When I chose W.C. Hall as the subject of this month’s Heartbeat, I didn’t know much about him other than he was friendly, interesting, and a retired minister so I assumed it would be a simple task to write about him, but little did I know the life I was about to uncover. I found myself wondering how to create sentences that would be worthy of describing a storytelling, book writing, big game hunting, Methodist minister who could make you laugh until you cry, teach you the value of family, and touch your heart with emotion when he speaks of the miracles in his life.
I met him at his childhood home in Beaumont and it was surprising and fascinating to step into his home and hear his pet birds and to see the exotic animals that adorned his walls. This was humorous to me when I learned that this part of the house used to be his mother’s beauty shop. I wondered what the ladies would think about it now! W.C is an incredible storyteller, with details that bring each person to life and I felt as if I knew them. I think he obtained his gift of words and sense of humor from his mother who described a storage room as her “Ain’t it a pity?” room.
As I listened, I noticed a common theme in these tales of a young man who could have gone to medical school, planned for a secure financial future, and pursued a path that would have made his parent’s dreams come true, but instead listened to that quiet voice that called him to the ministry. Every story had a link to family, and I could see how those values were handed down through the generations and W.C expanded it to include his congregations. He cares for people and it is easy to see why God chose him to be a shepherd.
If you want to see W.C.’s face light up with love and pride, just ask him about his adopted son Luis and the events that brought them together. You won’t leave that conversation without believing in miracles and experiencing the Spirit at work. I think about what I heard that day, and I still marvel at how events and decisions of the past all work to join lives and bring people together the way God intended. These stories reminded me of how good life is and that God always has a way of working things out.
By Michelle Holland