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Chuck Hinman: IJMA No. 017. Wisdom of Bunk King

It's Just Me Again. No. 017. The Wisdom of Bunk King
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The next earlier Chuck Hinman column: Chuck Hinman: IJMA No. 321, Grandma's Roast Beef

By Chuck Hinman

One doesn't read far in the Bible, old or new testament, before one discovers that wisdom is to be desired and is associated with age and experience.

In our church, New Harmony Baptist Church in rural Bartlesville, Oklahoma, I became aware that a wonderful old man, Bunk King, was the kind of man the Bible refers to as an elder -- not a preacher elder but a lay elder. Bunk passed away a number of years ago but his influence on our church is still felt.

In some ways, Bunk gave the appearance of a tottering old man who was in his declining years. And on the other hand, when he spoke, which was often, you quickly took note that this old man knew what he is talking about. He had wisdom born out of experience.

In Training Union on Sunday nights when Bunk appeared to his daughter, Corene Watters, to be usurping the teacher's position, she would softly admonish -- "Hush, Daddy, you are talking too much!" He seldom paid her much heed and continued to express his feeling on the subject being discussed. I had a hunch that we were hearing wisdom born out of experience and that we would do well to heed what he had to say. I wanted to say, "Corene, let your daddy speak!"

One time at a business meeting, a letter was read inviting our church to join a nearby country Baptist church in joint services on an alternating basis on Sunday nights. It sounded like a wonderful idea. Both of our churches had small attendance, especially on Sunday nights. The fellowship would have been wonderful.

But that was before Bunk King spoke. He gave an impassioned plea. He said our church had a history of having services twice on Sundays ever since the church was formed many, many years ago; he added that people expected when they drove by the church on Sunday nights New Harmony would be "open for business"; he warned that closing the church on Sunday night for any reason could be the reason for further closings -- such as Super Bowl games -- family Christmas gatherings -- New Year's celebrations -- or Easter Sundays when we had already had large attendance at the morning service. He concluded by saying if we close the doors for "this," it won't be long until we think of reasons to close it for "that"!

What wisdom and from such a little old man -- elder Bunk King! Bless his heart! His wisdom was so logical, you wondered why the rest of us hadn't thought that through

The church voted unanimously to decline the invitation to join that other church for Sunday Evening services. Chuck Hinman

This story was posted on 2011-09-04 14:15:30
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