34  G E N E R . S TA R K “You will be trained, and you are a bright, educated, and intel- ligent person.” “I am physically not capable.” “Anyone who can work in a coal mine is physically capable of anything.” “I am not sure,” I retorted. “Let’s talk to Pastor Fick in Collinsville. He will want to meet you and can help you in your decision.” The ride back from St. Louis was a delight for me; the open, mostly unplanted fields were a refreshing sight after all the time I’d spent underground in a coal mine. The sun played upon the trees, still dark and dormant. I wondered at my faith, still part- ly dormant, yet feeling the spring-like growth of learning and studying. I wondered as I visited with Pastor Strasen: “My faith is still young, how can I lead others in their faith when mine is untried?” “Your faith grows as you study Scripture. Time at the semi- nary will give you much study of the Word, and you will learn the practical side of ministry.” The fields stretched before us as we traveled; fields owned by free farmers, some who were immigrants like me. They had traveled here to find a new life. They needed spiritual guidance as well. “August, there are areas where many Germans are settling and they have no churches and no leaders. I believe you can provide the leadership and help start churches for these immigrants. Pas- tor Fick will relate to you. He, too, has come here from Germa- ny.” The church in Collinsville was started in 1848 by German- speaking immigrants and then Pastor Fick became the pastor of that church. As I sat in pastor Fick’s office, I saw many volumes of religious literature. There were shelves with Bibles on them, and some of his books were written in German, others in English. I also no- ticed the many volumes of music and realized how important