They still tell the story at William and Mary College of daffy, magnificent President Ewell. For a century and a half, this prestigious Virginia school had been a leader among American universities. Then came the Civil War. In the hard days of reconstruction that followed, William and Mary went bankrupt. Soon it had a deserted campus, decaying buildings, and no students. As with so many Southern schools after that tragic war, everyone wrote it off as dead.
Everyone, except its president; he had given his best years to advancing the liberal arts through that school. He refused to give up now. So, every morning, President Ewell went to the deserted campus, climbed the tower of its main building, and rang the bells, calling the school to class. He behaved as though the school was still there.
People thought he was crazy. Nevertheless, every day for seven years, President Ewell rang the bells at William and Mary, in defiance of the despair and hopelessness that would destroy everything he held valuable. Eventually and miraculously, it worked. Others caught his vision. Students, teachers, and money returned. Today, America's second oldest university thrives again, because of the hope of a single man.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Robert Marsh on Mar 22, 2005
Most of us are familiar with this song – it’s the theme from the television show Friends. But have you ever caught the lyrics to the song? They read, in part: So no one told you life was gonna be this way Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck ...read more
Contributed by Mike Wilkins on Oct 14, 2005
C.S. Lewis says, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are ...read more
Contributed by Vanita George on Apr 20, 2005
I’d like to finish by reading this little excerpt I picked from TD Jakes’ book called “God’s Leading Ladies” and it goes as below:- To become a leading lady, you must raise the curtain and step forward. You must extend yourself beyond the self-imposed limits, external pressures, and patriarchal ...read more
Contributed by Mike Wilkins on Jan 15, 2007
There are others who know about this miracle birth The humblest of people catch a glimpse of their worth For it isn’t to the palace that the Christ child comes But to shepherds and street people, hookers and bums And the message is clear if you’ve got [you have] ears to hear That forgiveness ...read more