Thursday 16 October: Travelling
Travelled to Atlanta on Thursday 16 October. We were grateful for the kindness of the Rev Warren Gardner and his wife Valerie for putting us up for the duration of our visit at his home in Winder, a bit to the north-east of Atlanta.
Friday, 17 October: Christian Runners
It rained ‘cats and dogs’ all day in Atlanta and was still falling in the evening when I went with my wife, Jean, to Heiskell School to meet with Richard Hopkins and the Christian Runners group meeting in the School that evening. Their customised vests had ‘Christian Runners’ unashamedly blazoned over them and displayed the text from Hebrews 12:1-2. This gave a good spring board for a talk on ‘Running the Race’ and an introduction to the book. A gathering of about 50 or 60 listened attentively and quite a few took the book.
Saturday, 18 October: Fall Five Miler, Marietta
The ‘Big Peach Running Company’ (four stores in Georgia) held a sort of serious ‘fun-run’ on the Saturday morning (the weather had brightened and was dry!). The idea was that all sorts of people could run or walk, as they pleased, the money collected being donated this year to Muscular Dystrophy. $13,000 was raised. There were about 900 runners, including my wife Jean who walked the course very briskly.
In manning a book stall where the race finished there was good interest in Running the Race and many copies were distributed and signed. One lady who approached the stall told me that her late husband had been in the Weihsien Internment camp as a young boy and had been taught by Eric Liddell and had been part of his Boy Scout group there.
Lord’s day, 19 October: Church Services
On the Sunday I preached both services for Warren Gardner in the Free Church (Continuing) congregation in Atlanta. This congregation is part of the same Church of which I am a minister in Scotland! The services were at 11am and 2pm, with a congregational fellowship meal in between.
Monday, 20 October: Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Travelled to South Carolina in the morning for addresses at the Greenville Seminary. This is a Presbyterian Seminary associated with the Presbyterian Church in America. We met up with our other Free Church (continuing) minister in Georgia/South Carolina area, Rob McCurley, a graduate of Greenville Seminary who ministers in the city. We were warmly welcomed by staff and students. At noon I gave a talk on the 19th century Scottish theologian, George Smeaton. This served as a useful introduction to my book on Smeaton recently published by Evangelical Press (George Smeaton. Learned Theologian and New Testament Scholar). In the evening at a public meeting in the auditorium of the Christian Arts Centre among the Seminary buildings I gave a PowerPoint presentation on the story of Eric Liddell. Again it was good to have the opportunity to introduce an American public to the inspirational story of Running the Race.
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