This week’s article is written by Arnie Saaf, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
There’s a saying that “what goes around, comes around.”
This is often true ... history does repeat itself. But I want to tell you about a friend of mine, the Rev. James “Jim” Wheeler. Pastor Jim was our minister at Metropolitan United Methodist Church, in Alton at the corner of Sixth and Market Streets. At the suggestion of one of our members, Janet Hansen, he began writing a column for Today’s AdVantage (now AdVantage News) entitled “God Thoughts.” His first article appeared Wednesday, Oct. 2, 1991. He continued writing “God Thoughts” until the time of his transfer to another United Methodist Church in Bushnell, Ill., in 1996. His farewell article was published Wednesday, July 17, 1996. Perhaps some of you readers remember his weekly articles.
Our new minister did not continue with this, but another pastor in the area, the Rev. David Hennigan, took over. It stopped about 20 years ago. In 2005 our church in Alton “dissolved and reconnected” with Godfrey First United Methodist Church. Soon after, Pastor Don Long Jr. started a weekly column again. It was the start of this “A Matter of Faith” series. That has been going since Jan. 3, 2007.
Now here’s where the “comes around” comes in. The Rev. Jim Wheeler retired from the ministry this last July 1. He and his wife, Margery, are attending our church in Godfrey. It is a joy to have them back in the “family.” I hope we can get Pastor Jim to write a column now and then. That would complete the full circle.