Still Going to Mullinix – by Jerry Haywood
My first book, Going to Mullinix, grew out of my Pa-Pa’s reply when anyone called out, “Where’re you goin’, Arthur?” Pa-Pa’s answer was always a cheerful, “Goin’ to Mullinix,” followed by his signature big laugh.
Pa-Pa, my maternal grandfather, never told me where Mullinix was located, so it became, in my imagination, that mysterious safe place where everything fit and life was as it should be. Later, when I became a pastor, I almost subconsciously adapted Mullinix as a metaphor for that place of maximum kingdom living in which I take on the likeness of Christ to the degree my fallible discipleship is capable.
So Mullinix is not heaven. It is as close as I can get to heavenly citizenship while still living as a citizen of this world.
I told stories in that first volume of people, critters, and events, which I called “signs,” giving direction to my journey. A pilgrimage like this is a step-by-step process and a lifelong challenge. Disappointment, discouragement, and failure hide around every curve, lurk in every valley, and poise atop every mountain.
Therefore, in this book, I tell the stories of a new collection of people, critters, and events that have “put heart back into me.” Sometimes these “signs” were gentle nudges easy to miss unless I carefully exercised the “discipline of noticing.” At other times they were dramatic, unmistakable road markers along the journey toward the “full stature of Christ.” All of them together, however, revealed God’s presence in such a way that it took my breath away.
So, with bated breath, the journey to Mullinix continues.
Jerry Haywood was pastor of Walnut Hills Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, for 35 years, retiring in 2004. Since his retirement, Jerry has served as both an intentional and traditional interim pastor in a number of churches around the Williamsburg area, where he and his wife, Jean, still reside. Jerry received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from the University of North Carolina and master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Southeastern Seminary. He and his wife have three children and six grandchildren.