Alumni Publishes First Book, Returns to Graduate School
North Greenville alumni Larry Mason recently published his first book, Casting Your Net: Eternal Things, and soon after decided to enroll in North Greenville’s graduate school. He says that the school has been a positive influence in his life, and ultimately, has enabled him to answer the call of ministry.
A native of South Carolina, Larry Mason attended Greer High School and graduated from North Greenville in 1976, when it was still a junior college, with an associate degree in general studies. He received his bachelor’s in psychology from Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.
After many years in technical sales, Mason acquired his residential license and started his own residential development company, Mason Built Homes. He returned to North Greenville in January 2011. Mason says he had “walked past the threshold [of the call to ministry] many times.” He finally answered the call to be a pastor and is currently earning a Master in Christian Ministry (MCM) degree from North Greenville’s graduate school. Mason says, “[North Greenville] is where I started with my education, and it’s where I’m ending with my education.”
Mason’s new book, Casting Your Net: Eternal Things, is a candid reflection on faith and the importance of seeking eternal things in life. The “net” of the title is an image for the effort people put in to “catching” what they value in life, whether love, success, money, power, possessions or respect. By interweaving personal experiences and scripture, Mason addresses “the issues of life, death and what constitutes the basis of individual faith.”
One biblical character featured in the book is Peter. As one of the disciples of Jesus, Peter was at times heroic and fervent, at times doubting and disloyal. Mason says, “I see in Peter our human fragility. There’s a little bit of Peter in all of us.” Though Peter failed in his commitment to Christ at times, he is still remembered as a passionate man of faith. The book poses the question, “How do I want to be remembered by those who knew me?” Mason believes that like Peter, Christians fail but want to be remembered for their faith.
After a strange dream he had in 2008, Mason decided to write the book, though he admits that he never considered himself to be a writer. Mason says that writing the book was not a “compulsion,” but a “beckoning.” The Men’s Fraternity Bible study series by Robert Lewis was another source of inspiration.
When Mason began seeking publication, he found he had three strikes against him: he was a first-time writer, he had no literary agent and he had no publisher. Mason kept faith, however, that he should publish the book. He eventually chose to self-publish instead through the agency Aardvark Global Publishing. A local Christian printing house, Faith Printing Company in Taylors, printed the book in 2010. After Mason had contacted several distributors, Barnes and Noble accepted the manuscript.
“The book is for everybody,” Mason says, “from those experiencing midlife crisis to people who are going through the loss of a job to people who have fractured faith in Christianity and people who want to be able to read something in a short sitting and laugh at themselves. The book addresses all those various characters.”
Casting Your Net: Eternal Things is now available for purchase at Barnesandnoble.com. For correspondence with the author, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Mason has also provided a chapter sample for our readers to download!