A protégé to the late John R. Claypool — Episcopal priest and best selling author who praised Massingill’s 1995 book, New Eyes, as ‘a gift’ —Lamar Massingill continues through these essays a ‘confessional’ style of sharing insights into the places human experience will inevitably take us.”
—Clayton Sullivan is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Southern Mississippi and a prolific writer and author.
A philosopher, as well as a minister. Such were the words my mother used to describe her then minister at Tylertown United Methodist Church, the Rev. W. Lamar Massingill. Those words fit Lamar well, revealing the depth of his passion not only for the spiritual life, but also for the written and spoken word. Another friend, who never missed a sermon, told me that whenever Lamar spoke at church, “I learned something wonderful and unexpected.” After hearing him speak several times, I cornered him during a church event at my brother’s house and discussed utilizing his sermons in my weekly newspaper, the Magnolia Gazette. I knew his sermons would make a difference in the life of my readers, and I also asked that he assume the job of the paper’s Religion Editor. He was already a reader of the Gazette, already a fan of the award-winning talents of such writers as Dawn Dillon Barrett, Richard C. Wood, and Walter Neil Ferguson. He soon said yes, and it wasn’t long, the November 18, 2004 issue, that Lamar’s first column appeared in the Gazette’s pages. Since that original column, Lamar has garnered an extensive following of readers stretching from the cypress swamps and bayous of Louisiana to the red clay hills of north Mississippi. I can’t tell you how many subscribers begin their praise of the Gazette with praise of that “Preacher Massingill’s column.”
(From the Prologue, written by Lucius M. “Luke” Lampton, MD)
Copies are now available.
Excerpt from the book:
-From the preface by Lamar Massingill
“These are selected essays written over the years 2004-2006 for the Magnolia Gazette and are recorded in their original form as I have journeyed to the places we all travel at some point in our life journey. At each place, I have tried to share some bit of wisdom that I have found helpful and have offered it to those of you to whom I am deeply grateful, the readers.
“I welcome you with a sense of hospitality as we journey together to those places to which human beings have traveled since our beginnings. If, along the way, I have touched a chord that causes you to resonate, I will be all the more grateful.”