In the spring or early summer of 1944 we received a letter from Milton, Wisconsin that challenged us to make a decision impacting the rest of our lives. The letter was a “call” to us to accept the pastorate of the Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church.
It is an interesting sidelight that the Milton church had “called” Rev. Albert Rogers to their pastorate before “calling” me. Al Rogers was pastoring the Second Alfred church following our service there. Because he had served Second Alfred so short a time, he declined the Milton “call”. By this turn of circumstances, I was the next minister to be “called” by the Milton church.
There were a number of considerations for us to ponder before answering this “call”. I thought of the Scout Executive assignment as temporary, perhaps covering the period of the war, though I had not served Pine Tree Council a year-and-a-half yet. What was my obligation to continue in this work?
The pastorate of the Milton church offered perhaps as great a challenge and opportunity for ministry as any church in our Seventh Day Baptist denomination. If I refused this “call”, would any other church “call” me at a later time?
Percy Dunn was typically fair-minded and understanding when I shared the news of our “call” with him. He would support us in whatever decision we made. It became evident that the Council Board was not pleased with the possibility that we might be leaving.
Personal letters from my college friend and classmate, Milton Van Horn and Rev. Willard D. Burdick, both of Milton, were enthusiastic in their hope that we would come to the Milton pastorate. These letters were helpful to us in our decision making.
Our answer to the “call” from the Milton church was in the affirmative. We concluded our work with Pine Tree Council September 1, 1944 and agreed to begin the Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church pastorate October 1, 1944.
During September we visited our families in West Virginia enroute to Wisconsin and the new challenge.
God willing, We intend to add another volume to our autobiography. Perhaps it will be titled, THE MILTON YEARS. Completing the experiences for that period of time, we should move on to our last experiences, THE BOULDER YEARS.
In closing, we can only hope that you, our reader, will find as much pleasure in the reading as we have in the writing.