A third in the Southern Methodist circuit, (We Gather Together and The Lost Lamp are its predecessors) this is the account of Robert Anderson's first parish before he becomes an ordained minister. Laid in 1900 and Southern Georgia, this is the story of a young, nervous and humble man's life -- the engagement to a girl out of town, which is soon broken, the fear and trembling that preaching arouses in him, the gathering of a congregation, for he is to establish a new church in Archibald Heights, and the run-ins his sincere sctions precipitate. For be administers last rites to a circus performer who is a Catholic, he goes to the circus, he befriends the town drunk, he brings into the church the daughter of the town's scarlet woman, he is pursued by a young and flirtatious widow, and he earns the enmity of the church's banker. But he wins loyal friends, even an atheist, who help him achieve the dream of a church for his new flock. Neither saccharine nor aly mouthed, this continues the warmth of characterization and intelligent liberalness that marked the earlier books. For a denominational and conservative audience.