Our little church has known sorrows during the past several years. Our gracious God has called home Pastor Don Sharp, Paul Finke and now Pastor Dale Mester. But the Lord is faithful to remind us that He still has purpose and a calling for us. A week before my Dad passed away, I sat with him in his hospital room. We were chatting about the church and about what God was doing in us. Out of nowhere, Dad asked me if I thought Jim Buchanan would ever consider taking the mantle of Pastor at the Church of God at Baden. I dismissed Dad’s question and told him to stop feeling insecure. But Dad pressed on, insisting that with his age and health issues, it would soon be time for someone else to take up the mantle. He believed Jim was the right person. I tucked the thoughts away.
One short week later, my Dad was on a ventilator with no brain activity. Jim and Mary Buchanan came to the hospital and began to minister. They held my mother as she wept and wept. They anointed people with oil and prayed with anyone who needed it. Truly in our darkest hour the Buchanan’s came and stood in the gap along side us as our greatest fears were realized.
During the last hour of that day, my Dad’s body surrendered his spirit to his Holy Father. He is, at last, present with Christ. When we finally left the hospital, it was the early morning hours and I called Jim. We spoke for a while and he brought comfort and perspective to me. I would need to revisit those words and that spirit every day and probably for the foreseeable future.
During the four plus weeks Dad was in the hospital, Jim had been preaching at the church. It was a great comfort to Dad that the pulpit was covered. He felt so bad because he felt that he was letting us all down. But knowing that God had raised up someone to stand in the gap for him gave him peace.
In a later discussion with Jim, he told me that God revealed to him that he was called to be Pastor of our church. I was reminded again of Dad’s question to me. Jim met with the Deacons and told us of his calling. The following Sunday, he told the church of his calling and asked them to pray about it and come to him with any questions. Many did.
In a teary-eyed Wednesday night meeting on July 20th, the Church of God at Baden elected Jim Buchanan to be their Pastor. This little church who had known sorrow the past several years began a new journey. God has shown us once again that He still has purpose for us. It is a new season and we are blessed that Jehovah Jirah provides for us. The Lord has already been speaking to Jim about the roads He wants us to travel. It is a great comfort to me that the Holy Spirit is still in our midst and preparing our hearts for some great things.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know the hearts of Jim and Mary Buchanan, I encourage you to visit our church and see where the Holy Spirit would lead you.
Peace and Love,