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Four Friends (4 of 6)
Touched By Jesus
Tony R. Nester
Zan Holmes tells a story Bishop Willis J. King who
was the first African-American bishop to get a Ph.D.
in Old Testament in the U.S.) Upon his graduation
from Wiley College, he went back home to spend a few
days with his parents. He showed them his degree. He
was so proud of it. Then he announced: "Tomorrow I'm
going to go to the downtown bank and borrow $500 to
buy my first automobile."
The next morning as he was about to leave, his
father said to him, "Son, don't you want me to go and
cosign your note?" "No, Dad. I can take care of this
by myself. I've got my degree now."
The officer of the bank said, "Tell me, what do you
have for collateral? If you're going to get $500 from
this bank, you've got to have something of equal
"Oh, yes, sir," Bishop King said, "I've got my
The bank officer said, "I'm sorry, but we can't
use that degree as collateral for $500 in this bank.
I'm afraid you'll have to go elsewhere."
Bishop King was in a state of embarrassment and
rejection when he heard a familiar voice. His dad
said, "Son, I've come to cosign your note."
"Dad," he said, "you can't even write. All you can
do is make an X'."
And the banker said, "It may be true that your dad
can't write and all he can do is make an X.' But it's
that X' that got the loan for you to get into school.
It's that X' that got the loan that got you out of
school. And if you are going to get a loan from this
bank to buy a car, it's that same X' that's going to
get the loan for you." (1)
His father's uneducated "X" had a reputation behind it
for paying off loans, and that reputation carried more
authority than a newly acquired college degree no
matter how impressive it might look.
Just as in banking, so too in the spiritual realm much
depends upon authority. Today we look at another
person touche ...
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