgett did a great job of following that maxim in her presentation Monday at FUMC I sat in on. She is going to be a force.
One quick aside, that was some coverage the T-J gave her with two front page above the fold stories. But as I sat and listened--she had a great aside about the basketball book The Butler Way, and I later turned up an online oral history of her days on the team at Berea College--I'm satisfied she is worthy; but it does give the appearance of an inside job with the T-J. (smile)

That said, she did a grand job on First Principles. And I couldn't help thinking she would be comfortable in any board room in America. I'm a great fan of the Episcopalian minister Fleming Rutledge, having read two collections of her sermons. If I'd never met Rev Rutledge and someone had told me Monday DWP was her, I woulda believed them.

Her focus was not politics but she is on the record that the Methodist Tradition not only advances Personal Holiness but Social Justice. As Immigration reform is before the United States House, I am hoping that the New Bishop shows continuity with immediate past Bishop Willimon in advancing the cause in realpolitik as the time is now.
Willimon's book about his Stay in Bama, The Bishop, spotlights his differences with House Speaker Hubbard, a United Methodist in good standing at FUMC Auburn, as well as Baptist Deacon Governor Bentley.

I am hoping some Congressional Staffers of Faith from D.C can come to the area soon to examine immigration reform in this key moment. I hope if not the Bishop herself, some of her assistants as well as a strong showing of folks across the spectrum of faith will be present if the event happens.

In the meantime for all who were in the room Monday as well as Christians who have an inkling about Justice matters and the Gospel google two key piece: Willimon repents, ethics daily; and Miguel de la Torre,, flawed Senate Immigration bill.

The latter is a template for what I think Bishops Willimon and Debra Wallace Padgett would construct had their career path taken them to the US House of Representatives.


Stephen M. Fox

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Collinsville Community Revival

  I attended last night. Good Service with Sister Trinka Payton of Auburn and Jackson County Georgia on the keyboard.

    Heaven's Jubilee was part of the congregational singing. I really enjoyed that. Good soloists.

    More later but wanted to get it dated properly here on the blog