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Former pastor writes one, final book
For 38 years of his adult life, Leonard Mann was United Methodist pastor in Ohio.

But since he was a child, the 99-year-old, originally from West Virginia, has always had a love of writing.

"An early interest of mine, even in childhood, was writing. But things led me in the other direction," he said. "I went into the ministry."

Being a pastor proved not only beneficial for his spirit but for his writing.

His writing greatly developed during his tenure as a pastor, and in 1975, at the age of 62, just a few years away from retiring from the pulpit, his first book, "Getting Together with God," was published.

For the next 31 years, Mann would release 13 more books and believed he was done writing after McGraw-Hill published "Green-Eyed Monsters and Good Samaritans: Literary Allusions in Everyday Language" in 2006.

"I thought I was done. I knew I was getting old," said Mann, who retired to Glynn County seven years ago and now lives in a retirement community with his second wife of 12 years on St. Simons Island. "Then I got to thinking about another thing - an idea that I had in mind as long as 75 years ago."

Blowing the dust from the IBM typewriter he keeps by his bed, he decided to craft together one final piece of literature to conclude his writing career.

"Our First Ten Days: The Birth of Christian Faith" was released in November 2013 and in it, the 99-year-old weaves together a story explaining what the disciples did while they waited in Jerusalem after Jesus left them. That period is part of the information missing from the New Testament, says Mann, who holds a master's degree in theology from Boston University.

"What would they do? He was gone. They gathered most of the time in a place called the Upper Room and began to think about him," he said. "They wrestled and struggled to understand what it was all about, and that's what the book is."

Now that he's scratched an itch that has bothered him for so long, Mann is adamant he's done writing.

But even with him turning 100 years old Aug. 17 and using a walker to get around, he admits that writing the book didn't take a whole lot of energy out of him.

"It wasn't difficult at all. I've always enjoyed writing," he said. "It's not work. It's a pleasure."

* Coastal People appears Mondays. Contact Martin Rand III at mrand@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 324 to suggest a person for a column.



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