I sat in one of the leather office chairs facing Reverend Dunlovey's desk. I took in the books floor to ceiling along one wall, carpeting, big oak desk, two sets of double windows which filled a corner of the office and opened the view down Fairburn Street, a maple-lined block in the middle of this small suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. The granite church building was forty years old in that year of 1971. It stands to this day. The stability here made me feel safe and substantial, feelings that were not very common for me. He sat behind the desk listening to the fifteen year old asking to become a member of the church. I had been attending services and active in the youth group for a year.
We discussed briefly the tenets of the Christian faith on which my decision turned. We marked the Sunday, a month away, when there would be room in the order of worship for me to be accepted in membership of the church and baptized in the name of Jesus. Pastor Dunlovey pulled a book from a drawer and asked me to be reading it. It was the Book of Discipline for his, no our!, denomination. So I was introduced to the many schisms in the Christian faith, though I was oblivious. The other churches were just other churches, nothing particularly special about that. I chose Fairburn Methodist because friends I had from school went here.