At the time of Terry’s ordination May 19, 1991 at our home church, Yale Avenue Christian Church, Tulsa, OK, we had been serving Fellowship Christian Church, Broken Arrow, OK for almost 2 years as he finished Seminary. You probably notice that I use the first person plural to describe pastoral service and that is purposeful not because I have formal cleric training, but because from the first time we hosted a small group Bible Study in our home prior to Terry entering seminary to now, he and I have been partners in ministry.
Since Fellowship, we have served First Christian Church, Providence, KY, Pembroke Christian Church, Sinking Fork Christian Church as interim pastor, and First Christian Church, Greenville, KY. I thank God for each of these congregations. Sinking Fork was our shortest stay and Pembroke our longest, but at every temporary church home along the way, we have been blessed to work and play along side fine Christian people.
I learned that the pastor and his family are the only members of the congregation who cannot put down roots and that has helped me understand what God intended me to understand that all things on this earth are temporary. BUT being a part of these people, their joys, their sorrows, their lives blessed Terry and me in ways that cannot be committed to paper.
After we left Providence, as we were going to Pembroke, an older minister gave us this advice and it has stood through it all allowing us to minister, serve and then leave when it was time to go. He said, “Just go and love the people.” So we did and that blessed us and continues to bless us. Hopefully along the way we blessed others as well.
To all the congregations we’ve ever loved “Thank You”
To the God who called us to pastoral ministry, “What WERE YOU THINKING? No, I mean THANK YOU…it has been the grandest adventure of our lives.
To all called to pastoral ministry I leave these words which have guided Terry and I over the years:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21 NIV)