In 1985, I was 25 years old. 7 years earlier, I almost flunked out of high school. I received a 1.42 out of a possible 4.0 grade average. While enrolled at FBBC, I worked 70 hours a week, drove an hour each day to classes, and studied when I could. I worked full-time as the owner of a small business with 5 employees. I also worked part-time as the manager of a 64 unit residential facility. I could only attend FBBC part-time, it was all I could afford at the time.
In David Powell's freshman class, as we studied each book in the Old Testament, one of his assignments was to create a graph of the book. We were to break the book down into events and chart each one as it progressed to the next event. In the evenings, I dove into each graph with gusto. I learned things about the Old Testament I'd never thought of before. I started out the class getting a B, or 80%, but by the end of the semester I received 100%+ on my graphs and tests.
In the middle of the semester, mummering started on campus. At first, I tried to ignore the whispers that reached my ears, as I studied in the campus lounge above the cafeteria. But the whispers became bolder as time went on. Freshman who were in the class with me began to grumble about how hard the class was, Powell was a bad teacher, he did this and he did that...mur-mur-mur-mur. And I began to wonder why am I doing so well if he is such a bad teacher?
Once, I nearly stood up in class to ask them what was going on. Mr. Powell was late to class that morning and the little rebel inside me wanted to ask why someone who nearly flunked out of high school 7 years earlier and worked 70 hours a week was getting A's and they weren't? I chose to remain silent. Instead, I chose to make my sentiments known in Dr. Houghton's presence. 3 decades later I still regret my decision.
As each decade has passed, I've often thought of my time at FBBC. I love my school and pray for the students and teachers to this day. Dr. Walton and Dr. Shipp changed my life through their kind and loving example. They loved us, truly loved each student. It was an honor and privilege to attend FBBC and I look back at my time there with fondness. Today, I look forward to reading the alumni newsletter and always look for people I knew in the pages.
But I'll never forget how gossip took away a brilliant teacher. A few students wanted mediocrity. They wanted an easy road and they received it. He was let go at the end of the semester. He was replaced by someone, I don't remember who they hired. Through the power of gossip, a truly great teacher was sent away.
Gossip destroys. It should be hated by more than just One Person.