"Reverend, I want to explore the way Baptists think and feel about God, life, and the world," I began. "I want to note the characteristics of higher consciousness found in the way of a Baptist Protestant Christian. If you would, kindly tell me first something of your background."
He nodded, "I went first to Europe to study French in 1946. I arrived in the old Belgian Congo in 1947 as a missionary of the conservative Baptist Mission Society. I spent twenty-five years involved in preparing pastors for field ministry in what is now Zaire — the name has changed — and my wife and I both taught in that school. My wife, Lois, is a nurse." He glanced at her, eyes shining, "I was in pastoral training and she was, too.
"As time went on, I became a professor in an inter-mission seminary for a year and then ended my career in the work of field administration for five years in the city of Goma in eastern Zaire. So that was a total of thirty-five years in Africa.
"Then my wife and I came back to America for health reasons. I was treated at University of California-Irvine Medical Center. That’s how I became a chaplain at UCI Medical Center."
Somehow it seemed ironic that the Reverend had spent twenty-five years preparing pastors for the field ministry and yet modestly felt himself unqualified for our interview.
What is Christianity?