Monday, December 8, 2008

The Passing of the Torch...


November 30th brought the final days of 40 years of pastoring at Bethel Holiness Church for my in-laws, Rev. & Mrs. Robert Thompson. He had faithfully lead our congregation, had dedicated the major portion of his life to our fellow church goers, but it was time to move on to another chapter in his life.


Dad Thompson gave his last sermon about passing the torch on to someone younger than him, someone who was also a very Godly man. He had given the best years of his life and had made many forever friends. No doubt it was a hard day for him & the transition will be difficult. But the time had come for change. Mom Thompson's health now requires round the clock attention. Dad had stated from the pulpit that it was his responsibility to care for his loving wife, & to do that, he would not be able to devote his time to the church. Now his days & hours will be centered on Mom. It is difficult to see your parents age. Especially when you see someone who had been so vibrant & full of life. And then the ravages of Alzheimer's steals them away from you, where you can no longer carry on a conversation with them, and even have to struggle to understand when they are trying to tell you something.
No doubt Mom will still think it is her duty to stand at that back door & shake hands with her people as they pass by. I'm sure we will all understand if someday she slips back that way to greet us.



And then yesterday our new Pastor & his family came. And amazingly, his first sermon was titled "Passing the Torch". No doubt God has spoken to both men to let them know the right decisions have been made & all will be well with Bethel.
Our congregation welcomed the Rev. Nathan Shockley family with open arms! We already feel a love springing up in our hearts for them & are looking forward to many years with them leading & guiding us.
As I look back, Mom & Dad Thompson were just about this same age when they moved to Columbus. They had no way of knowing that their remaining years would be spent in this area, making it home for almost all of the Thompson family.
Who knows what the future holds for the Shockley family. Perhaps their years here will stretch out just as long & their family of 4 children will be extended to many more! You never know what 40 years will bring!
Welcome to Bethel, Pastor Shockley & your precious family. We already can feel that Kindred Spirit!

9 comments:

Dorcas said...

My Daddy suffered with Dementia the last few years of his life and it is so hard seeing your parents go down hill physically like that. It's pitiful!! Now my Mother~in~law is starting to show the same signs.
I hope everything goes good with your Church and the transition of changing Pastor's. I know sometimes that can be difficult but I trust God will see everyone through it!!

Karen Walden said...

I didn't think it would be an emotional day for us yesterday at Bethel, but it was! Guess I thought the emotional part would've been on Gpa's last Sunday. God helped Bro. Shockley, and his message yesterday morning was perfect for the congregation!

I think we're going to really like their family. I hope they stay for many years!!

Dj said...

OH my Word I would have never known Nathan. I hope to come and bring some friends to hear him preach.

Sheila said...

DJ...I can't believe how many people know Bro. Shockley! We would love to have you come!!! Next Sunday a.m. is our Jr. Church service but he will be speaking on the 21st.

Merry Christmas!

Angie Davis said...

I was so glad we got to be there for Bro. Thompson's last Sunday. He and Sis. T played such an awesome role in Gene's early years as a Christian and we'll always be grateful to them for that.

We're so anxious to meet the Shockleys and so excited about this new phase for Bethel too. I know the transition may not be easy, but God has great things in store for Bethel.

Praying for all of you...

Lady J said...

Loved this post! I too am excited about the future of Bethel and getting to know the Shockley's better. I thought it was awesome how God lead both men to speak on passing the torch.

Sherry said...

As I read the post I was both sad and happy! Sad because Bro. and Sis. T are such wonderful people but happy that you were able to get such a good replacement! Jonathon went to school for one year with Quint in Mich. He sure looks different! :) I hope you all have a smooth transition!

Sherry said...

Adam certainly looks like his father did many years ago!

Denise said...

I know this is a major transition for the church and very emotional for the family. It's hard to have a chapter end & begin a new one. I hope your new "first" family will be well-loved too!