The contrast between Austin and Lois Hunter's first pastorate in the heart of Appalachia and today's upscale Miami congregation is in some ways a parable of the radical shift that overtook their communication.
They spent a little less than two years in Pie, West Virginia, a coal-mining village as homespun as its name, not far from the Kentucky border. This was their internship in the midst of seminary, and they lived in a four-room parsonage, one room of which was Austin's study.
The furnishings were hand-me-downs; plastic curtains hung at all windows. There was no television, no radio, not even a telephone. But most unique was the fact that this house had no interior doors. Each room was open to the other three.
Says Austin with a smile:
Given the fact that we were newlyweds, that made for its own distractions when I was supposed to be preparing sermons. Seriously, Lois and I were together more actual hours those first twenty months than most couples are in their first ten years. There was ...1