This is the first church that I pastored. In 1985 I was asked to serve as the Interim Pastor of the Caribou Church of God in Caribou, Maine. There were seven people in the congregation--me, my wife, our infant son, and four other people. I received no pay, in fact, what little bit of tithes we could pay from my wife's Air Force Sergeant's pay was almost all that came in to cover the cost of electricity.
Twenty-three years later I'm pastoring a church that is averaging over 300 a month in attendance and in which the sanctuary of the Caribou church would fit in the foyer. I'm no better now than I was then and God is no better to me now than He was then. Still, I'm grateful to God for allowing me to grow and to for my ministry to grow as well.
I have much to be thankful for, including the fact that this week I passed my comprehensive exams in the Regent University Ph.D. program in Organizational Leadership. I was at Caribou when I earned my bachelor's degree, and at Conyers I've earned my D.Min. and am now a Ph.D. candidate.
The date on that photo is wrong, I didn't reset the clock on the camera. In fact, I took that picture this past Summer when my son (who is now 22) and I when back to Maine to visit the state of his birth. I thank God that I have children (Sons 22 and 12, and Daughter 19) who have never given me any real grief. No drinking problems, driving infractions, drugs, or rampant libido.
Then of course, I am thankful for a wife who has given her encouragement and support to my educational pursuits. She has often had more faith in me than I've had in myself.