Daysong Graphics
Sanford "Sandy"Boswell

Sanford “Sandy” Boswell was born and raised in eastern North Carolina in the area where “Seeking Blackbeard’s Treasure” is set. With undergraduate (UNC-CH, 1967) and graduate (ECU, 1969) degrees in business, he began a career in higher education, during which he also earned an EdD degree (1992) from NCSU. He and his wife, Donna, have two adult children, and he has been organist at Brookwood Baptist Church in Jacksonville, NC since 1982. His interest in writing was sparked when UNC’s Writer in Residence, C. Hugh Holman, spoke to his freshman English class, but the necessity of earning a living forced him to put writing on hold until after his retirement. He is a member of ACFW.


Lucille Posh, a prominent real estate broker, had just contracted with Huge Boxx Stores as a buyer’s agent to acquire a twenty-acre (minimum) tract within a year for a new store. As she drove home, she planned her strategy. The commission structure is lucrative, but I could make a killing by buying a property cheap and selling it to them for close to their maximum price.

As she often did, she cut through the parking lot of Martin Memorial Baptist Church to avoid a couple of traffic lights. She’d never paid much attention to the church’s twenty-five-acre campus before, but that day she saw it with different eyes. This place is perfect!

The next morning, she instructed her lawyer to set up a dummy corporation to make a low offer on the property. That step was easy; convincing the members of the congregation to sell their land would be the challenge. A week elapsed before she figured out how to accomplish her plan. I’ll join the church and lead a campaign to sell. They have a sign advertising their Wednesday-night prayer meetings, so I think I’ll attend and see what goes on.

A pleasant Wednesday evening in March found her in the church’s parking lot at 6:55, but there were so few other cars, she feared that the service had been cancelled. She went inside and counted eighteen people in attendance. As luck would have it, the monthly business meeting was being held that night. The pastor introduced himself to Lucille, told her about the meeting, and suggested that it might be boring for a non-member, but he welcomed her to stay. She did, and by observation, she learned something about how the church conducted its business.

Following the meeting, she asked the pastor about joining the church. He shared the plan of salvation with her. “New converts have associate membership status until they complete a six-meeting, new-members class. Then they’re baptized and become full members.

“I’ll join on Sunday!” She looked around at the few people. “Is your attendance at night always this small? I almost didn’t come in when I saw so few cars in the lot.”

“It’s better when the weather’s warmer, but during winter, we sometimes can’t get quorums for business meetings. Most of our older members don’t come out at night when the weather’s cold.”

As promised, Lucille joined the church on Sunday and was welcomed by the sixty-seven members in attendance. During the next six weeks, she attended the new-members class on Monday nights with one other woman, and on the Sunday morning after the class ended, both women were baptized at the morning service. Shouts of “Amen” arose from the congregation as each of them came up from the water, but Lucille wondered, Is there anything I won’t do for a buck?

After the service, she told the pastor, “I’m not ready to get involved with church programs, but I believe I can help increase your membership.”

“That’d be wonderful, but we don’t want to steal members from other churches. We prefer to convert nonbelievers like yourself.”

“Don’t worry, Pastor. Everyone who joins because of me will be a nonbeliever.”

“Bless you, Sister Lucille. We welcome any new members you can bring our way.”

Lucille received a copy of the church’s constitution during the module of the new-members class about the day-to-day operations of the church. The class didn’t cover the sale of church property, though, so she studied that part of the constitution at home. It stated, “In accordance with the provisions of our deed, which were unanimously adopted by congregational vote, approval of any motion for the disposition of real property requires more than two-thirds of the votes cast. Any such motion must be presented at one scheduled monthly business meeting and voted upon at the next scheduled monthly business meeting.”

Sanford "Sandy" Boswell © 2010