My beloved childhood Pastor passed away this week. I capitalized the word Pastor very intentionally, as that is how he was known by so many. He was simply called “Pastor” by so many people because he did his job so very well. I have such vivid memories of walking down the long aisle of Bethany Place Baptist Church to join the church only to be lifted up high by Pastor because I was such a teeny little thing. And then there was the day that I rushed off of the school bus because I knew Pastor was coming over to my house to talk to me about becoming a Christian and baptistm. Even as a child, I could sense that this man was a man of God. He exuded compassion and, having served as a missionary to the Philippines himself, had a real heart for missions. Perhaps it is this passion of his and the impact it had on his church that influenced my own call to missions. All I know is that on November 12, 2009, Pastor Garvin Martin was at the throne of Jesus, basking in His glory and hearing the words “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I say all this not only because Pastor was such an amazing man of God but because I have been affected by his passing far more than I ever would have expected. The legacy he has left on so many people has left me wondering what kind of legacy I am leaving. When I am taken from this world one day, I don’t want to be known as a nice girl with good morals. No, I want my life to loudly and unmistakeably declare the glory of my God.
So, thank you Pastor for demonstrating to a freckle faced, pink Bible toting, little girl what it means to be a child of God. You will be missed dearly.