Rev. Edgar F. Wheeler: 50 Some Life-Changing Experiences

Perhaps I should say “Life expanding experiences,” in the same sense of seeing a larger world than farm family life and location in northeast Kansas. College and seminary life are some of the major events that have defined my life.

WHEATON COLLEGE was my choice as a well-known Christian college. There I was introduced to a broader spectrum of culture and to the larger academic world. I grew in theological understanding. I began to develop a confidence in living away from home. That was not without some homesickness. In such a moment I sketched our homestead approached from the east one Sabbath afternoon. I still cherish that sketch.

MILTON COLLEGE, Milton, Wisconsin, was one more step toward independence. I now had my own car, the old Model A Ford. I was free to travel alone and to get acquainted with the northern states. I learned something of relating to difficult people and situations. Worship in a Seventh Day Baptist Church of considerably different atmosphere from the home church in Nortonville, Kansas gave me larger view. In general, it was a chapter in ongoing life. I was still anchored to home and the farm, returning in the summer to work.

SALEM COLLEGE, Salem, West Virginia, introduced me to a new and exciting culture. These folk were “mountaineers,” warm, simple, open. Here I made my final break with my “ancestral” background as my future home came about after return two summers to work on the farm. My work as a linotype operator in the Church of God Publishing House and my studies became my life. At age 25 I married a lovely Christian girl, Xenia Lee Randolph, on August 19, 1945, my love and helpmate ever since. I regard her as God’s gift for maturity, home and pastoral ministry.

NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST SEMINARY provided invaluable instruction and direction for future practical ministry. Over and again I have profited from the acquaintances of godly teachers, who provided their examples, insights and counsel.

Yet, underlying my life and calling were the faith and courage of my parents with their modeling of Christian living, and their perseverance during some of the most difficult years of our country’s history to that date. The drought and the Great depression were in themselves great teachers of frugality and determination. Memories of my parents, Ernest and Edna (Marie) Wheeler, are dearly appreciated.

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