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November 27 , 2007

Lead Us Not Into Temptation


H. Gordon Weekley, Jr., was meant to be a Baptist minister. Compassionate, hardworking, endlessly attentive to the needs of his congregation, and holding with them a vision of building a great church, Gordon drove himself to the edge of exhaustion. It was 1958: Gordon told his doctor he was “feeling Jittery,” and asked for help. The doctor gave him a prescription – two in fact, one to give him energy, the second to help him sleep.

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This began an eighteen -year downward spiral for this gentle, driven preacher of the Gospel, on fire to serve God and his fellow man. The drugs became his reward and his solace, the way he kept himself going, kept himself serving, kept himself achieving.

Don Jeffries, who at the time was a young member of Rev. Weekley’s congregation, shows how the pastor’s life came apart in a tangle of good works and genuine ministry, deception and denial, and the desperate struggle to feed the addiction that was destroying him. This gentle, hardworking man who had been part of two Billy Graham Crusades, who had helped build a fine and progressive church, lost his family, his home, his pastorate, and his self-respect.

Though the book offers an unflinching look at the humiliating fall of a man who once seemed uncommonly blessed, it’s end is a beginning: surrender, the miracle of grace and Gordon Weekley’s redemption.

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