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The Owenses: When in Rome...

When David Owens brought his city bride, Jacqueline, to a small Bible Baptist church in Bolivar, Tennessee, in the early 1960s, they followed a long succession of short pastorates. David, however, was enthusiastic about the potential in this town of seven thousand; he had grown up only fifty miles away and knew the area.

Unlike the Franciscos, there was not a major educational gap in this case. David was a Bible college graduate; Jackie, three years younger, had done no college at all. The young couple had traveled the previous summer, speaking and singing at youth camps and children's meetings; now they were looking forward to their own church.

David set a blistering pace at first, calling, studying, praying, fasting—doing everything he could to make this church grow. He visited the local lumber yard to ask the cost of excavating a basement under the little white church for more Sunday school space. He got his figure—and later on, a two-hour rebuke from the trustees for delving into something ...

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