I Was Born a Deist and Didn't Know It


The place is a warm summer evening in New England and a cloudless sky has

allowed the stars to shine at their brightest. Two little boys of 10 are stretched out

on the grass looking up at the twinkling spectacle of stars displayed before them.

There is silence for some time and then the first boy speaks, “Do you feel it,


“Feel what?” the second boy replies .

“Don’t you feel you’re a part of what we’re looking at, Wayne?”

“Nah, you’re crazy, Chuck.”

That was in 1936 and I’ve never forgotten that night, that place, that time or who I

was with as well as that short conversation. It was on that night that I became a

Deist but had to spend 81 years alone in the wilderness before I realized what I was

and what we all should be. As Paul Harvey would say, and now, the rest of the



I was born on, June 21, 1926, a Monday, at 7:30 AM, to be exact. As they

say, the Roaring Twenties. I was dearly loved by my parents, however, there were

complications that may have had something to do with the direction my religious

life took in later years. My father worked for F.W. Woolworth, Five & Dime stores

as a store manager, which caused him to relocate numerous times in his career, in

fact, we moved 19 times before I was out of high school (that equals 11 different

schools). Religion was also involved; I was dunked in a Baptist church when I was

10, sprinkled or what ever they do by the Methodists, Congregationalists, and

Presbyterians in following years, and as a result I was never quite sure what I was

or believed and some years later I had a similar incident when I went into the Army

during WWII, it was my first Christmas away from home (can there be anything

more alone than being alone on Christmas eve?), I tried to get into the Protestant

Service but it being full I ended up in the Catholic Service and later, alone, I sat

down on the curb and cried. For those brief moments I really felt loneliness.


In 1954 I was married in a United Presbyterian church. We settled down and

raised 3 children, two boys and a girl, and since there was no United Presbyterian

church in our town we settled for the Presbyterian Church.

I don’t know how average we were but we always said grace at dinner,

attended church every Sunday and celebrated all religious holidays. My three

children all attended college and my oldest son became very active with the Inter-

Varsity Christian Fellowship and even went to work for them for a period after

graduation until he went off for his PhD.