The call came unexpectedly. The voice on the other end of the telephone informed me that I had been elected pastor of Hopewell Church in my hometown.
I had just finished seminary in Boston and I had been offered three full-time positions on staffs of large churches in the area. If I accepted one of those positions I would get lots of experience in full-time ministry. These were highly sought after positions. My classmates were envious of the choices I had. Some of them only had one offer. Still others had none. However, most of my classmates didn’t want to pursue full-time ministry. They had other callings on their lives: teaching, consulting, writing, etc. Since many of my classmates were older with families and had other jobs before attending seminary, several returned to previous employers, not wanting to start over in full-time ministry.
So while I was trying to decide which high-profile staff position to take, I got offered the highest position of all: my own church. Once the call came there was no more debating what I should do. I was definitely going home!
It never occurred to me that I would be the first female pastor in town. I was just excited about getting the opportunity to implement some of the things I had learned in seminary.
Of course I knew there would be a learning period of settling in and getting my bearings. But I figured it would be short because I had the best teacher of all, my dad. While I was growing up he had been pastor of Greenwood Church in my hometown. He held that position for 20 years, until he died. From following him around I knew there would be ups and downs.
But none of that crossed my mind that day. Only joy flowed through me. I felt on top of the world.
The daunting responsibility and the enormous weight that would be on my shoulders only received a fleeting thought. I put all of that on the back burner.
I was going home! This had been my dream since I was a little girl. To be just like my daddy and follow in his footsteps with a church of my own.
That day I learned that dreams really do come true!
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