BY: ALAN McSAVAGE
During the latter part of my time as a Bishop with a large American Organization I was scheduled to speak at a convention in Columbus, Ohio. This convention was to last all week with Bishop’s meetings, etc filling in most of the spare time between meetings.
I packed my suitcase making sure I included my robes and a suit for every occasion and headed down the highway from Hamilton Ontario to Buffalo New York. After crossing the border I was suddenly struck with the strongest impression that I was to head for Wade Taylor’s Pinecrest Bible Camp, that is by Rochester, New York.
Without hesitation I headed for I-90 east rather than west and started merrily on my way.
I seemed to be oblivious of the fact that I was booked in the Holiday Inn in Columbus at the Organizations expense and that I was the keynote speaker for the Friday night meeting.
As I entered the grounds of the Bible Camp a strange peace started to fill me with a sense of love and acceptance I had not experienced for quite some time.
Being a Bishop meant you were above those kinds of emotions, etc.
I parked my vehicle and went to the front desk and said simply “The Lord sent me!”
This seemed to be no surprise to the gal behind the desk and she assured me that it happened all the time. BUT, the only bed was a top bunk in a students room who came from Alaska.
This was a far cry from a luxury suite at the Holiday Inn, but with a lump in my throat I said “Praise the Lord, Miss, that’s ok with me.”
Thus started a week of intense dealings with the Lord that eventually lead to my giving up my “Bishopric” and chucking the whole thing in – that had anything to do with ORGANIZED religion.
That week is still fresh in my mind though it was years ago now.
Daily I went to the Prayer meetings and sat on hard little chairs and went up and down stairs lining up for Bologna sandwiches and being raked over the coals at night by the young Bible Student who informed me that God dealt with us much like the Lads in the fiery furnace, not knowing of the Lord’s presence until they were thrust in by the guards.
During the praise and worship times I felt as though I was being stripped of all sense of pride and left with nothing but a quivering hulk that was weeping in gratitude to the Lord for actually caring enough, with this renegade, to take the time to correct me with his love and all consuming fire.
I only had one moment of remorse, I guess you would call it, that… when on the Saturday evening they had run out of Bologna and I ended up with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich and suddenly I remembered that I could have been sitting down to a six course meal with all the trimmings at the Organization’s expense.
REFINER’S FIRE [Alan McSavage] 1