One of the truly great blessings in my life is having friends who are older and wiser. Some of these dear friends were my professors when I was a student at Wheaton College (1969-71, B.A.) and (1971-73, M.A.). One such friend, Dr. Alan Johnson, taught me in several classes. A very memorable one was a class in apologetics. We met at 8:00 a.m. three times a week. I sat on the front row asking many, many questions. (By the way, one of Alan’s TA’s some years later was Michael Gerson, the well-known speech writer and adviser to President George W. Bush.)

I was engaged in direct evangelism with students at Northern Illinois University when I took Alan’s course in apologetics. This was the early 1970s and there were lots of questions. Dr. Johnson was a great source for me at the time. I really soaked up his class.

In 2010 Alan edited a great book, 41A+OXABEhL._AA160_How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals (Zondervan). I did Chapter One, not because it is a great chapter but because my last name put me first in the alphabetical order of the essays. (I sometimes loved being asked a question first in class and sometimes I wished my name began with W or Y.)

Today and tomorrow Alan Johnson speaks about missional-ecumenism and our ACT3 ministry. He has been a great advocate, donor and consultant to me since we began this work in 1991.