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The Journey Continues: Alvin Riddle

Sunday, September 9, 2018

My journey this week took me to Alvin Riddle, a good friend who assisted with the church planting of Ranch Road 12 Baptist Mission in 1995.

He began, “My mother was a spiritual woman and raised me in the Concho Valley near San Angelo. When I was seven years old, I had diphtheria and was treated by a young doctor in San Angelo who drained three quarts of mucus from my lungs. Later, as a World War II Army veteran, and living in Houston, I had Active TB (Tuberculosis) Disease. I was advised to return to San Angelo’s dry climate, where my illness was arrested. According to the insurance companies, I was never healthy enough to purchase life insurance. I am now 92 and still with no life insurance.”

“I landed in San Marcos in 1963, and after working at Tuttle Lumber for 6 ½ years, I changed careers and went to work until my retirement for Nash Hardware Company in Fort Worth as a ‘road’ salesman. My family stayed in San Marcos as my wife worked for Merchants Freight.

“I have been a deacon at First Baptist Church and Calvary Baptist Church; and at one time I was the only deacon at McCarty Lane Baptist Mission Church. My life verse is Romans 5:8. ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: That while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’

I have trusted Christ all my life, even through the tragic death of my 19-yearold son who drowned in the San Marcos River,” Riddle said.

“My wife, Iris, and I had five children…now, as a widower, I have four surviving daughters who all take good care of me. Since the death of my wife, I have done my own cooking. I keep my mind busy assembling picture puzzles – the more pieces the better. I’m also part of an ‘outlaw’ breakfast group that meets three mornings a week at the local Whataburger.”

Breakfast groups remind me of a news column by Bill Camfield from the Abilene Reporter News that I’ve kept since the late 80s, when I pastored at Winters, Texas.

About men’s groups, Camfield wrote, “Our culture generally encourages the habit of some ‘men among men’ to meet daily over a table where they can share their lives and thoughts. Acceptable discussion topics:

(1. It is permissible to discuss business or growth of the city. (2. It is permissible to discuss children, but only in terms of major achievements. (3. It is permissible to discuss conservative politics as it relates to the free enterprise system. (4. It is permissible to discuss cars and pick-ups. (5. It is permissible to discuss sporting events, especially college football. However, any mention or discussion of fear, confusion, doubt, pain, inadequacy, grief, love or helplessness creates a silence and the speaker will not be invited back; but the table is always full.”

Alvin Riddle will always let any man to share his heart’s burden; that is what makes his breakfast group different.