A big Santa Claus sized man walks into a small grocery in Richland Springs, Texas.  He speaks with a German accent and a booming bass voice.  He has driven from Bangs, Texas to talk to a grocer who is also the butcher of the small town grocery and general store.  While the grocer/butcher chops away at a side of beef.  August Kowierske strongly urges him to seek out a twenty two year old pastor who serves in Coleman County.  The grocer is Harold Hendricks.  He is a legend in the small community of Richland Springs.  His grocery is the second hub of the community.  Only the school provides a meeting place to compare.  Here Baptists, Methodists, and members of the Church of Christ mingle and fellowship with some minority groups and even those who affilliate with no group.

August is well known here as a powerful bass singer who has a voice without equal in the lore of gospel music in San Saba County.  He is also know for his character.  After this visit of some great length, he is known for his persistence.  Harold cannot imagine presenting a twenty two year old pastor to a hundred year old church with many senior adults.  A couple of recent attempts at younger pastors had not gone well and had ended in such a way as to bring hurt to the church.  Dare they try another youth?  August pleaded with Harold to just hear the young man and just to meet him before excluding him as a choice.

I was that young man.  I have no idea why August loved me so much.  I had just been a quiet young teenager who attended the First Baptist Church of Bangs along with him.  He had heard me sing in a gospel quartet made up of the editor of the local newspaper and three teenage boys.  He had also heard some of my earliest attempts at preaching, watched some of my football games, and traded with my father at our full service gas station where I had fixed his flats and provided many other needed services to his vehicle.  I was stunned when I heard through Harold Hendricks about his advocacy on my behalf.  Somehow I think God sent him there because God had something in store for me that was better than a formal education.  God was going to show me his power in that place.

Today the grocery is gone.  Both Harold and August are in the presence of the Lord.  They were God’s instruments to help me gain strength for the journey.

Dan Wooldridge

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