Dear Editor, There have been a few times over the years that I have thought about writing a letter to the editor of this paper to voice my opinion, though I’ve never followed through with it. This time, it is to share a deep concern and an aching heart over the resignation of Rev. Bill Spencer. Although I am hurt for Brother Bill, I am most concerned about the people of this church. You see, I can see the devil at work here. Brother Bill will move on and in six months or so, he will find another place to share the awesome news of Jesus. He will find happiness again, that’s just the kind of man he is. He has probably been praying for an answer to what he has been feeling from certain members of this congregation for years now. Well, the Lord has provided his answer and Brother Bill will move on. But what I fear is that this will divide First Baptist Church once again. Some will move to other churches and find what they are looking for in a new church home, which is great. Others will continue going to First “B”, remain quiet (because that’s their nature) and feel hurt. Still others will stop going to church altogether. Friendships will dissolve. Gossip will ensue and run rampant, which I am sure has already started. This is when the devil gets exactly what he wanted. Negativity, anger, hurt feelings and division. Because I did not attend the deacons’ meetings where Bro. Bill was barraged, I can only comment on hearsay. What difference does it make if church members haven’t been invited to the parsonage’ Isn’t that the house given to the pastor for him to live’ Why should he throw dinner parties’ I wouldn’t want to have people in my house. That’s my private space. If you need the pastor go to the church. It’s that simple. Also, why should Brother Bill have to know where each of the members of the church live’ That makes no sense to me. He is focused on teaching the Bible not memorizing where your homes are. I have to tell you the amount of speculation that a preacher has to put up with is amazing. Why do we expect this man of God to be God’ He is not perfect. Are you’ Pastors are the most judged people in the community. How Christian is it for Christians to judge’ Not very. Pastors put so much time in to their work; calling on the sick, the elderly, the needy. That’s really nice, but their number one priority is to teach the word of God and bring people to Christ. I can understand calling on nonbelievers who are sick, needy or elderly, but why put so much effort into the saved. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to have the preacher there when you are needy, I am just trying to point out how much we expect from them. How would you like to work those hours, put up with so much criticism, be asked for favors, spend time with people when they are at their lowest point and still not make very much of a salary. And don’t tell me “he chose this profession,” because he didn’t, God chose him. Pastors live this life because Jesus spoke to their heart and they listened and obeyed. I am sure many of us have heard God speak and have even listened to his calling and still ignored the “obey” part. Brother Bill Spencer has made an impression on my life on many occasions. First, he counseled and married my husband and me. Brother Bill helped to make my wedding day a very special day to remember. He also gave our family such support when my grandmother had hip surgery. Brother Bill not only drove to San Angelo to the hospital (which he does a lot for many others), he prayed over her with us before her surgery and stayed with us during her entire operation. He used that time to comfort us and to indulge my husband and I when we began to ask him questions about the Bible. Never once did he make us feel ignorant about our questions. He only encouraged us. I remember sitting in that hospital room with a great feeling of peace and exhilaration to know that while my Nannie was being operated on, we were studying God’s word. I also recall a time just last year, when I had read the first of the “Left Behind” book series. After reading it, I wanted an educated opinion of someone I trusted. I happened to be in Brady so I made a little trip to his office. He welcomed me in and spent an hour with me pouring over the Bible to help me feel more knowledgeable and comfortable about my beliefs. He taught me that “you can read all you want to by Christian authors, but always go back to your bible and prayer for your reference point. God will let you know through His word and prayer if you are reading incorrect things.” That will be my rule for the rest of my life. The purpose of this letter is two-fold. First, to ensure that Brother Bill is recognized for his dedication, great spirit in delivering the message and for his love for Christ and people. Second, to urge those that have been affected by this to open your hearts, listen to each other with an open mind, love each other like Christ loves you and move forward not backward. And to Brother Bill, we love you and wish you all the best. God bless you and your family. Sincerely, TARA DRAKE Lubbock, Tex.