We moved back to Indiana in 1993. Huntington Indiana is located approximately twenty-three miles southwest of Fort Wayne, IN. This was a pastorate that was as fulfilling as any of my pastorates. Looking back on this historic church we possess nothing but fond memories. My great grandmother Latimer was converted in Paulding Ohio in 1918-1919. The Rev. R.L. and Pearl Rich were the founding pastors in Paulding, they moved from there to Huntington Indiana where they served for 19 years. It has always been fascinating that the couple that was instrumental in my great grandmothers conversion would help start the Huntington Indiana church and many years later I would become pastor. We all follow someone, and we owe a lot to the pioneers. First Nazarene was the largest Protestant church in Huntington County. While pastoring there the mayor was a member of our church. Many staff members from Huntington University were a part of this congregation as well. Huntington First was as musical as any church we served. So many excellent soloists and musicians and the band that had been a part of the church for so many years. It was in Huntington that I was involved with the ministerial association, LOVE,inc. and the Huntington House shelter. Huntington was a marvelous place to live. One of the claims to fame for this town is that it is the hometown of former Vice President Dan Quayle.
At the Huntington church, I was aware the impact of lay leaders upon the ministry effectiveness of a congregation. Some of the finest lay leaders I have known were in this church. Huntington Indiana is a small town. We thoroughly enjoyed our ministry here. I did learn some important ministry lessons while living in Huntington Indiana:
- A strong history is a good thing
- Family is important. We had two families that had five generations in the congregation!
- Music is an important part of worship.
- We are indebted to the people who made many sacrifices and paved the way for the things we enjoy today.
- God does great things in small places
- The people in our churches impact our lives by their love and generosity.
- Many times we receive much more from our congregations than we realize at the time.
We are glad for our time in Huntington, you remain one of my favorite places of all time. You were used mighty by the Lord as you allowed Him to use your talent and gifts. Our lives are better for having been your pastor.