The Fields of Yesterday
The Fields of Yesterday is about the life of Alfred Duncan. It begins in a small Arkansas town in 1929 and in a chronological manner follows his life for over seven decades. Several things set his life apart and makes it interesting. They are related to the gifts and abilities that he was blessed with and how he has used them. The hardships of the 1930s and somewhat into the mid 1940s had a profound effect on shaping him into the man he became. He had a strong work ethic and did not expect anything from life that he had not earned in some way. The concept of an entitlement was totally foreign to him and for the most part, those of his generation as well. His friends and the games they played give an interesting insight into what children used to do with their idle time. His work and actual employment when still a child also gives good insight into how things were with many families in the 1930s and 1940s. Being a shoe-shine boy gave him some insight into human nature as well as did being a newspaper delivery boy. Even though he did not realize it at the time, those things were teaching him good business practices, organization and administration. All that would be of great value to him in the years to come. His time in the United States Navy in 1948 1952 continued his preparation for life in a much different manner. One specific skill in the area of woodworking was especially honed as he served as one of only fifty Patternmakers in the entire United States Navy. His travels into waters off Europe, North Africa and western Asia gave him exposures to other cultures as he visited small towns and large cities in those areas of the world. Our nations economic difficulties in the early and mid 1950s was in the mix for making decisions that involved marriage, family, moving and putting down roots. That was expected to turn out as a typical American dream, meaning a home, a good job and a secure future. Several things contributed to that dream becoming a realitynot the least being his employment by Dixie Cup Company. Added to that was schooling under the G.I. Bill and finally the establishment of a sideline occupation. His high school training in Architectural and Mechanical Drawing plus added studies by correspondence combined with his experience as a Patternmaker enabled him to hang up his shingle as an Architectural, Mechanical and Patent Draftsman. That opened doors to a new level of relationships with people as well as added income to the family. During those years he and his family had settled into regular participation in the life of their church and that brought them into a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian, or maybe better, A Follower of Christ. That understanding also brought some unrest to Mr. Duncans life in the form of career dissatisfaction and a seeking for what God was leading him to do. After several months of prayer and thought he determined that God was calling him to enter the Pastoral Ministry. The settled life that he and his family had been living suddenly became unsettled. A rural church invited him to serve as their Pastor, and with that, move into their parsonage. Some burning the bridges decisions were made as they sold the home they had worked so hard for and he quit his job that had been the source of economic security. This was starting all over at age thirty, and involved entering into an area where he had no prior experience. The years that followed, and the record of the churches he served, reveal the victories and the defeats that are so much a part of being a Pastor. His life was indeed a great adventure and this book will certainly inspire others to meet life with courage as they trust God to supply their every need.
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Arkansas asked Baptist Church basement Bastrop Battery Park Bedford County blessing bought boys building called chapter committee Dad’s deacons didn’t Dixie Cup door drove Field of Yesterday Fort Smith friends funeral gave guess happened Highway hospital Jerry Jerry’s Joel knew land later Lea and Brian least lived located look Lord Lynchburg machine Mansfield metal miles ministry months Morgans morning move Navy never nice night Old Forest Road paper parsonage pastor played preach problem remember retirement ride Ridgewood sanctuary served ship Shorewood Hills Smith Smith Mountain Lake someone sometimes Southern Baptist Convention started Sunday School sure talked things told took truck U.S. Highway 71 Virginia walked wanted weeks West Lynchburg wife woman wood