Ann Claypool Beard, LCSW, is the editor of The First to Follow by her late husband, the Rev. Dr. John R. Claypool, IV.
Ann Claypool Beard, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Atlanta and editor of The First to Follow: The Apostles of Jesus, a collection of sermons written by her late husband, the Rev. Dr. John Claypool, beloved Episcopal priest and author.
Ann is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Soule Business College, and eaerned her M.S.W. degree from the University of Alabama. She is a licensed social worker in Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Alliance for Christian Media.
Dr. John Claypool is known as one of America's most compelling preachers. He wrote 11 books, including The Hopeful Heart, God the Ingenious Alchemist, and Tracks of a Fellow Struggler. After retiring as rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, AL, he taught preaching at McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta and was associate priest at All Saints' Episcopal Church. He died in September 2005.
Philip was the first person to whom Jesus extended his famous invitation, offering him the most basic form of salvation when he said, "Follow me." It was soon after Jesus met Philip that he made this simple though life-changing proposal: "Come join me. Share the rest of your journey with me," and Philip did just that. Such immediate acceptance of a life-altering offer seems out of character for Philip, because later passages in the gospels show him to be a cautious and deliberate man who was typically slow to make decisions. This essential invitation to the Christian life is worth examining more closely, and the first thing I notice is that Jesus does not call us and then send us out into the world to rely on only our own resources. It is most reassuring to realize that the Christian life is not a solitary journey, because Jesus asks us to follow in companionship with him.Read full transcript...