Pastor preaches about near-death experience
    March 24 2010 by Sarah Grano, Special to the Recorder

    An avid hunter, 76-year-old Norman Lutz was sitting in a deer stand in the Virginia Mountains when he had a stroke that left half of his body paralyzed.

    The minister of Antioch Baptist Church in Lincolnton spent seven hours in that stand doing what came naturally to him.

    “I prayed,” Lutz said. “I prayed for my family, my children. I prayed for everyone I knew to pray for.”

    Lutz also quoted scripture to himself and sang hymns. During those seven hours, he knew he had had a stroke and he knew he might die, but Lutz said he wasn’t scared.

    Lincoln Times-News photos by Seth Mabry

    Antioch Baptist Church Pastor Norman Lutz reads a will he wrote on the back of an Abernethy Laurels memo while in the rehab center after suffering a stroke in November. After having a massive stroke while hunting, Lutz was left with bleeding in the brain and a blood clot in his lung. Doctors say his survival is “a miracle.”

    The stroke came soon after climbing a 25-foot deer stand for the day.

    “I said ‘Whoa I feel funny.’ I didn’t feel faint. I just felt weak, no pain,” Lutz said.

    He felt no pain during the following seven hours. Although half his body was paralyzed, he managed to hold on and not fall out. Eventually, his hunting partner came back to the stand and ran to get help. It took six men from the Baywood Rescue Squad two hours to get Lutz out because of his position in the tree. Lutz was suffering from bleeding in the brain and a blood clot in his lungs. His wife, Betty, said they couldn’t treat one because of the other.

    He was treated in Virginia and then sent down to Winston-Salem. Doctors did not think he was going to live. Four hospitals and one rehab center later, Lutz returned to his church on Jan. 17.

    “Doctors said it was a miracle,” Lutz said. He sat in the front pew instead of the platform, and when it was time to preach, he spoke from his wheelchair.

    “I just wheeled myself up to the communion table. I turned around,” he said. “They wanted to hear the story about the tree and how God intervened.”

    Lutz is now back to preaching full-time. He is regaining mobility on his right side, although the process is a long one. He says the stroke has affected his preaching style, but no one seems to mind.

    “I’m possibly not as lively as I used to be,” said Lutz, who has no plans to retire. “I just preach and the people listen a little better for some reason.”

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — Grano is a Lincoln Times-News reporter. Click here for original article.)
    3/24/2010 6:15:00 AM by Sarah Grano, Special to the Recorder | with 0 comments

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