The summer between my junior and senior high school years, I caddied at a country club in an east side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The course was closed Mondays. And on one of those Mondays, two of my friends and I broke into the golf shop and stole some clubs. We were eventually found out, arrested, and taken to the Cleveland Detention Center where we spent eight days before being released on probation. While there, I was overwhelmed with guilty feelings. I was also terrified over the prospect of receiving a prison sentence. I was an inactive member of our church at that time, but I asked my parents to ask the pastor of our church to visit me. St. John Lutheran Church in South Euclid, Ohio was our church, and Stewart Burk was our pastor. I still remember his visit. He calmly listened to me, and talked to me about God’s love for me, and prayed for me. 

I am sure that three years later when I decided to enter the ministry, Pastor Burk’s visit was part of my reason for deciding to do so.

 Wayne Giesler, Pastor Emeritus

Wooster, Ohio

1962 Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois

[Photo by Devon Wilson, Unsplash] 

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