J. W. Baker by Doug Fincher

"He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." Psalms 111:9  

February 27, 2017 - J. W. and I were students at ETBC in Marshall, Texas back in the fifties. We had several things in common: We were both ministerial students, drove '55 Fords, were both English majors and were both student pastors.

One Sunday he invited me to visit with him at his church in Weaver, Texas, (a small town in northeast Texas.) The building resembled many of the country churches of that time… a small sanctuary with two Sunday School rooms. As he walked me through the building, I called out, '"J", what is the seating capacity of the building?" He immediately grabbed me by the arm, pulled me to the side and whispered, "Doug, don't call me "J." "Call me "Rev. Baker"… "I want the people to respect me here." And since members were now arriving, I choked down my rebuttal for the time being.

As we drove home, I asked if he knew that Billy Graham never liked being called "Reverend". "'When Reverend" appears in the Bible," I said…" it is referring to God…not man". "People respect us by what we are", I insisted. 

I haven't seen J.W. since we graduated from ETBC in the summer of '58. I heard he married a girl named Patricia that he called "the world's sweetest girl".

J. W. Baker was a good man and I have no doubt that he was respected wherever he went…..

….. Even by those who called him "J".