Passing the Torch: Italian Edition

Thanks to John Dobbs who encouraged us to blog about influential ministers in our lives.

This post really doubles as part of my “How I Got Here” series about my journey of Faith.  I have not yet written about the spiritual side of my time in Rome but talking about Paolo Mirabelli is a great place to start.

Paolo was from Calabria in the south but was the evangelist for the church in Rome.  Without the opportunity to attend a Christian college, he had taken every correspondence course available in Italy from any and every religious group.  Even before his family became associated with the American Restoration Movement, they had been more interested in  Scripture than tradition.

He spoke of an older man who traveled the Calabrian countryside reading the Bible with whomever would listen.

Paolo knew the Bible.  He was a great speaker.  I think his best talent, though, was teaching the Bible one on one.  I went along on many home visits where he always had a message prepared.  I learned a lot from him.  A lot about the Word.  A lot about ministry.  He was a great friend and a great mentor.

I haven’t kept in touch well with many friends from my time in Italy, but I really miss the time spent with him driving to and spending time with church members in their homes.

He is a great servant, having spent the last 10-15 years in Rome.  The church now has elders.  He is supported by a couple of Italian churches and a couple of American churches, plus his wife, Filomena, teaches school.

God taught me as much in my two years in Italy as He did in my two years at Harding, and Paolo Mirabelli is a big part of that for which I will always be grateful.

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