From Pastor Jerry Gernander —
I vividly remember pretty much all of Faith’s Heritage, until I left in 1991 to study for the pastoral ministry. Many current members of the congregation lived through all of this too and are still there, steadfast as ever. I remember seeing Mr. and Mrs. Bull walk home from church at the Ridgeview Elementary location (they lived up the street from that school), pushing Curtis, their youngest, in the stroller; Curtis is the church president today, and I just saw his parents at the church on our family’s last vacation to San Antonio.
In 1987, I remember being at the university, sort of meandering down a road that might have led to secularism, and then hearing my dad on the phone tell me that Mr. Nobles had suddenly died. I started to cry. It was like I woke up. Though it took some time, and I don’t regret my years in the field of print journalism, I think this started me on a road that led to my life as a pastor in God’s church. The men of this church (along with Dad) showed me what it was to be a man, and the women of this church (along with Mom) helped nurture me. Every man pitched in, so did every woman, and so did the kids. Some of these women are still teaching Sunday School (no such thing as “I’ve done my time, let someone else do it”). Where church is truly a family, there’s no retiring. This way I grew up in our church, is why I believe that mentoring of the church’s youth takes place less at “youth group” than in the organic life of the church, on Sundays, on church work days, at church meals, etc.
Faith Lutheran Church helped make me who I am. At age 54, I still look up to these people, owe them a debt of gratitude, and love them as my betters. What we can take from this is to not underestimate the importance of daily faithfulness in your congregational life, nor to underestimate the impact you have on a younger Christian’s faith and life in Christ, and never to think it’s too small or insignificant of a church that you attend, Big things happen in God’s church, always; it’s by His doing, as the Spirit works in and through us. As Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed says, sometimes it looks like nothing is happening, sometimes it looks like it’s not succeeding at all. But the quiet, invisible working of God’s Spirit by means of His Word is truly powerful and truly glorious. All glory be to God alone. Thank God for the saints at Faith Lutheran Church.