Good Morning Journal Subscribers;
It’s a glorious summer day in Michigan today. It is my study day (Friday). I love my study day. I look forward to it all week, crunching my administrative, counseling, discipling, evangelism, hospital calls, pastoral duties and meetings into the other days of the week. I started before light and took a break to ride my new gravel bike a little over 13 miles. It was about 58 degrees at the beginning of my ride out by Lime Lake. The sky was blue as October. It felt like fall. People walked along the trail wearing flannel or sweats. Yesterday I biked from Jackson to Concord for breakfast with a friend (Joe Sexton). After our breakfast we rolled back to town. It was good fellowship, good exercise, and a good eating at Mel’s Place on Main.
46 Years A Pastor
It’s Thursday morning as I write this. It was a Wednesday evening when I was officially called to pastor my first church and I was seventeen. I had been preaching since I was fourteen and I grew up with a preacher dad, so I had some preparation for ministry, mostly long conversations with Dad, faithful teaching from mom, and lots of practice in doing or watching all the things you do when you are a pastor and this since my earliest memory.
During my junior year in high school I was invited to sing at a little country church near the Ohio-Indiana border. After my singing one of the leaders of the church asked if I would be willing to return the next week and sing again and also preach. I returned the next week. That week Don, the senior leader of the church, asked if I would be willing to be their pastor. Within a week or so I was driving up on Sunday morning teaching Sunday School and preaching. In the afternoon I would eat with one of the good farm families of the church. In the evening I would preach again. On Wednesday night I drove up and conducted Prayer Meeting. On some Thursday nights or Tuesday nights I would drive upon and go calling around the church meeting people and trying to lead people to Christ and invite them to the church.
They licenced me to the gospel ministry in April of 1977. I actually attempted to preach through Revelation on Wednesday nights that year. Some of my high school classmates made the drive up to hear the “Teen Preacher.” A couple girls professed faith in Christ on morning. In the spring word of the teen preacher got out and Rev. Franklin Cody, who pastored the large Methodist Church in Greenville, invited me to preach for a huge Boy Scout Jamboree in the city park. Over twenty young men responded to the invitation for salvation. Only the Lord knows the fruit of that.
It’s been 46 years since then and God has given me the desire of my heart for all these years pastoring churches in Ohio, Michigan, and even Illinois for a bit. I have no other plan. I have no higher goal. I have no greater joy, beyond my fellowship with Jesus and my precious family. My interest and passion have never waned.
August 12, 2022