The author of Hebrews in chapter 11 and verse 38 speaks of saints of God in the Old Testament and he says of them, “of whom the world was not worthy”. Pastor Dotson and Mrs. Jane I would put in that category. We have done what we can to honour them, but I know the blessings of God on them in glory will be infinitely greater!
On October 21st we took the opportunity to honour my pastor, Tom Dotson, and his wife, Jane Dotson. I will share more about that day in a separate post, but for now I want to share something of their last days in the US before moving here over 30 years ago.
Pastor Dotson has something of an unusual testimony of salvation. It is unusual in the sense that he was a pastor for several years before he came to Christ. This was not an intentional omission, but when the Lord revealed to him his lost condition Pastor Dotson received Christ as his Saviour. He and Mrs. Jane served the Lord in several churches and were used of the Lord to plant a church. Then in the late 70’s the Lord called them to come to England and start a church here.
Pastor obeyed the Lord’s calling. He went for further training to Bob Jones University and then raised his support to come here. All through his years at BJU he continued to pastor a church in Georgia. Each weekend he would travel there to preach and then return to Greenville, SC, ready for classes on Monday!
By 1980-81 they were ready to leave the US and travel to England. Think of all the research and knowledge that is so readily available to us now, and consider how universal our countries and cultures are now in comparison to the 1970’s. The 70’s are just over 30 years past, but the world was a very different place. Missions work is always an adventure, but we are blessed in our generation with a wealth of resources to explore a location long before we ever arrive. The difference between the Dotson’s home in the USA and what would become their new home in the UK was vast and in the early years I have no doubts there were some steep learning curves.
Even now many of Pastor Dotson’s sermon illustrations grip people because of their unique nature. Their meaning is clear, but their origins are very different from the world we know in England. Most at Brimpton over the years would have heard stories about raccons, hunting dogs, rattle snakes, rifles and personal experiences that seem taken straight out of “The Waltons”! Pastor would blend the illustrations into the text he was preaching and make his meaning clear!
Many missionaries over the years have not been able to deal with the culture shock and after a few years or months, and in one case I heard of, days, some missionaries return to their home countries (this is no criticism of those missionaries as I don’t know their circumtances). The Dotsons, however, remained in England and pressed ahead through times of blessing and sorrow, in the valley and on the mountain top they persevered by the grace of God.
By God’s grace I want to share more in the coming days, but I wanted to begin to share today something of the family who have been such a blessing to me and to so many.