Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


YA GOTTA HAVE HEART

"The fact of the business", as we say in Texas, is that there are some pastors who may not be good preachers and some preachers who may not be good pastors. When someone comes along who is both...rejoice!! Arthur Graf was both. Arthur Graf was born in Vernon, Texas...of Wendish, German heritage...from a farming family. The Lord led him into the pastoral ministry as a mere youth. He attended the newly formed Concordia College, Austin, Texas, from 1927-1931. No, he wasn't in "college" for 4 years. Back in those days, Concordia College was really a high school...a preparatory school for young men desiring to enter the ministry. Art, along with others, was going through the stringent curriculum of ministerial preparation in the years of the Great Depression. He went on to study at St. Paul College, Concordia, Missouri...and then on to attend Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. Arthur Graf went on to serve six congregations (from the urban to the rural) and to serve as a seminary professor at Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, over his more than 50 year ministry. He was also the author of some 10 books (they were published by Faith Publications). He also wrote "The Church in the Community", published by Eerdmans Publishing Co...and which served as a seminary text book for some thirty years. This is quite a tribute to a German speaking, Texas farm boy. Arthur Graf could preach the Law in it's severity and the Gospel in it's sweetness...but, along with all of that, he had a pastoral heart. To be a pastor, ya gotta have heart.