As I entered the chapel, I heard the most extraordinary music coming from the piano that sits near the chapel’s stage. But what compelled my attention as much as the music was the pianist’s face — the sheer joy and delight that his face expressed with every note he played.
The musician was Charles Wayne Baxter, a Black pastor who supplemented a small income from his church by serving as a security guard at Sci-Tech High School where he also directed the Sci-Tech Gospel Choir.
Baxter’s choir had been scheduled to perform that night, but the snow was so deep that only the pastor and a couple of his students had managed to travel to Messiah College.
I introduced myself to him when the program was over and told him how much I had enjoyed his music, but that I had especially enjoyed watching the joy that radiated from his face as he played those great gospel songs.
And then, for some reason — I can’t explain why — I asked, “Would you be willing to have breakfast with me one of these days?”
“Why, sure,” he said, and when we met on the appointed morning, a marvelous friendship was born. <Read more.>