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Sunday, July 21, 2024 - 02:05 PM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

It’s Time to Send Patch the Pirate’s Commodore, the Jolly Roger, and its Crew to Washington, DC.

Timmons make fun of Childrens Ministry
Just one of the demeaning campaign materials by Congressman William Timmons towards a world-famous children’s ministry called Patch the Pirate.

In 1976, a 9-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister, their future uncertain, were placed in a Greenville, South Carolina children’s home, a ministry of Tabernacle Baptist Church on White Horse Road in Greenville, SC.

He and his sister were thrown into a world different from the one they knew in the Washington, DC area where they lived. They came to a place with unfamiliar beliefs in a man they knew nothing about, Jesus. It wasn't until a few weeks after his arrival at the children’s home that he first heard a clear presentation of this man and his story, Jesus.

It all began when a girl not much older than him approached and asked if he had ever been saved. The boy, completely clueless, asked if she was referring to him falling off a nearby building and being saved by her catching him. She laughed in wonder at how a young boy knew nothing about children their age needing a Savior.

At that moment, it was the first time I had ever heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. God used a 12-year-old girl to tell me, a 9-year-old boy, how the heavenly Father can comfort a boy with no father.

The only thing my sister and I knew about church or religion was that before we came to the children’s home, we used to run through a Catholic Church on what we neighborhood children used to call “Dead Man’s Hill.” We would get chased out by the priest because we loved to play in their holy water and blow out their candles.

I am a witness that children can grow up around our Nation’s capital not knowing who Jesus is. The only image I saw was the crucifix statue in the Catholic church, where I had no idea what it was or what it meant historically or spiritually.

As a 7-year-old boy, I also remember watching intensely one of the Crucifixion Movies on TV, which was popular around Easter in those days. I had no idea who this star of the movie was. I was crying my eyes out, and my mother came walking by with wonder, asking what I was crying about. All I could say through my young tears was that the man in the movie was innocent, and I had asked her who He was. I had no idea what it was about, but I knew enough of the movie's message that He was not guilty. At the time, my mother was not a Christian, and she replied that He was some famous historical prophet.

Little did I know then that two years later, this Man Jesus would personally introduce Himself to me through a 12-year-old girl.

A few months later, after this little girl shared the Gospel with me for the first time, on April 17th, 1977, while listening to an evening sermon by the Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, the late Dr. Harold B. Sighter, I asked the director of the children’s home if I could be saved. One of the workers took me to a room they called the “Sick Room,” where they took kids when they were sick and treated them. I do not think it was by accident that my little heart was spiritually healed in a sick room where they treated the sick children.

As I reminisce after waking up from sleep 3:30 a.m. this Sunday morning before the primary election of 2024, I immediately started thinking about how God used a children’s ministry to give me hope when I did not know I needed it, courage when I had no family around but my younger sister, and a new understanding in a strange place with unfamiliar beliefs.

One of our favorite times at the children's home where I grew up was Friday nights after getting into our metal, military-style bunk beds. The alarm bells across the property sounded off as a sign that it was bedtime. The home would play over the intercom on what was called WMUU, a Bob Jones University radio station ministry that played audio Bible stories and popular made-for-radio stories like the Lone Ranger, etc.

Later in the 1980s, as I grew up into my teens, I became a dorm supervisor of what we called the little boy's room, a large group of 5-12-year-old boys. At the time, there were around 130 children in the home.

Kidnapped on I Land

As a young man in charge of this younger generation of boys, I came across a series of cassette tapes featuring a children’s ministry produced by Majesty Music called Patch the Pirate. I had tapes like Kidnapped on I-Land (my favorite), Patch the Pirate Goes to the Jungle, Patch the Pirate Goes to Space, etc.

When the home quit playing WMUU’s Friday night stories, I started playing these Patch the Pirate cassette tapes to these young boys. Every night, these not-so-long-ago homeless boys would beg me to play these tapes. Patch going to I-Land was everyone’s favorite—probably because it was my favorite.

As a young teenage boy, I saw the impact these stories had on these young children through this children's ministry. These kids were learning what I had learned, how to become boys of character despite the misfortunes of their current situation, without their families, learning how to have that same hope, courage, and comradery that I learned when I was their age, not so long ago.

Over the years, I have played these tapes for my daughter and son when they were young. I will be ever so grateful for God placing this ministry on the minds of Adam Morgan’s In-laws, Ron “Patch the Pirate” and Shelly Hamilton through Majesty Music. Little did they know that as God was using this ministry worldwide, a bunch of little homeless boys were being ministered to in Patch the Pirate’s own backyard just a few miles away in Greenville, SC.

So, during this nasty campaign season, when so many on social media are being distracted with lesser issues and debating trifles regarding our 4th Congressional District election race, the main issue on my mind is the incumbent's public statements, which revealed his true nature. He condescends this ministry to children as if it's not as important as he is.

Seeing current incumbent US Congressman William Timmons, once a friend of this ministry, publicly exalt his profession and experience as if he deserves more the congressional office over his opponent by demeaning his opponent, Adam Morgan, and his children’s ministry, which has touched the lives of children worldwide for decades, concerns me.

Majesty Music was started by Dr. Frank Garlock, who handed control to his son-in-law, Ron "Patch," and their daughter, Shelly Hamilton. Ron Hamilton had passed away just over a year ago after handing the reins to their son-in-law and their daughter, Adam and Megan Morgan.

I am disheartened to see an adult who wants to continue representing families stoop to this level by bragging about his experience as a higher calling than his opponent’s ministry to children, whereas Timmons actually makes fun by referring to a man playing dress-up to children. This is a disservice and disrespectful act to the memory of Ron "Patch" Hamilton, let alone to his opponent.

Let me make it very clear: no greater ministry or experience is needed in Washington, DC than a man and his crew who dress up to teach children hope, courage, and Jesus.

I would be very careful how anyone portrays and condescends anyone who ministers to children. God loves the little children. And remember, Jesus drew a red line on this matter by saying in Matt. 18:3-6:

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

I am not saying Timmons hates children, but what a man says, and campaigns on, and his choice of words in his campaign material can reveal what is in his heart and mind, as it did during this nasty campaign.

Our children and our traditional families are our future! Therefore, I endorse personally and will be voting for what I believe is a man best-equipped and very experienced in shaping our future in the halls of our US Congress, a current successful SC State Representative, a father and family man with a great testimony, Patch the Pirate’s Commodore Adam Morgan.

What greater joy can I think of than being part of the next Patch the Pirate adventure by sending the Jolly Roger and its crew to Washington, DC, where this boy came from and where he never heard the name and story of Jesus.

Ahoy, Matey!