As I reflect on the upcoming weekend, it is hard to believe that it has been 42 years since I took my first staff position at the Flint Baptist Temple, where I grew up. I joined staff as the Assistant to the College and Career Director (yes it was unpaid). It was five years later on April 17, 1984 when I would be ordained by the Flint Baptist Temple.
On Tuesday April 17, 1984 Brother Robert Warren and I met with a group of eight pastors for what would be three hours of questions concerning our theological beliefs and explaining our call to ministry. Honestly, it was one of the most intense times of questioning I have ever encountered. However, I was blessed that my Senior Pastor, Dr. Don Lougheed was the moderator and helped keep it focused and fun. Then on Wednesday Night April 18, this group of men laid hands on us and prayed that God would use us mightily in ministry. Many of the men that sat on the ordination counsel have gone on to be with the Lord, while others I still have some contact with and am blessed to call them friends and mentors.
That service would turn out to be bittersweet, as it was the last service my grandmother (Flossie Argue) attended at the church she called home for over 50 years before she passed. This service also took place on mom and dad's 25th wedding anniversary. She often said it was the greatest anniversary gift I ever gave her.
It’s so amazing to see what God has allowed me to accomplish over the past 42 years. I have been given the honor to serve in a variety of ministry roles, including pastor, children’s pastor, youth pastor, bus director, assistant pastor, men's director at a rescue mission, program director of a local Teen Challenge, chaplain, and college instructor. Just two years after being ordained, God allowed my wife Lee to come along side of me and together we have walked out the challenge of serving Christ, and have shared the Gospel of Christ in whatever ministry opportunities made available to us.. I cannot wait to see what the next 37 years of ministry looks like (and yes, I will be 98 years young in 2058).