“Mr Edwards”….the voice came ringing across the study hall, “where are your long socks?”
David Kemp was certain of one thing, the students at Adelaide College of Ministries would wear long socks when they wore shorts, even if those students had never owned or worn long socks in their lives!
I headed to ACM when I was almost 20. It was a college defined by what it stood against, as much as what it stood for. Pre-millenial, dispensationalist…anti-charismatic. Growing up as a I did in a conservative family, and amongst conservative Christians, I found myself an idealistic ‘bible believing’ Christian, and enjoyed ‘proving’ to anyone who would listen why all the ‘sign gifts’ had ceased with the completion of scripture.
Having said all that, it was a great college, and I loved my time there. Dr John Napier was one of our key lecturers and it was said that in the morning he ‘glowed’ from being in God’s presence. I almost believe it! His passion and love for the scriptures, and the students, was just wonderful. Other lecturers such as Phil Congdon were refreshing and passionate. Even our Principal, Dean Woods, was genuine, entrepreneurial and interesting. At college I made some life long friends, including some who are still pastors.
The good thing about ACM was their three-fold emphasis on Academic, Character and Ministry. They taught us, discipled us and gave us opportunities for ministry. I preached my first ever sermon at Narracoorte Church. This was a church we visited on a mission trip. It was well received and appreciated, and I experienced for the first time a real passion and gifting for speaking.
Perhaps the beginning of the end of my conservative and idealistic nature began when I received a ‘D’ for a major assignment on why tongue speaking was no longer for today. I had not given up this belief just yet in my life, but my heart was no longer convinced of its importance or relevance. On the way back to Perth for a brief holiday I was talking to a girl from an AOG Church in Adelaide. We discovered we had been both mutually sharing our faith with someone from my work at Pizza Hut. God was giving me a lesson ACM had not.