The greater things: Character, trust and passion

July 1, 2014 

“The Lord is my shepherd,” states Psalm 23.

As a newcomer to Fort Mill, I would challenge many who have arrived here that there may be some deeper reasons why we are living in this great community. In today’s very fast-paced, ever-changing world, we find ourselves forming a community in an area with deep history, especially as it relates to Christianity. This region is well-known to part of the Bible Belt and has historic roots of the Christian faith and how those roots have influenced education.

Our move from Kentucky to here and the many adjustments that we have made are helping us to trust in the unknown, develop a passion for a better life and develop strong character as we are humbled by the great heritage of Fort Mill and the people we encounter that make this experience great.

It is not my desire for this column to be focused around religion but to discuss some real truth as part of our culture and life in Fort Mill.

It appears to me that we have seen religion rise up and fail. Perhaps the two most obvious examples to the world as it relates to Christianity would be the great work of Billy Graham and the sad end of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s legacy. (The two connect because both ministries have owned the original estate that Billy Graham lived in as a boy. The Graham residence once was on the grounds of PTL, has been bought back and is now positioned at the Billy Graham Library.)

I feel it is extremely important as a community of people that we look at the good and the bad, and begin to reinvent our community in a way that honors the greater good.

Our hope, living in this community, is to be an inspiration to someone that faith is not just a matter of preaching but living out the kinds of moral values that our great community here was founded on and to demonstrate the kind of truth that our next generation can have real hope and build their futures on a strong and lasting foundation.

It is with a deep hope and conviction that the lives we represent and those we impact ultimately will set the stage for the greater things. “Leaving a Legacy of Leaders” is at the core of what Cherie and I hope to do with our time as we journey with you in our new community of Fort Mill.

It seems to me that our community has an ability to genuinely work together with a common vision and for a common good to ensure a better life for all who encounter our great area. This area has incredible potential, a wonderful heritage and extreme opportunity, especially as it relates to the education and promotion of our next generation.

In our first column, I wrote about an experience we had in which one of the neighbors welcomed us to the community with a great meal. Johnny and Wendy Petzel opened our eyes to the generosity of Fort Mill. They truly fashioned our understanding of the kind of hospitality that we have learned to experience, and a sincere love of their neighbors, a contagious part of the essentials of Fort Mill.

Johnny recently has decided to take a step of faith and campaign to be elected as one of the board of trustees for the Fort Mill School Board. One of the things that he is desiring to do is to help the under-served fatherless students. In addition, Johnny believes that a student-initiated prayer time and classroom biblical reading study and expression are important to preserving the heritage of our community.

One thing that I know, we are learning that you can’t mix politics with religion. I just wonder if that is not just a cliche and the truth of the greater things will once again prevail.

Contact William D. Winship ‪at william@portacle.com‬

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