It was Magic Time in 1974
by Mac Overton
GILMER, Texas -- For a young convert who had been baptized only in June 1972, it was magic.
I was baptized by Bill Jacobs in deacon Henry Anderson's baptismal tank at his home on University Avenue in Little Rock, Ark.
About a year and a half later, in January 1974, I was accepted on the recommendation of Pastor Bill Cowan as one of the original "January freshmen" at Ambassador College, Big Sandy.
That was an achievement in itself. Students were expected to work, and I got put on the gardening crew, working at the ranch in fields behind the Piney Woods. It was fun.
I had worked on newspapers, and John Robinson, journalism-department head and managing editor of The Worldwide News, then based in Big Sandy, met me and asked me to join the staff.
Then the fun really began. I had heard about how rough JR, as he was commonly known, was. Most students were terrified of him.
But I learned that, while he expected the best and did not tolerate incompetence, he also gave the best.
And it was great to be somewhat of an insider.
Pitcher of health
JR often protected his student staff from the sometimes Hitlerian tendencies of other faculty members and administrators.
Sometimes he would tell us to do something that might require us to bend the rules a little, like the time he got thirsty on a Friday afternoon and sent two students, Scott Ashley and Scott Moss, to the faculty locker room to get a pitcher of beer.
Though they got some questioning looks, the faculty and administrators there didn't say anything.
One of the students told them, "We're on a mission of mercy."
John often told us, "If you get in trouble, I'll back you to the wall."