Twenty years ago tomorrow, June 16, 1996 I came to be the pastor of what was then Southside Baptist Church, now CrossPoinTempe Church. While I do not usually use this space to call attention to personal things (other than to provide a laugh now and then) the anniversary is, I believe, significant and warrants a little trip down memory lane.
When we came from Tucson our boys were both in college, we had no daughter-in-laws, and no grandchildren. Now we have two beautiful daughter-in-laws and seven super grandchildren (I can show you the pictures!), three here in Arizona and four in Tennessee. We are blessed! Brenda and I will celebrate 47 years of marriage in September so some significant years have been spent with the CPTC family.
Leaving a pastorate of ten years in Tucson and coming to SSBC was a God-thing and thinking that I would be anywhere for twenty years was a wishful prayer not expected in ministry in these days. Thank you SSBC/CPTC for allowing us to be your “pastor and wife” for over one-half of our ministry life!
The years are filled with memories and while I can mention (or recall) some, space does not allow very many. We just completed our 21st VBS! The first week I came in 1996, we had VBS and I ended up in ER with a kidney stone; not exactly the way one wants to start their ministry! Every year has been “an experience” and this year, was in many ways, the best ever (but of course, I “remember” it best; all were special).
We have had occasion to laugh with you; cry with you; be there for the births of, and in many cases, the spiritual births of your children (and now some of them are serving as leaders in the CPTC ministry, what a joy that is!); unite some in marriage, always an experience; and yes, be there in the loss of lots of our members through the years, many who were your precious family members…a host of sweet memories both in life and in death.
There have been challenges. The face of ministry in our community has changed significantly as the community itself has changed. Our church family has changed, but with each new face/family comes a new spirit of ministry that God has a definite part in. My hair style has not changed, though there may be less of it and what there is left is much “grayer”.
One thing that has not changed…God! And His people, known for the last eleven years as CrossPoinTempe; they have only grown sweeter, stronger, and more encouraging. This page cannot do justice to ALL the memories, but in the time it’s taken to choose a few, I have re-lived many more. Fond memories, fun memories, treasured memories!
Thank you, CPTC family, for the memories; Thank you, Lord, for each and every “memory maker”.