I've always had a few ladies in my life. This particular woman has been a mom to me for many years. I kinda think we adopted one another. Her son Adam and I are the closets of friends, almost 15 years.
Carol Drinkard is a pioneer. She planted and has pastored the same church for almost 40 years. Not only has she pastored the same church, she did it in a part of the country where women in leadership was frowned upon. It has always been taboo to be a woman pastor, but particularly in North Alabama. Regardless, she has much to teach us men about what it means to be faithful and steadfast in the face of church turmoil.
Carol is not only a role model for me, she is a mom. And as any mom will do, she knows how to give her children a good smacking when they do something that is out of Christ's character. Let me share with you one story.
A few years ago, close to 15 years - wow - I was preaching at her church, Bible Way in Fairview, AL. I was an egotistical windbag who only new a handful scriptures. But Carol knew the importance of training all of us young guys to be effective later in life, so she let us fail. Did you hear me? She allowed us to fail without making us feel like failures.
Well, I spewed out some nonsense about a certain church group down the road to make a lame point. After service we all went out to eat - as any good church group would do. As we sat at dinner she leaned over and said she wanted to chat with me before I left to go back home.
After we had all said our goodbyes, instead of heading home, I decided to just go to her house to chat. So we all headed over to the Drinkard residence. As always, we laughed till we cried. But then that moment came where she said, "Son, before you go I want to talk with you about something. You know I love you and love your ministry. But I want to ask you to be careful about one thing. When you are preaching it is not wise for you say anything negative about other denominations or people that you may no agree with. There are all kinds of people from all sorts of denominations that we will minister to. We cannot be offensive to them due to our opinions. We must love them." I am sure I rolled my arrogant eyes.
15 years later I can appreciate her wisdom. There are times that I still state my opinion, and yet I still hear her "gentle voice" reminding me to "shut it." LOL
Oh how I wish I had her by side in every conversation. I would have missed a lot of hurt and embarrassment if she had physically been there. However, her words of wisdom and grace are ever on my heart in many conversations.
I love you Carol "mamma" Drinkard. You have raised up countless preachers who understand your wisdom now and we are all thankful. You may not be a household name, but to many of us you are more than famous.
For your entertainment: Mamma Carol does not like the word "fart". If you say fart, she will make you pay $1. I am serious. Trust me, we have all paid the toll.