At the time I was working at the telephone company, we visited Teresa’s sister who lived in St. Petersburg in Florida. The two girls had birthdays in October so we got together for a joint celebration. While there, I became interest in the local Christian TV station.
Months later (June), I started feeling an urge to move from the current job (I NEVER was known to be one who “job-jumped”; I was by nature a “long-timer” in work positions). On a Friday I sent an application to that TV station. I received a phone call on the next Monday (yes, three days later!) and was told about an opening at their new “sister” station in Cocoa. I flew down, was interviewed and hired as Manager of Engineering, and I moved my family down.
Really, I didn’t want to live in Florida; I had never liked it. I didn’t like the heat, I didn’t like the sand (gardening was difficult), I didn’t like the flat lands (no mountains to look at!) – BUT, I felt this is where I should be. SO, I “agreed” with my family that I would go “temporarily”. That turned out to be 28 years!
After a year at the Christian TV station, I was hired at the Kennedy Space Center. For all the years that I was at the radio station in TN, I had wanted to get a job at NASA. That appeared to be an exciting thing to do. I applied several times but was turned down. NOW, years later, having forgotten that ambition, I was working there in communications, which later turned into computers! I was employed there until age 65 when I chose to retire after 19 years (2002) to work full-time in our ministry.
Many things happened in Florida; good and bad. Months after our arrival our 15-year-old daughter contracted cancer, and four months later, it was in remission. At age 18, cancer reappeared and, after a year of fighting it again, she passed away in July of 1986.
Teresa and I were ordained into the Gospel Ministry in 1995 and formed a ministry, KingsWay Christian Ministries. It was designed to be primarily a teaching ministry – not a church – where we conducted seminars, retreats, conventions and the like. It was successful over the years.
Still having a desire to live in the mountain, we explored the possibility of moving the Ministry back to the general area from which we had come (“- – – country out of the boy – – -“). For a number of years we looked in the areas in which we were familiar but really didn’t find anything (available) to use for what we wanted to do there. Then, someone suggested Waynesville, and the Maggie Valley area
– – – but, wait! I cover that inthe next section!