Lawson, Minister Main Street Church of Christ, 66 years old, volunteer:
Seventeen years ago, my wife had been in the hospital nine times in a
diabetic coma and she was down to 80 pounds. I had two heart attacks trying
to take care of her and run an environmental engineering company with over a
million a year in sales. So I came to Peak & Eastside hoping just to
sit on the back row and go to Heaven.
Being the Prodigal Son of this congregation
and the greatest of sinners, I have never thought that I am worthy to be
the minister of the Main Street Church of Christ. Prior to 15 years ago,
there is nothing in my life that does not bring me shame. The truth is, I
have failed at everything I have ever done in life but this … I have spent 9
1/2 year of my life in prison mainly at the Federal Penitentiary in
Leavenworth, Kansas for multiple bank robberies and weapons violations.
years ago, I walked the aisle here, confessed my sins, and dedicated what’s
left of my life to Jesus my Lord. Brother W. O. Scoggins, who had
served here as an elder for over fifty years, encouraged me to preach and
teach again. He cared not that my name was Mud. He just had that unique
ability to look beyond what I was and he could clearly see what I could not
… all that I could become in Christ Jesus. I must confess I don’t believe
that he is now ashamed because his heart was always with preaching the
gospel and the poor.
After teaching Sunday School and preaching
Sunday nights for a few months, the congregation set me apart as evangelist
and I refused any pay. I served for three years as an evangelist, associate
minister, janitor and cook for each Sunday’s fellowship meal under the
minister Brother Bill Cofer whom I helped bury several years ago.
Ivy Conner was hired as the preacher and I
continued to help him to the very best of my ability, always believing to
the very end that he was my friend and brother. I supported his radio
program and indeed paid much of the broadcast cost personally.
Because of unfaithfulness regarding filthy
lucre, the responsibility of this place fell upon me ten years ago when
there were only 40 of us left. God had well prepared me in the furnace of
affliction and his discipline I had well-learned.
We immediately found ourselves under lawsuit
by ungodly men for $120,000.00 plus legal fees over a flim-flam scam
perpetrated by the previous administration regarding a computer and copy machine. Being a poor Church with no money or
assets, this property was in great jeopardy. I immediately sought counsel
Brother Adair Chapman
The White Rock preacher and eldership
Jack Keller for a “bulldog-fighting lawyer”
Hired Hal Maxwell,
attorney-at-law and others and countersued.
I asked the church to appoint
other faithful men as trustees of the property.
Forced one thief to return
$30,000, of the $50,000 stolen from the church.
Dis-fellowshipped the other
thief, who was in prison.
Settled the lawsuit for
$17,000.00 and paid the lawyer.
It was a near thing, but God delivered us
from the snare of Satan.
years ago, there was over a hundred seniors here when I began burring them.
Nine years ago, there were only 40 of them left and I have buried all but
five of the 40. I loved them all, visited with them in their homes, in
the hospitals, nursing homes, protected them, fed them, and served them to
the very best of my ability.
I must confess, I have a dog in this hunt.
In 1903, the Kelly family and the Lawson families left Tennessee on covered
wagons and came to Peak and Main (as it was known then), and helped
establish this church. My grandparents were buried here in the 1930s. My parents were married here in 1928, and I was born
here in 1944. My parents were buried here in the 1980s. As a boy, I well remember rushing to Lakewood to beat the
Baptists to Wyatt’s Cafeteria. And to really tell the truth, beat the
brethren from Pearl & Bryan and Sears & Summit too.
To all those I have sinned against or
offended with my life, I beg you in the name of Jesus to forgive me.
He has ... and now I finally walk in His paths, preach His word to all the
world, minister to the poor, the meek and the down trodden and I will sing
His praises forever with the saints in glory.