Friday, March 26, 2010

I am Thankful for my Friend, Dr. Douglas Slocumb

Yesterday we inducted my good friend, Dr. Douglas Slocumb, into the Hall of Prophets here at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. Doug is a long term teacher at the Seminary. The Hall of Prophets serves the dual purposes of honoring faithful Church of God Ministers and building the scholarship endowment of the Seminary. Inductees must be deceased or at least sixty five years of age and have had a ministry in the COG of distinguished faithfulness. Most are prominent ministers of past. Several are relatively unknown but faithful servants of Christ.

I was honored to be one of the speakers at Doug’s induction. I offer here an edited version of my speech.

“Doug it has fallen my lot to tell you the real reason we are here today. We have not come to honor you. We love you. This is an intervention. You need help. You have CTD, Compulsive Therapist Disorder. We are all here because we love you and we want you to get the help you deserve.

Doug, admit it. You wake up in the morning thinking ‘There’s somebody out there I can help.’ It’s the last thought on your mind before you go to sleep. If you’re not counseling someone every few minutes you get ill. I’ve seen it on your face in faculty meetings. You begin to fidget, your throat and mouth go dry. Then your hands begin to shake. I’ve sometimes feared you were going to have a seizure. As soon as the meeting adjourns you dart out into the hallway, grab a hurting student you’ve stashed away in some corner, and drag them into your office for a session.

Doug, you need help.

You are annoying in public. I go out to lunch with you and it takes forever to leave because you have to visit every table and talk. People who don’t know you think. ‘Oh, it’s just another Church of God Minister campaigning for the Executive Committee.’ But those of us who know you know the truth. You’re not shaking hands, you’re feeling pulses, looking into eyes for pain, scouting out fixes for your addiction.

Doug, you need help.

There are signs you can no longer afford to ignore. You have that phony sliding scale of fees on your door. We know you ignore it and refuse payment from most people. We’ve got it on good sources you even give people money. If you get caught there will be ethics charges, you’ll lose your license, friend.

Doug, you need help.

We all know you skip lunch several times a week just to work someone in for a session. How many cans of tuna can anyone eat in a week and not go crazy.

Doug, you’ve got a problem. You should know the signs. You teach in this area. Remember your lectures on birth order and family systems. You’re the first born son. You are driven to find approval. You feel responsible for everyone. Why else are you always the last to leave the offices. Why like a good pastor must you turn off the coffee maker, the printers, the lights and walk down the hall to flush the toilets before you can go home.

Doug, you need help.

Do you want to see yourself in thirty years. Look right down there on the first row. That’s right look at your father. He’s in his nineties and he operates a food and clothes closet for the poor. Then he visits the old folks in the nursing home. Doug if you don’t break this generational curse of compulsive care-giving that’s your future. We want something better for you, shuffleboard on a beach in Florida.

Addressing the Audience

As you can see from your program, I am here representing Doug’s peers in education. But I am really here for the same reason each of you is here. Doug Slocumb is our friend. Or more accurately, Doug has been a friend to us and we desire to in some small way to be his friend. Deep down we want to be a friend like him.

Without reservation I can say that outside of my family, Doug Slocumb is my best friend in the world, my counselor and confidant.

No one in the history of this school has garnered more love than Dr. Slocumb. No faculty member past or present receives more phone calls and emails than Doug. Some contact him because they are facing a crises and they know he will guide them through it. Others call because they want to share good news with a trusted friend.

Some things you might not know about Dr. Slocumb are that he is a left-brained ESFJ. The left-brain identifies him as imaginative. The E refers to “extroversion.” Who would have ever thought that. The S is for “sensing.” He’s given to experience, no surprise there given all of his lectures on sex. The F refers to “feeling” which uplifts his traits of humaneness, mercy, and compassion, the very root of his CTD. The J is for judging, he is goal oriented and he wants to select the best thing and then experience it. No comment.

In brief, while he is very fond of telling everybody I am a field marshal, I have never heard him confess to his own classification as “Softly authoritative and quite (not quiet) decisive.” “He respects hierarchy,” right, if he is the hierarchy.

Seriously, Dr. Slocumb is gifted to the level of clairvoyance in observation, analysis, and diagnosis of human behavior. He has an intuitive ability to read a life and the forces influencing it in a matter of minutes. And he is right all of the time, except with me.

Doug is an outstanding educator. I recall something Dr. Charles W. Conn said to me when I was a student at Lee College and he was President. He said the mark of a truly educated person is not knowing all the answers, it is knowing where to find the answers. Visit Doug’s office and if you can look past the stacks of folders and papers you will see an extensive library on marriage and family and all other areas of Christian ministry. What many of you do not realize is that they are stacked two books deep. He knows what’s in those books and when a student or client needs extra guidance he knows just which book to lend them.

Here at the Seminary we emphasize the integration of head, hart and hand. Faith and life must be woven together and expressed in behavior. No one does that better than Doug Slocumb. Every lesson he teaches demonstrates the integrity of this fusion. Every principle he expounds has been weighed against the word of God.

I am blessed to teach a course on family ministry with him. It is one of my most enjoyable teaching experiences. We have different personality types and learning styles, but we just fit together like yen and yang. Plus we both like to tell stories. I’m more analytic and he’s more common sense and imaginative. In other words, he chases rabbits and I count the ticks on their back.

We are all blessed to have Dr. Doug Slocumb in our lives.

Doug, we love you but you need help.

Cleveland, Tennessee
March 26, 2010


Grace said...

What a wonderful expression of friendship. Honor with comedy ... you had me in tears of laughter! Thank you!

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

and it's all so TRUE. I love Doug Slocumb too.

Patti said...

Every word written rings so very true....I have often thought he is either a Saint or as you say, "he needs help" LOL!!! In all seriousness, he is a great man, has my upmost love and respect and in many ways like the father I never had, God Bless you a thousand times over deserve the honor!!!! (Jackie, you brought his giving, selfless, beautiful spirit to life in this message, thank you for the smile it brought to my heart!!) God has worked miracles in my life through that Christ-like soul!!!!