I am so glad to be a Baptist minister, or for that matter an evangelical. I cannot imagine ministry as a single man. When God gave me Shannon, he gave me the perfect mate for life and for ministry. For some reason that I cannot quite understand, people tend to be intimidated by me. I do not intimidate Shannon at all. She lovingly corrects my attitude when it is wrong. She also gently questions the direction of a particular message. She always wants to know what the practical application of any sermon might be. What should one do in response to that message?
I have many quirks that most people aren’t aware of and can occasionally be hard to put up with. She has steadfastly loved me for forty years, warts and all. I love her and cannot imagine life without her. She is the most amazing mother and grandmother. You ought to see the sheer joy of our grandchildren when they see her. My memories of our children were filled with that same special love for their mom.
I bring this up because it was in Richland Springs that God gave us our daughters, Brooke and Paige. Brooke was born in 1975 and Paige in 1977. Our children never complained about the work of the Lord. They loved to go to church and they grew up participating in ministry. It is not easy to be a pastor’s daughter or son. You are constantly watched and evaluated on the basis of your father’s work. Some people actually want to get you into trouble. I suppose it makes them feel that they do not have to listen to God’s message if they can bring down the messenger. Brooke and Paige are remembered in each of the four communities where we served during their growing up years. They are remembered as sweet and joyful preschoolers, as little girls with character and charisma, and as teenagers and young women with a great heart for God. Both girls are very experienced in missions and ministry according to their gifting. Brooke is known at her workplace as a woman of Christian faith and character. Paige is a pastor’s wife serving alongside her husband at First Baptist Church in College Station. I hear from members of her church about her growing reputation as a young woman of wisdom and faith. Their journey of ministry started at their birth while we served in Richland Springs. I do not intend to boast. I simply want to praise God for the wonderful companions he has provided on the amazing journey.