Memories: Expressions from the Word
by Rose Love-Woolfolk
Quantum Discovery

"True religion is a thing of the heart, an inward life."

When the author's beloved former pastor, Suffragan Bishop Robert A. Baggett, died in 2001, she was compelled to publish a compilation of "bits and pieces of sermons/quotes and Bible class notes" in a desire to inspire others. According to Love, "The Lord gave me the title and directed my thoughts as to how the book should be composed." The book begins with touching tribute letters from Baggett's wife, Love, and others, plus several photographs of the bishop and congregation of Morgan Park Assembly Church which under Bishop Baggett became the Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Morgan Park. The author draws from many years of sermon and Bible class notes from her personal "precious keepsake journals." Thematic topics are followed by Bible verses and sermon notes illustrating each topic. The book is divided into three major sections: "Inspirational Sermon Excerpts," "Bible Class Notes," and "Meditations for the Week."

The included letters illustrate the great influence Baggett's life had over their authors. Former First Lady Elaine Baggett, his wife of fifty-nine years, states, "My husband was a man of valor and great honor, yet a man of enormous humility; and he loved the Lord tremendously." Love shares that after her mother's death, the Baggetts became her surrogate parents, which is reflected in her dubbing the work as "A Tribute to Dad." Of Baggett, she writes, "His home was always open to me... He had a loving heart, which enabled him to be most giving." Elder David E. Foster speaks of Baggett as "an inspirational devotion leader" who encouraged him to pursue his love of music and tasked him with starting a youth choir, which became known as one of the most respected choirs in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. In a personal letter to Baggett, Pastor Gregory Wells writes, "I fully appreciate you for being a good teacher, not just in being able to communicate thoughts and truth by word of mouth but, most important, by being that living witness example." Each of these letters is a loving and touching tribute and a fitting introduction to the sermon notes included in this compilation.

It is evident that the author takes great care in presenting her preserved journal notes. Bible verses accompany each topic, illustrating the relevance of the sermon. It is a testament to the dynamic and charismatic presence of the pastor that these notes have been saved and cherished through the years. The sermons deal with poignant topics and follow sound Christian doctrine. Some offer metaphorical lessons which beautifully illustrate the Christian life. When reading these excerpts and notes, one can readily understand why Baggett was loved and respected by his congregation. It is also easy to see how the clear and concise teachings led to an overflow crowd and eventually a new building to contain the parishioners. Vast in scope yet with a personal touch that makes them accessible to all readers, these sermon notes offer biblical answers to many of the issues faced by Christians and their congregations. The book can serve equally as a devotional guide for private study or a group discussion. This is a beautifully written labor of love that gives those who read it plenty to contemplate.

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