CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- To say the Rev. George Pauley is still going strong might be the understatement of the century -- a century almost filled with his interesting life -- all 97 years of it.
Now, Pauley's new autobiography tells almost a hundred years worth of his story: from a coal camp baby born in Vaughn, Nicholas County, in 1913 to the active life he still leads in Scott Depot, despite his struggles with hearing loss.
An evangelistic Baptist minister, Pauley figures his 70 years in the pulpit have seen him baptize more than 2,000 people, bury another 2,000 and bind some 1,800 to the bonds of holy matrimony.
Even aside from his new book, which he'll sign for the public at the Dunbar First Baptist Church from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Pauley has no plans to act his age any time soon.
Though now -- yet again -- officially retired, Pauley recently told his daughter, Diane Perkins of Chattanooga, Tenn., that if he had just a little more energy, he would like to take on pastoring another church.
Shaking her head as she recalled the conversation, Perkins said she asked him, "Dad, are you kidding me?" His response, with a vigorous hand gesture: "I miss the action."
Indeed, "action" is something Pauley has seen plenty of during his lifetime of service to his churches and their congregants.
He served as the pastor of the Judson Baptist Church in Belle for nearly 15 years and led the First Baptist Church in Dunbar for almost 27 years. After "retiring" at the age of 73, Pauley continued to serve as an interim pastor for 13 different churches at various times.
Currently, Pauley attends the New Hope Baptist Church in St. Albans where he serves as Sunday School superintendent and conducts an evening service on the fourth Sunday of each month.
His penned his autobiography, "The Life and Times of an Appalachian Baptist Minister," after the passing of his wife.
"After my mother died in the Spring of 2000, my father started talking more about his childhood and his time in the ministry," Perkins said.
Pauley's children then began urging their father to write his memoirs.
Pauley also credits a co-worker at Dunbar Baptist for encouraging him to write after he retired.
"They said I needed an outlet for the energy I always seemed to have," Pauley said.
And energy is not something Pauley lacks. He drives himself to church and to the local YMCA for exercise.
"During a good week, when he's feeling good, he'll go to the Y three times that week," Perkins said.