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"Good Intentions"
Why I Love the Church of the Brethren
By Randall Westfall
Pitsburg Church of the Brethren - Ohio Southern District
    Let me start off by saying that I am 18 (soon to be 19) years old, in my Senior year of high school. I was raised in the COB, and up until about 4 and a half months ago, I was still uncertain about what it was God had in store for me. At the time I was (and still am) involved in a vocational carpentry program, and I pretty much thought that was what I wanted to do. I strayed away from most college bound courses, because I thought that I definitely wouldn't need them. God, however, had different plans. (It always seems that way!)

    It all began when our youth group went to National Youth Conference '98, in Fort Collins, Colorado. I had never in my life been exposed to that kind of experience. Oh sure, I' ve been involved in a couple of spiritual retreats, and they brought me closer to God, but I guess that I just needed something more. I listened as all of the speakers gave their sermons and I was just so overwhelmed by the sermons that at that time I realized what it was I wanted to do.

    Lately, when people would ask me what it is I want to do, I always told them that I wanted to be either a carpenter or a pastor. I never really thought that the pastor deal would take place, it would just kind a be a back-up plan.

    Well, that back-up plan has changed my life forever. Remember I thought I wasn't going to go to college, well I now have plans on hopefully going to attend Manchester College, and after that my intentions are to attend Bethany Theological Seminary, and obtain a Master of Divinity degree.

    Ever since I was baptized at the age of 15, I' ve felt God nudging me toward becoming a minister, I just always kind a brushed Him off in thinking I knew what it was I wanted to become. I have done some studying on the history, beliefs, and practices of the Church of the Brethren. Even though I have been Brethren all my life, I never really understood what it meant to be Brethren; but now after God has shown me what it is He wants me to do, this is one guy who will be Brethren for life!

Randall Westfall
01-22-99