Heart breaks over the news

Dear Editor:

My heart broke as I read the front page of the Nov. 22 edition of your paper. The article told of a gala event, and the last part of the first paragraph read, “as organizers and vendors wined and dined Brookhaven’s finest well into night.” Later in the article it states that five crates of vino were donated to the gala. I hoped I would never read such an article in my hometown paper.

Please know that I am a “hometown boy.” I grew up here. I am an ordained Baptist minister. Before you write me off as one of those crazy Baptist preachers, please know that I have been a bi-vocational pastor for the past 47 years. My vocational area of expertise is in criminology.

I was a juvenile counselor and child abuse investigator for eight years. Following that I served the 14th Judicial District as a pro-sentence investigator and Probation/Parole Officer for Lincoln County. After 13 years in that capacity, I was called to the Baptist Children’s Village as executive director, and I retired from there after 15 years and I returned to my hometown.

I give you this lengthy information to tell you that I am not just a preacher sounding off about the sin of drinking. Every addict that I have ever worked with will always tell you that they never intended to become one. It started with a “free drink” or a “free joint.”

I have sadly stood in our chancery court with families who were heartbroken over lives and homes ruined by liquor. I have stood in our circuit court as sentences have been given out for actions fueled by alcohol and nothing else. I have had my hands washed with the tears of children at the Baptist Children’s Village who were taken from their homes because of alcohol.

I never dreamed that my hometown would welcome such a horrid disease with open arms.

Thank you for allowing me to say what is on my heart, and I want to assure Brookhaven that I will always be there to comfort the brokenhearted and to console the families and children of those left destitute and devastated by the ravages of drink.

Ronny Robinson