I grew up in the Florida District of the Wesleyan Church, where my Dad was District Treasurer for thirty years. In those early years, the District Superintendent was Foster Piatt, who passed away last week at the age of ninety. His mind had gone downhill substantially in these last years, but his passing should not go unnoticed.
Piatt pretty much single-handedly founded the Florida District, where he was the founding DS for over 32 years. I believe he planted twenty-three churches during that time, over half the churches in the district when I was a boy. He was a doer. He built churches with his own bare hands. He was a church builder as well as planter. He even made violins and guitars by hand.
I remember him as a well-tanned, fairly quiet man. You'd have never guessed he was from Ohio. Somehow he fit the undeveloped wetlands of Everglades and Okeechobee. He was there when Florida was still quiet and undisturbed. This is the man that founded the now infamous Brooksville, where all retired Wesleyans go to party.
He would have bought Hobe Sound for the Wesleyan Methodists too if he had been able to come up with the money. Imagine if the Wesleyans had a college on the Intercoastal Waterway of south Florida today! We'd be giving Palm Beach Atlantic a run for its money. :-)
Piatt was the kind of person who often doesn't get the credit he deserves until his memorial service. I wanted to honor him tonight...