Today's Highlighted Story

Munster, my dog who played Toto in the Wizard of Oz

Munster, my dog who played Toto in the Wizard of Oz

How Toto Brought Me Back to the Church
By Gregory Mills

In my 20's, like many young people, I found sleeping in more appealing than waking up to go to church each Sunday morning. As a preachers kid, I had always grown up in the church. When I moved to Florida to start my career, I started going to a large church and ran the sound each week for the traditional services but after a while I slowly drifted away.

On day I decided to buy a dog. I asked God to give me the perfect dog for me and little did I know, He would. I went to the SPCA and found a little dog whose hair was 3" long and the rear half was shaved to 1/2" because the previous owner had not kept him brushed and groomed; so, he was full of knots. He looked like a little monster so I named him Munster. He did not bark and was already house broken. He was the perfect dog. 

Meanwhile, the actress Lindsey Alley from Disney's the New Mickey Mouse Club was playing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at Theatre Winter Haven in Florida and while home from college had a summer job at the Polk Museum of Art when I work at. They needed a dog to play Toto and everyone said to her she needed to meet Munster. They were a perfect match and over the summer, Lindsey's family practically adopted me. At then end of the summer, on her last Sunday before returning to college, Lindsey wanted me to come to church with her- the very church that I was no longer going to. Instead of the traditional service, her family was involved in the contemporary service where Lindsey was one of the lead singers. I had never been to a contemporary service and did not think it would be for me since it was not what I grew up with.

God has a way of putting us where we need to be when we need to be there. The contemporary service had one problem. They did not have anyone to run the sound. One of the pastors saw me sitting with the Alley family and walked down during the 2nd song and said to me, go run the sound. That was 19 years ago and I have been in the sound booth ever since. I am also a photographer and a sculptor and so the church has used my artistic skill to make the altar, the cross and for several other piece around the building. I have been able to find my calling, and use my talents for Gods purpose and it was all because I asked God to let me find the perfect dog for me.  {Editor's note: God put Gregory in the perfect church for him at the perfect time. For 21 years it has been a blessing to him and his family and he to his church. Gregory's dad}


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