On October 28th, Pastor Blaine celebrated thirty-six years of pastoral ministry, when he stood for the first time at Mills Baptist Church, Mills, Wyoming.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is giving thanks and remembering the labor of love, and praying for those small groups of early Christians who sought to live and serve in light of the Gospel truths.
So it’s in Thanksgiving that I recall those churches that I have been privileged to serve.
From that first church we moved to Timber Lake, South Dakota; my first rural farming congregation where I learned dinner was not at 6:00 p.m. but 12:00 noon and that north, south, east and west were the directions to visiting someone and not right or left. It took awhile! Daughter Larissa was born during this tenure.
Next was Buena Baptist Church in Buena, Washington, the heart of apple and Bing cherry orchards.
Following there we located at Immanuel Baptist Church in downtown Phoenix, AZ. Living in Tempe, AZ. The memories here for at least our middle child Aaron, was living in five different locations and his attending three different schools in three years.
Our next journey was to Simla Baptist Church in Simla, Colorado. This is where Daniel was introduced and met his very best friend Jarrod Ackley. This friendship continues to this day and Daniel travels to visit him and his family now living in Florida.
Moving then to Viborg Baptist Church, Viborg, South Dakota. This was my first and only two church ministries pastoring both Turkey Valley Baptist Church and Viborg.
On to Hamburg, Iowa for 15 years of serving the Lord, during the best of times and through some darker moments. Realizing that " All things work together for good."
Then Albion, NE in Boone County where the Lord challenged both the congregation and me to ministering to others and to look outside the “Box.” The Lord used all of us to accomplish many ministries involving local outreach missions. Here the Wednesday night meals both in and out of the church began the catalyst for serving the community.
Finally Percival Community Church for four years and God has re-united me with special friends. The work here continues to grow and confound. Not even a flood can thwart the work for which all of us are called. The one thing I know is this will be the final act, whenever God dictates. You can feel the love of God here and the desire to serve Him even in the smallest of things.
So I thank God for all these congregations, even thought some have closed their doors. But I’ll be forever grateful to the Percival Community Church which has made the last better than the first.
Let us continue to serve the Lord in both word and deed.