WHEN AIDS COMES TO YOUR CHURCH

How one pastor responded to the unexpected but unavoidable dilemma.

The city of Plantation, Florida, is a delightful suburb of Fort Lauderdale. We are close enough to have access to the beautiful beaches and waterways. However, our location about seven miles inland means that we are far enough away to feel the smug security of a suburban community.

Any picture of our church as in the midst of the emerging AIDS dilemma seemed from the beginning to be slightly out of focus. The church has always had an open view toward bringing the gospel to bear on all sorts of situations and needs. However, being open and being involved are two different things. At best, we in the church expected to be involved from a distance. We certainly never expected AIDS to come to Plantation and to First Baptist Church.

Tom and Ruth

Shortly before Christmas in 1984, one of our faithful members entered the hospital with a persistent respiratory illness. I was out of the city the first few weeks of January but learned, upon my return, that Tom was still hospitalized. I immediately went ...

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