History of Knocking on Doors and Remembering Best Buddy, Donnie

Before moving recently, I had knocked on every door in our community of 112 homes at least three times to meet neighbors and introduce myself with the hope of connecting to them for ministry. In my lifetime, I may have knocked on as many doors as anyone ever. I remember in my earliest days of ministry in a southern Virginia town of about 50,000 population that, for two years or so, I went door to door almost five days a week for four or five hours a day meeting people, presenting Christ, and also introducing our ministry. On church visitation night once a week, the Sunday School teachers and staff followed up on the people who showed interest.

Of course, I met all kinds of people and had many memorable experiences, especially of those folks I had the opportunity to pray with, some for salvation.

I remember also some adverse circumstances. I have been attacked by dogs and once pushed into a swimming pool. The worst may have been the guy who came to the door with a threat that I needed to leave or else he had a shotgun to persuade me. So I left.

But being the prankster that I am sometimes, I listed his name among those who were interested, and then at visitation that same night, I asked my first and best ever preaching buddy, Donnie, to go with me to visit the home again for a follow up.

After we arrived at the home, Donnie didn't seem to hesitate when I suggested he make the visit alone.

"I already met him once today," I explained, "so just tell him who you are, where you are from, and that you just wanted to briefly stop by to thank him for his interest in our ministry."

While I sat in the church van parked on the street in front of the house, I watched good-natured Donnie amble up the front steps of the small white framed house to knock on the screen door, step back, and wait to flash his big smile.

Sure enough, the agitated man came to the door.

"Well, hello!" Donnie called out with his best happy face. He then introduced himself and announced where he was from. The remainder that happened was sort of a flash. I remember a moment of quiet and then thunder. The screen door flew open and I watched surprised Donnie jump off the porch and hurry across the yard and into the van with the angry man standing in the doorway cursing and swinging a broom.

In my moving around the country, I haven't seen Donnie as much I as would have wanted, but we have talked on the phone every so many years and are still buddies.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 9A10