But it was also wonderful to share that time on program with two legends in the black church: the late Dr. C.B.T. Smith and Dr. Wallace Hartsfield. Dr. Smith, the retired pastor of Dallas' Golden Gate Baptist Church and I had gotten acquainted several years before and got to know one another better after I invited him to preach at my church.
Dr. Hartsfield I had known from afar and by reputation. It was the first time I had to hear him preach and to share on a panel with him and Dr. Smith. Later on that year, when I served as interim pastor at a church in Dallas, we renewed acquaintances when he came to preach there.
He is a warm, generous, spiritually invigorating man with a great sense of humor! Not long ago he retired, and it is not hard to imagine why his congregation considers it to be a bitter-sweet period in their history.