Montgomery ministers go beyond the pulpit, make a difference

Reverend Farrell Duncombe
Reverend Farrell Duncombe
Dr. Susan Diamond
Dr. Susan Diamond

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Once a month the Reverend Farrell Duncombe strings along a few sentences on his computer to tell a story.

"It's giving back to the people who have shared things with me," said Duncombe, a minister at St. Paul AME Church in south Montgomery.

Those stories appear in the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper under the heading of Spiritual Reflections. This is one way Duncombe reaches out to readers who are hurting, readers who are facing a personal storm. Rev. Duncombe has an idea who they are.

"I've found the greatest amount of suffering are those who keep quiet about it," Duncombe said.

Reverend Duncombe is not the only contributing writer. Across town Susan Diamond shares her thoughts as well, making a difference with the written word.

"Usually it's about faith in the midst of fear," said Dr. Diamond.

Susan Diamond and Farrell Duncombe don't take this discipline lightly. So many readers depend on their writings and words of encouragement. Duncombe gathers his thoughts days ahead of the deadline, a subject-matter people can relate to, often relying what he feels inside.

"I try to place myself in their situation. Once I get the green light from God, I go with it," he said.

Diamond takes the same approach with a little help from a gift a friend gave her, a book of famous quotes.

"I might take one of those quotes and meditate on it and write something from that," said Diamond.

Tommy Newton, for one, says he's been challenged by Diamond's writings; reassurance mixed in with a little perspective.

It was Newton by the way who gave Dr. Diamond the book of quotes.

"I just don't want to be drinking from my 'kool-aid' so-to-speak and gain more perspective. She's an excellent writer," said Newton.

And Rev. Duncombe recalls the email he got recently from someone who found comfort in the most recent article he penned, 'Loving Unconditionally.'

By writing the articles Farrell Duncombe and Susan Diamond found the process has changed them for the better.

"It's made me more sensitive of the encounters I have with others," she said.

Pastor John Coleman of the Church of the Ascension and retired minister Al Perkins are also contributing writers to Spiritual Reflections. All four ministers rotate on a weekly basis for the Advertiser.

Two years and counting and more than 24 Spiritual Reflection articles a piece under their belts, the deadline is fast-approaching for Diamond and Duncombe to begin tapping away on the next theme.

Farrell Duncombe and Susan Diamond say don't know at this point what it will be but they do believe it will be Heaven-sent.

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