Day One Hundred Twenty-Three of 365 – Confessions of a Recovering Bapticostal: Where It All Began!


I have enjoyed my personal 365 day writing challenge so much, that I have decided to write a series of posts to address my own personal journey through the maze of religiosity versus spirituality.   I have already published a couple of them thus far. More will follow. Admittedly, this venture is a bit scary because I know how very personal religion can be to many. Up front, I want to say that my intent is to simply share my struggles to come to terms with a tangible spirituality that works for ME! That and nothing more. If some are challenged to examine personal beliefs or find insight or inspiration in the process, so be it!

I anticipate that some of what I share will be humorous; some words may be disturbing to a few; other information may strike a chord in your soul; and still other anecdotes may just make you angry. Regardless, I am excited to take the plunge and share my heart!  I have often told audiences when speaking (in jest of course) that I plan to write a book entitled, Confessions of a Recovering Bapticostal and each time I share that information, the response is overwhelming! Laughter erupts; knowing nudges are exchanged; winks of acknowledgment are shot my way and invariably, I have people come up afterward asking to me make sure I let them know when it is published.

So, minus a publisher, here I go! I am hopeful that readers will feel comfortable to share your own insights; bits of wisdom; opposing views; and journeys.

Where It All Began . . . Way back (when dinosaurs were young and dirt was in the making) I was born in a small town in the Texas Panhandle. My father was an Assemblies of God Evangelist (in college we called them “Flaming Evangelists”) who had been on the road traveling and preaching since the age of 15. I guess you could say that from the moment I received clearance to travel as an infant, I hit the road with my parents hopping from one church to the next where my dad held “revival meetings!” You know, looking back, I always wondered why they were called revivals.  I often looked around to see who needing “reviving” and felt a sense of confusion when everyone seemed perfectly alive and awake. Later on as I grew older, I got a better idea of who needed “reviving” and why but that will come later.

Suffice to say that we were in churches ALL THE TIME! I guess the favorite story told on me as a little boy comes from my mother.  She tells that one Sunday evening when I was around two years of age, we pulled up in front of a church. I had been asleep in her lap and woke up when the car stopped. Rubbing my eyes and gathering myself up to my knees, I looked out the window and with a big sigh of disappointment said, “Oh no!  Not anudder chureech!” Pretty funny, but looking back now – perhaps a bit sad that I would be that “stilted” at such an early age!

Seriously, as a boy, I loved the attention the traveling “PK” received on the road. By the way, “PK” stands for “Preacher’s Kid.” Young girls always wanted to pick me up, carry me around and show me off! I thought that was cool! It was a tough life (so I am told) – a type of hardscrabble existence that forced my parents to be at the mercy of local congregations for “love offerings” as our primary source of income.  Funny, “Love Offerings!” I wonder what would have happened if the congregation didn’t “Love” what they heard and saw that much?

I have vivid memories of local pastors making impassioned pleas to their congregations to “dig deep” and “give to God” from their hearts at the end of the meeting. As a boy I often wondered where God was on our trips because when the evening or week or two weeks (whatever the time frame) was over, the money in the envelope always went to my dad. Never did I see God in the back seat with me! That would have been pretty cool! In all seriousness, I do that often, I could sense the disappointment and anxiety that filled the car when the envelope was opened revealing the sometimes meager contents. Boon or bust; famine or feast we trudged on fulfilling the “calling that was upon our family!”

From where I stand today so many years later, I see that my true journey of spiritual discovery began coincident with my parents pursuit of their “calling.” Although parts of my future would parallel that which I learned, other parts – parts rooted deeper in my core – would send me in different directions, challenging me to think, feel, believe and act differently from those early beginnings.

And THOSE PARTS are the ones that I hope will cause you to examine your own journey.

Please join me as I seek to put into words, how I discovered the need for Recovery and the paths which helped and continue to help me find new expressions of spirituality.


Mark E. Hundley


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