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Stones Along the Way by Emmitt Drumgoole

A Note From Emmitt

We all have significant moments in our lives that we choose to remember because they have special meaning to us. We mark birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other important events. When I was in my third year as a seminary student, we were given the assignment of writing our spiritual autobiography. The purpose was to identify the major spiritual moments in our lives that have shaped our faith. The process reminded me of Joshua chapter 4, where stones were gathered to be a memorial for the wonderful things God had done. 

The memorial stones I have picked up along the way I carry as a reminder of where God has brought me from my past. My memorial stones are weighty memories that anchor my soul. Some memories are life-changing, some life-shifting, and others are life-saving. All of them have shaped my faith journey. Let me share a few of my memorial stones with you.

I carry with me my grandfather’s paisley blue necktie given to me by my grandmother after he passed away many years ago; a cherished heirloom reminding me to serve everyone with joy as he did. I carry with me the 5x7in photo of a 21-year-old me, smiling as I preached my first sermon at a Baptist Student Ministry event in Nacogdoches, TX. I carry with me my acceptance letter to Truett Seminary, a significant rebirth for me as a minister, pastor, and husband. I carry with me a journal, filled with prayers that I have never uttered to anyone but God. I carry with me a kneeling bench made by the brothers in Taize, France, a reminder to begin and end my day in prayer. I carry with me a tattered book of letters written between Howard Thurman and Alfred Fisk, devising how they would begin the first interracial church in the United States of America. I carry with me a loose-leaf collection of prayers, scriptures, and songs given to me by Baylor University Chaplain Burt Burleson, to help me explore contemplative spirituality. And I carry with me August 25, 2019, the day that Second Baptist Church, Liberty, received me as their first pastoral resident.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of significant spiritual events that have shaped my faith. I do count them among many that have deeply impacted me. I am sure that my life has impacted the faith lives of others too. Hopefully, the impact was more of the positive sort. It is beautiful to see how God uses people in community to leave lasting impressions of hope, faith, and love. This is my journey thus far, and I wait in anticipation for memorial stones to be added in my season here at Second.

Emmitt Drumgoole
Pastoral Resident

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