In 1970 a young pastor walked into my father’s office at the Canadian Tire store in downtown Moncton, NB. It was in the first year of four in which my family lived in the Maritimes. It was a meeting that changed so much and reached so far into the future to shape the events of today.
“Hi,” the young pastor said, “I serve in the Wesleyan church here in town.”
The pastor had come to ask my father about employment opportunities for a family member, but my father had never heard of a Wesleyan so his first question wasn’t business related, but a simple, “What’s a Wesleyan?”
The young pastor briefly explained the history and doctrines of the Wesleyan denomination. It resonated closely enough with my father’s beliefs and a connection was made. Soon Moncton Wesleyan Church became our worship home.
Through that connection came exposure to another Wesleyan institution, Bethany Bible College (now Kingswood University). My parents have always valued Christian education and a long kinship was formed.
Over the years, my parents have sacrificially given to support Kingswood and family members have become part of its history. Their daughter, my sister, attended for a year; their granddaughter, my niece, earned her B.A. there, and I, their son, have served on faculty for over fifteen years.
A few years ago they decided to start a scholarship for a deserving student. That decision seemed to have brought us full circle. It is a tale of two “Laurels.” That young pastor who entered my father’s office all those years ago, tipped a domino that has lead to this time. That pastor’s name was Laurel Buckingham. The name of the deserving young recipient of the scholarship is Laurel Corbett.
If the first “Laurel” had not spoken to my father, I would not now have the honor of meeting the second “Laurel.” Sometimes the simplest of stones tossed into the water, cause ripples far into the future and God sees them all.