By Vicki Scott
Pastor Appreciation Day was held last Sunday, Oct. 13, at Lake Martin Baptist, the church that my mom attends. The church members presented their pastor with an envelope. Baptist pastors I have known will not grow rich in a worldly fashion, and whatever amount of money contained in that envelope is not even close to their worth. The pastors preach at funerals, perform weddings and counsel many broken people without any form of payment. When the church membership numbers are down, the pastor is to blame. His home is open 24 hours a day and he or she is on constant watch. Pastors are put on a pedestal and expected to lead perfect lives. Despite all the demands and expectations put on our pastors, they surrender to their call. I praise God that the ones in my life did so.
My daughter Eva was the reason I wanted to go to church. I wanted to do what I felt was best for her and my son. My husband Alan was always a Christian but never forced me to go to church. God used him in my salvation and continues to use him to keep me on track. I took Eva to vacation bible school. Joseph had colic so I kept him and we went shopping while VBS was in session. Dan Davis was the pastor of the church, started visiting us after vacation bible school was over. I was 27 years old and had a bitter taste in my heart about church after growing up in a church that later was considered a cult. We worshipped God in that church, but it was very different, and I had not had anything to do with church from age 11 to age 27. Pastor Dan was very patient with me, and I ended up going to Sunday School to hear him teach about the Bible. I thrived on Sunday School and ended up teaching that class until we moved up here to Glencoe. I will be forever grateful to Dan Davis and his wife Polly.
Several pastors came and went after Dan Davis left First Baptist of Reeltown, and each one left something in my memory and my heart. Pastor Billy Allen made me walk for graduation after I earned my master’s degree at Auburn University-Montgomery. He called me “brilliant”, but I had him fooled. Billy said that his wife Margaret would cry every time they moved to another church. She was precious and he was truly a man of God. I miss Billy and his Godly wife.
Several other pastors played a part in my life. I know God used them because He knew what I needed.
I praise God that I am not a pastor’s wife or a pastor. Pastors move all the time. It must be a calling. My heart hurt tremendously when Alan and I moved to Glencoe. Alan called our new pastor at Cove Creek Baptist, David Bankson. Pastor David visited the George Wallace Senior Center the day after his official first day at church. Our seniors like him and that is a good sign.
Lake Martin Baptist Church pastor Roger Kendrick was very appreciative for his envelope. It was not enough. We would never be able to repay our pastors who have surrendered to God’s calling in their lives. I am a life that was changed, and I praise God for our pastors both past and present. They have a heavy burden to carry and we are praying for them.