LIST Birmingham - June 2020

JUNE 2020




Every June, we recognize fathers with a day dedicated just to them— Father’s Day. My father died nearly 30 years ago, but as I grow older, there are times when I look in the mirror and see a strong resemblance to him. I find that I am like him in many other ways, as well. I am an early riser, I am not a big drinker, and I have a strong work ethic. I have been fortunate in my life to have many father- figures. My brother, Dennis, for instance, is 12 years older than me. In many ways, he has always been a steady hand and a guiding influence. He has always been a source of encouragement and believed in me. Anyone would be blessed to have a Dennis Upchurch in their lives. More recently, one of the strongest influences in my life has been my pastor, Father Muller. This year Father Muller will turn 89, but he is still as active as ever. There are over 3,000 members in our church, and somehow, he manages to know them all by name. He is wise, knowledgeable, and a very good shepherd for his sheep.

He also has a healthy sense of humor. One time he was on the church elevator with several women, and he told them he would need to know their individual weights to make sure the elevator was safe. He said it grew very quiet on the elevator and very uncomfortable for the ladies — until he told them he was joking. Last Christmas, it seemed to take him forever to enter the church. When he finally arrived, he asked for forgiveness. He said he got delayed speaking to several people as he entered. Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “Remember, I haven’t seen some of these people since Easter!”We call them “Chreasters”— those folks that only go to church for Easter and Christmas. Father Muller also has certain sayings that he uses frequently to encourage and teach us. I call them “Father Mullerisms.”The following are some of my favorites:

My dad in uniform during WWII

For all the fathers out there, here’s an Irish blessing:

May God be with you and bless you, May you see your children’s children. May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward. May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

“We are all rushing toward eternity, and what we do now determines how we will spend it.”

“God will never give you heaven on earth.”

“The saints were not saints because they were perfect; they were saints because they kept trying.”

My personal favorite is that God always answers prayers. His answer is always one of the following responses:

Happy Father’s Day!




Not now

-Melvin Upchurch

Father Muller


I have something better


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