My Move To Baraboo, Wisconsin
In December of 1983 I received a call from the pulpit committee of the Bethel Memorial Baptist Church in Baraboo, WI. They were going to be in the Posen area for a wedding and wanted to know if I could meet with them. I met with them briefly and they ask me to come to Baraboo to fill their pulpit for a Sunday. I told them that I couldn’t and they ask me if I could come and preach in view of a call as Pastor to the church. I agreed and we set up a date. We went the second Sunday in January 1984. I went and preached both services and after the morning service they had a church pot-luck and they asked me questions. I preached Sunday night and then went back home on Monday morning.
About two weeks later I received a call saying that they had voted to call me as their Pastor and would I accept the call. After much prayer I let them know that I would accept the call. They wanted to know how soon I could move to Baraboo and I told them I could be there the first Sunday in February 1984.
They sent me a check so I could rent a truck to move all of my stuff. I rented a U-Haul truck and loaded it up with the help from some friends. I spoke with Dr. Delashmit prior to my going and he told me that if I ever need to come back home that the doors would always be open. We had prayer together and he told me that he would be there if I needed him.
I drove the truck up and arrived in Baraboo on Thursday. Since I didn’t have anywhere to put the furniture (they didn’t have a parsonage) I parked the truck at the church. One of the Deacons gave me a key to the church and I went into the church and to my office. All that was in the office was a chair, phone and phone book. I sat down in the chair and began to call each Real Estate office asking about houses for rent. After talking to all of them I found out that there were only two houses in Baraboo that were empty. One was empty as the owner had moved out as they had sold the house and were going to close on the house on Friday. (Which was the very next day.) The other house was empty as the tenants had moved out leaving it a total wreck. The person wanting to rent it did not want to fix it to make it livable. I went to see the house and it was in horrible condition. In order to get the house I would have to spend a great deal of money just to get it in livable condition.
After a full day of searching for a house to live in we were invited over to the house of one of the senior saints of the church. Nellie was a sweet older saint and she had a heart of gold. She told us that we could stay with her for the night. I told her I had a dog and although I didn’t know it then she didn’t like having dogs in her house. She invited us anyway, a dog, a bird, and our two kids.
The next morning when I got up I looked out her window and saw a man moving his furniture out of a house two doors down. I ask her about it and she told me that he had just sold the house and was moving to his new house. I decided for some stupid reason to go down and talk to him.
When I got down to the house I introduced myself to him and ask about his moving. It didn’t take long for me to find out that this was the other house that I had called about the previous day. The phone rang and he went to answer it and I waited on the front porch. A few minutes later he came back and I found out that the phone call was from his real estate agent and for some reason the deal fell through and the house was back on the market. I asked him if he would be willing to rent it until he was able to find a buyer and he said yes. Before I knew it I had a key to the house and I was bringing my truck over and unloading it. Several of the men from the church came over and helped me unload the truck.
At the end of the day on Saturday I finally got everything unloaded and moved into the house. I didn’t have a stove but one of the men took me up to a resale shop and I bought a stove. I didn’t have a refrigerator but that was going to have to wait as I was not able to find a used one for sale at any of the resale stores.