Pastor Interrupted, Told to Sit and Listen

Post a Comment » Written on March 14th, 2007     
Filed under: News
HILMAR, CA (March 14, 2007) – Hilmar Covenant Church Pastor Bruce Metcalf began the March 4 Sunday morning service with the usual welcome, but then a former church chairperson suddenly stepped to the front and seized control of the service.

What Metcalf heard and saw left him speechless. “I didn’t know what to think,” he recalls.

Past Chairperson Art DeRooy explained to the pastor that the church was throwing him a surprise party in honor of his 25 years of ministry to the congregation. At the same time, from the back of the sanctuary, came members of Metcalf’s family, including his father and mother, brother and sister-in-law, children and grandchildren. Pacific Southwest Conference Supt. Evelyn M.R. Johnson also attended.

Metcalf was told to put his sermon away and was invited to sit and enjoy the service. He listened to words of commendation from Johnson, members of the congregation, and the staff. Associate Pastor Bret Widman offered a meditation that reflected on Metcalf’s work. A video of pictures showing Metcalf’s work in the church and community also was shown. The church continued the celebration with a surprise luncheon.

“It was pretty exciting,” says Metcalf of the morning. The pastor began serving Hilmar on his 24th birthday – March 1, 1982. “When Art came forward and started talking, I thought maybe they were going to sing Happy Birthday.”

Laurie DeRooy has been Metcalf’s secretary for 21 years and declares, “They don’t come any better than him.”

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