It’s Pastor Appreciation Month. If Hallmark created some of the other holidays, perhaps LifeWay created this one! However, 1 Timothy 5:17 does instruct us to “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all the pastors who I have sat under in my life as a church member. Since I have served as a pastor for the last 17+ years, I have only had four such pastors during my lifetime.
I am grateful for each of them and the particular ways that God used them in my life to shape me.
- Garry Weaver: This was my first pastor and the one who has had the most impact on me personally. He modeled selfless, sacrificial to his flocks and exemplified personal holiness and a committed prayer life.
- Hubert Troutman: Pastor Troutman (passed away a little over a year ago) was a lifelong family friend. He modeled kindness to all and love for the Lord and His people. He and his wife, Betty, had the spiritual gift of hospitality.
- Ray Bearden: Pastor Bearden modeled expository preaching through books of the Bible. His faithfulness to preach the Bible was a great example to me. He also provided an excellent model of professionalism and leadership over various ministries. He also provided excellent counsel and mentorship as I began my preaching ministry under his care (22 years ago this December!).
- David Gamble: Pastor Gamble became a very close friend as I served with him as an associate minister at Grace Baptist Church in Newport, Tn. David and his wife, Renee, modeled professionalism, kindness, thoughtfulness, and classiness. I learned so much from watching them interact with people with kindness and concern. Their thoughtfulness and thankfulness have made me better at those graces than I otherwise would have been.
There are many others who I have known as friends or from whom I have learned from afar. I’m thankful to God for each of these men and the impact they have had and continue to have in my life.
Conrad Mbewe has been called the “Spurgeon of Africa.” Mbewe is the pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. His preaching is powerful, emotional and convicting. I highly recommend his sermons. I listened to his message “The Grace of God” twice today. It was preached on the occasion of the sending out of two men from their church as missionaries. He reminds them of both the grace of God and the necessity of hard work from the example of the apostle Paul. Thankfully, there are a number of Mbewe’s messages available online for download. Below are the ones I have been able to find. If you know of more, please let me know.
For those interested, Colin Adams has recently interviewed Conrad Mbewe on his blog: Unashamed Workman. Timmy Brister live-blogged a recent sermon at the True Church Conference (pictured above) and provides several links to articles about and sermons by Bro. Mbewe.
Kabwata Baptist Church
Grace Covenant Baptist Church
South Woods Baptist Church
Previous Preacher Spotlights:
From time to time on this blog I would like to highlight the preaching ministries of certain men whose sermons have been a blessing to me. One such man is Don Whitney
. I have been blessed by Bro. Whitney’s ministry in a variety of ways over the past several years. He has a website
that is chocked full of resources for a pastor. His books on the spiritual disciplines
have had a positive impact on my life and ministry. I’ve also had the privilege of being blessed by his ministry in a personal way when he came and led a “Spiritual Disciplines” Conference
at our church a few years ago. I have always found Don Whitney to be a gracious and godly man. Most recently I have been blessed by Don’s pulpit ministry through a few mp3s
of his sermons. His website contains a number of these sermons
in both RealAudio and MP3 format. Below are a few of the sermons which I have heard recently. I was greatly blessed by them and I’m sure that if you take the time to listen you will be too!
Previous Preacher Spotlights:
I have been recently helped and challenged by sermons by Dr. Russell Moore (Dean of School of Theology, SBTS and executive director of The Henry Institute). I’ve decided to highlight some of the online audio sermons which have proved helpful to me by providing links to the audio. I hope these sermons will be a blessing to you as well!
- “The Voice that Stills the Sun: Christ, the Church, and the Way Things Are” Joshua 10:1-16 (RealMedia)
- “But Are They Brothers? The Spirit of Adoption and the Unity of the Church” Romans 8:14-23 (RealMedia)
- “The Kingdom of God in the Wal-Mart Break Room: Poverty, Partiality, and the Perils of a Gentrified Christianity” James 2:1-9 (MP3)
- “Why Jesus is More-and-Less Violent than Allah, Planned Parenthood, and Me: Mercy, Ministry, and the Kingdom of Christ” Matthew 26:40-56 (MP3)
- “Beyond a Veggie Tales Gospel: The Bones of Joseph, the Kingdom of Christ, and the Story We Tell” Genesis 50:15-26; Hebrews 11:22 (MP3)
- “Confessions of a Fundamissional Dean” (MP3)