Forty one years ago, on February 28th, 1973, I was “Licensed to the Ministry,” at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA. Thirty years ago TODAY (it was on a Saturday, March 28th), I was ordained to the Christian Ministry at Texarkana Reformed Baptist Church. I have been a Presbyterian minister for twenty years (as of January 2014), and I will have been the pastor at Grace Covenant Presbyterian church in Nacogdoches, TX for 14 years as of this coming July. So, more than 2/3 of my life has been spent either in training for the ministry or actually serving in the ministry of Christ’s Church. It has turned out to be about 25% like I expected it would be ― the rest has been an adventure ― and like most adventures, there have been some moments of second-guessing, fear, regret, discouragement, and even misery. However, I must say that the joys and satisfaction have far exceeded those lesser moments and have filled me with gratitude for the blessings that have come my way. I have told many young ministers, as I have told myself, “The kingdom of God will be just fine if you never preach again.” I know that God doesn’t need me and that service in His church is a privilege. Again, I am grateful.
No pastor can possibly survive without a faithful and godly wife, and I have been blessed with one of the best. Marinell has been beside me and behind me every step of the way, and has been especially faithful on the dark days. Her love, support and steadfastness have sustained me through some shaky moments. She sometimes reminds me that she is not called to “the ministry,” but let me tell you, she has been an amazing minister to me, and that has enabled me to minister to the church. Thank you wifey!
I can’t begin to name all the names of the multitude of family, friends, church members, colleagues, and others who have enabled, assisted, encouraged, instructed, served, loved, rebuked, corrected, and put up with me for all these years. Thank you for your love. I must mention a few of my mentors as a tribute to their kindness to me: Dr. Scott Tatum, Evangelist R. F. Gates, Jr., Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen, and Pastor Douglas Wilson. Also, the friendship and counsel of three men have served me beyond calculation: Pastor Ben House, Pastor Jeff Niell, and my fellow elder, David Alders. These past 14 years at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nacogdoches, TX have been the happiest of my life. Thank you congregation for loving me; I love you too!