The letter was addressed to the pastor and congregation of Providence United Methodist Church. My friend George Thompson, pastor at the time, noted that each word had been carefully chosen. And he noted the question that began the letter: “Who is a Christian?”
The author was a man named Orelander Love, and Love went on to answer his own question. “Who is a Christian? One who follows Christ Jesus.” He explained that although he knew about Christians and had heard stories about Jesus for many years, he did not believe in the gospel because he had never met a Christian—that is, “until I met Ms. Jeanette D. Aldred.”
Love met Aldred under unusual circumstances—he was robbing her home. Aldred was 88 at the time, and Love thought the house was empty. But when he discovered Aldred in bed, he panicked and hit her over the head. She responded with words of forgiveness and offered him a blessing. That enraged Love even more.