I’m going to do my very best to dedicate this post to our incredible Pastor Charley. I don’t know that I could ever adequately put into words everything that this man means to myself and so many, but I’m going to do my best, in honor of his life and testimony at Eastport Bible Church.
We first met Pastor Charley just over eleven years ago, when Jeremy took a pastoral internship out in Eastport, New York as part of his college degree. He was so kind and welcoming, right from the start. We took our first youth group trip with him and a group of students to DCLA, where we learned all about his enthusiasm, his incredible city driving and his ability to find wheelchairs in dumpsters when needed.
Since that first meeting, I’ve learned many things about Pastor Charley. First, he has always been the perfect example of a God-loving man, who’s never been afraid to love people and speak truth and make crazy ideas realities.
I’ve learned that he has an amazing wife that stands firm, besides him. She keeps him grounded and their marriage is a beautiful balance. She is his calm, and he is her crazy and it’s been a delightful thing to watch them work together throughout all these years.
I’ve learned that Pastor Charley loves his family, fiercely.
And one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, and that so many others have learned, is that Pastor Charley has so much love for everyone. He’s the kind of pastor that is always there. He’s there in the good times and he’s been there in the tough times. Personally, he was there for both of our children’s births and for our family in so many ways. He touches lives and he loves and it’s a legacy that will continue to live on.
I’ve learned that Pastor Charley, like everyone, has gone through the tough times too. Sometimes, we tend to think that pastors are perfect, but in reality, they are people too. They have struggles and need support and comfort and love too.
Most of all, though, I’ve learned that Pastor Charley is one of those people that you will never forget. I’m so thankful for him and for the years that we’ve known him. I’m so thankful that he’s been such a wonderful pastor and friend, to Jeremy. He’s helped to teach and shape my husband in ministry and he’s set an incredible example of what a loving pastor can do. He’s loved our family and our church and I know that even though he will be retiring and moving from Eastport, we’ve all been touched by his life.
I write all this because this past weekend, was Pastor Charley’s last weekend at Eastport Bible Church. And so we celebrated.
After flying in Friday night, we gathered together on Saturday with so many of our amazing church friends and family.
I absolutely love our church.
And this sweet twin baby, of course.
We got to see so many incredible people, who came by to honor Pastor Charley and his ministry.
Towards the end of the day, we gathered together, to share words and memories of our dear Pastor.
It was amazing, to hear of all of the lives that Pastor Charley has touched.
This picture was extra special, because it’s a generational picture, of the influence of pastors to pastors. Uncle John was a mentoring pastor to Pastor Charley, and Pastor Charley has been a wonderful mentoring pastor to Jeremy.
After wrapping up an incredible day of partying, we woke up this morning to celebrate Pastor Charley’s last Sunday at Eastport. It was an incredibly moving service. So many people were there to honor and support our pastor. Frosty Hansen and his beautiful wife flew out to share words of encouragement and to present Pastor Charley a plaque, for his many, many years of service, all over the world.
This was my favorite part of the service. Pastor Charley called up the kids for Children’s Church, and then invited all of the kids that have participated in it while he’s been the pastor. It was pretty cool to see all of the kids, old and young that were represented.
As Pastor Charley was preaching, I kept thinking that it was hard to imagine that this would be the last time we saw him preaching from the pulpit as our Senior Pastor.
After the service, the Elders gathered together for this picture…
And this one.
We all know that we will greatly miss our amazing Pastor Charley and probably most of all, these men that have worked so closely with him over the past years.
Pastor Charley and Jan, we wish you all the best as you head into retirement and a new phase of life. We know that God is leading you to continue to minister in great ways and we will dearly miss you both.
Please know that we love you and will look forward to seeing you when you visit. You’ve touched our hearts and our lives and we love you so much!