Pastor Appreciation Month
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. The first pastor I remember was L.B. Reavis, from whom I received my middle name. He was followed by E. Hermond Westmoreland, under whose ministry I became a Christian. During my teen-age, pre-college years, my pastor was my own father, W. Edwin Crawford, under whose ministry and influence I surrendered to the ministry, and who gave me my first opportunity to preach (the carefully planned and practiced thirty-minute sermon lasted all of eight minutes). During my college years I was blessed by four pastors – H.H. Hargrove, Interim Pastor A. Donald Bell, George Slayton and J.T. Ayers. Then I myself became a pastor. During my years as a collegiate minister, I was pastored by Jack Chastain, George Slayton (again), Interim Pastor James Eaves, Lewis Lee, and Ralph Smith. While serving with the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) I was pastored by Truett Gannon. During my years on the Seminary faculty, I had two Pastors – James Carter and Al Meredith. In retirement years my pastor is Dale Braswell. The Apostle Paul wrote that God “gave some to be . . . pastors (Ephesians 4:11). I’m glad each of my pastors understood that call in their life and followed it faithfully. Each was recipient of spiritual gifts that God used to bless and mature me in the faith. Each had strengths that strengthened me. Each deserved more than one special month of appreciation. I will buy my pastor lunch this month and tell him how much I appreciate him, and how often I pray for him. How will you show your appreciation to your pastor this month?