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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 16, 2013

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


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