“More than just an amazing Frisbee-Golf course…” #ColumbiaSeminary

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water… – Psalm 1

the archway, Peter Marshall’s (later Rebekah Alexander’s) room above, and the rooms we occupied to the (facing) right.

Let’s start with a story. Actually, a historical reference and a story. Years ago, in the late 1920’s, a young Scot called Peter Marshall came to Columbia Theological Seminary as a student. He lived in the room over the archway – the one with the bay window – in Simon’s Law dormitory in the middle of campus. Years later, after his iconic career as a Presbyterian minister and early death, his wife Catherine wrote the classic book, “A Man Called Peter,” a story later released as a popular movie.

In the fall of 1978 another young seminarian moved into the room over the archway. The building may not have an official plaque reading, “Rebekah Alexander Maul lived here” (yet), but the place is enormously significant to us, and we lived together in the apartment adjacent to the arch when we returned in 1980.

A Thin Place:


For me, the campus is one of those “thin places,” where connecting with God feels as natural as breathing. It’s not just the beauty of the setting, but the fact of so many stories – from Peter Marshall, to Rebekah’s parents in the 40’s, to her uncles in the 50’s, to so many pastors we know today. Deeply faithful people who sat on these benches and walked these pathways, wrestling with God, considering their call, saturating themselves with learning, coming to grips with what it means to be pastors, counting the cost, following Jesus.

When I’m leading a class or a small group I like asking people to share a “God moment” from the previous week. For me – and this is not unusual – this week is not going to be difficult.


So enjoy the photographs (you can see a few more in Wednesday’s post), but more importantly think about how God is engaging you in the question of ministry, going forward. Ministry is for all of us, God-encounters must be a part of our everyday living, and sharing our journey with others only makes it more real.

The campus of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. As we used to say in the early 80’s, “more than just an amazing Frisbee golf course….”

In love, and because of love – DEREK




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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The walk-thru under the arch in Simons-Law, i.e., under Rebekah’s apartment, was part of the frisbee golf course in my day. You banked a frisbee from the dining hall side door into the breezeway (if you were skilled enough) and then played through toward Campbell Hall. Once we beaned Cecil Moore with a blind bank shot as he was walking through the breezeway, we no longer had that route as a frisbee golf hole option! Great photos of our beloved seminary grounds, Derek. Thank you. Hugh Hamilton.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always been enthralled by the story of Peter Marshall and watched the movie and read the book as a young teen. His life was made real to me by the fact that as a young preacher he once visited my great-aunt on her farm in Covington, GA. I loved hearing her talk about Rev. Marshall.


  3. When Peter Marshall was a young pastor he came to Virginia for a Presbyterian youth event and my mother was fortunate to have met him and talked with him. That event had a lot to do with the development of her faith journey.


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