My first week as pastor of the Lincoln City Church of the Nazarene, George and Myrna took me out to lunch and George said, “Pastor, I’m your new best friend. Whatever you need, call me and I’ll be there.” George was a former fire chief, now retired, and volunteered at the church every day. True to his fireman’s word, he’s always been there 30 seconds to 3 minutes later. Every time I call, for the last 8 years, George has been there.
He has mowed the church lawn for over 20 years. He has painted every room in the church many times over. He trims the hedges, takes out the trash, cleans the carpets often spending hours on his hands and knees getting the major spots out before using the machine, vacuums, replaces carpet, does the announcements, leads adult Sunday School, cleans the bathrooms, daily disinfects the preschool room, hangs curtains, pictures, you name it, George does it.
Before I moved to Lincoln City to begin my pastorate, George talked to a couple of pastors from the all-male ministerial association and asked, “Would my (female) pastor be welcomed in your association?” The answer, a resounding ‘yes.’ One day, after I had known George a couple weeks, he stopped the lawn mower and said, “Pastor, I used to be a male chauvinist. I never thought women should serve on the police force or as fire fighters, but I was wrong. Women make some of the best police officers, because they can calm tense situations down.”
While I’m younger than his youngest son, my brother who stayed with George for a couple nights said, “Sis, you and George are a lot a like. You both eat granola every morning. You both get excited about the Lord. You both like watching Hallmark movies.” It’s true. George will call and invite me over to watch the latest Hallmark. His wife, Myrna enjoys them too, and we have a delightful hour, predicting the plot with accuracy.
He’s been known to drive in his red sports car to my house dressed as Santa bringing joy to our family; all the kids with their noses pressed to the window. Yes, every pastor needs a George. I’m so thankful for my friend, George.