The Clemson brothers and sisters, even though a much smaller church, housed, hosted, fed and served us with great love. We enjoyed a huge on campus breakfast fellowship tailgate with Chick-fil-A, corn hole, and warm hospitality. A noon kickoff followed with a thrilling overtime game and a movie night afterwards. Sunday, the Lord’s Day led us to the shores of Lake Hartwell for a morning devotional. (Lake Hartwell is where I was baptized November 7, 1979, and according to Jack Fredrick, Clemson is “Auburn with a lake"). We then came together and worshipped our God in spirit and truth with the Clemson church.
This campus trip caused me to consider how God “joins and holds us together” over time for our good! Joining us were Robert Goodwin and wife Nancy, elder from Athens, Georgia. The Athens Church of Christ planted the Clemson church in 2009 with Jarrod and Stacy Robinson, now preaching in the Gainesville Christian Church where Randy Scott (who played football at Clemson) and wife Teresa serve as elder. Their son Ian and his wife Crystal are a part of the Clemson church. Sharing at communion was student Hayes Hoover, whose parents (Lowell and Angie), were baptized in Clemson and serve in the Charleston, South Carolina church.
Preaching was Mike Paulk, who was baptized at the University of Florida, Gainesville but is now at Duke in Triangle, North Carolina. Leading the church in Clemson are our friends Keith and Abby Winship who came to the Lord at Florida State in Tallahassee. Which leads us full circle to my conversion in Clemson in 1979 which was impacted by a young Robert Goodwin at a joint UGA campus retreat with Clemson that year. The Lord then blessed me to meet my wife Terri from the University of Florida as we hosted the Crossroads singers that summer for a concert in Clemson. On that trip was Teresa (Fletcher) Tang who is the mother of the editor of this article, Lai-Yan (Tang) Faller.
As Paul does in Romans 16, we could go on about valued ligaments Professor Jeff Porter, Keith and Angie Mangrum, Don and Kaye (Neiman) King, Greg and Wynn Eargle, Johnny and Barbara Porter, Noel Loban, Kyle Fridley, Jacob and Anna Clair Richardson, Merridith Cole Donaldson, Joseph Porter, Kiara Yeatman and even more faithful ligaments stretched and connected far and wide.
God has a plan, still has a plan, and we are truly joined held together by every supporting ligament.