Letters Home Tell a Story Too!

Freshman Year

In fact, this just may be the real or best story of my freshman year at the university! My first plan was to print all 75 letters here after I cropped and cleaned up the photos, but it would take too much memory here and they will be bigger and easier to read in the photo gallery:

1958-59 Mom’s Mail – My Freshman Year Letters from OU

I wrote multiple times a week and it includes a lot of the gritty details of my first year in the university and the big and emotional details of my “spiritual awakening” or whatever you want to call it and how I expected mom & Dad to be deeply disappointed in me not staying with medicine as a career and the very emotional response letters from both Mom & Dad when I told them I had “surrendered to the ministry” as Baptists called it back then.

The letters probably show the enormous change that came over my life during this year more than anything else included on these OU pages. This was the year that I began a lifetime of ministry through the Southern Baptist denomination. And yes, at 80 years old, I look back on it with mixed emotions as what then seemed the perfect way of life has now brought me some great disappointments along with the great memories and feelings of accomplishments. And by that I am referring to my disappointment with the current Southern Baptist and whole Evangelical Movement change to radical right-wing politics that I consider neither Christian nor good.

My freshman year was dominated by a schedule of classes recommended by my counselor that overwhelmed me. Putting me in advance biology, chemistry and math classes were simply too much and I later decided the counselor was trying to “weed out” pre-med students with these difficult classes. And it worked with me as I gave up on a medical career.

The second semester I started working as a houseboy in a Jewish Fraternity that was eye-opening educational about how some other guys lived. I served them their meals and washed dishes and served at their parties.

My real joy in life at OU was the BSU (Baptist Student Union).

1st Semester, Sophomore Year at OU

This semester became kind of A Semester of Transitions between many things!

  1. Between secular education and Baptist education or
  2. More specifically from a huge state university to a small Baptist college
  3. From volunteer spiritual life through BSU to a Baptist institution with weekly chapel services and other institutional requirements that were never as spiritually effective as the volunteer BSU activities. Long story that I will tell somewhere else, maybe on the Ouachita Page. 🙂
  4. Oklahoma back to Arkansas
  5. From Pre-med to basically “Pre-ministry” though not called that and I ended up getting a sociology degree with two minors, psychology and religion in preparation for seminary.
  6. From a broader mix of friends to most close friends going into some kind of ministry or missions, my greatest interest at the time.

Like the above Freshman letters, these fewer number of letters tells a lot of stories and show how it was a time of transition. Again they are best seen and read in the larger files in the photo gallery:

1959 Fall – Mom’s Mail & My Reports as 1st Semester Sophomore

I may add more summary statements here later, but these are the links to a year and a half of my letters from The University of Oklahoma.

¡Pura Vida!

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