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Where There Is Smoke . . .
Gifted Bible teacher, powerful Christian personality, author, theologian, nationally recognized speaker, radio voice for a large Southern California Christian University and Senior Pastor of an historic church are roles and descriptions aptly worn by the man I served for 12 years. I was his Associate Pastor. Even though he was often on the road, he led our congregation through multiple crises and a move to the suburbs out of downtown Los Angeles. He led us in expansive numerical growth at our new campus as well.
He was also a pastoral counselor. Periodically men and couples sought his counsel, but mostly he counseled women. The same women. Some were members of the church’s support staff. Their age varied. All were younger than him. One was a minor who looked to him as a father and called him “Dad”. Exchanges of public affection were common. He was a hugger; they collected theirs. He hugged everyone. If observant, one noticed these ladies giving him adoring looks akin to worship. Often after an evening service, one of these counselees could be seen walking up the side of the first balcony of the 4000 seat auditorium to a private meeting with him in his office on the same level of the building. His wife and children drove home without him. Where there’s smoke . . .
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