9. Andy Howard & Mike Eidson, Ministry Partners and Friends
As I approach the end of my top 10 most influential men list, I have no choice but to combine two men for one of the final two slots, because they have fulfilled similar roles.
I met Andy and Mike when I came to Midway Church, June 1996. I actually met Mike three months earlier because he was on the search committee who interviewed me for my new role as pastor. I have numerous men at Midway who have walked beside me in leadership, and have added value and depth to my life and journey thus far, and I’m thankful for all of them; but a defining difference is that Andy and Mike had been key leaders at Midway Church for many years BEFORE I came, and they continue to be.
It is often difficult to embrace a new leader, with new dreams, new strategy, new methodology, and a new personality. They have had the trust of the people of Midway for many years, and yet they have used that trust to help maintain peace and harmony as I have often introduced new initiatives that brought about great change and controversy. They have no doubt endured criticism and perhaps even lost friends because of their support of me, and the vision God had placed in my heart. They have disagreed with me and at times struggled to understand some of the directions I was leading, but we worked through it and continued to work together to build God’s church and kingdom.
This June 2014 we will have worked together through EVERY major decision for 18 years as they have served as officers and on my leadership team for the duration, and they have my highest respect and deepest love and appreciation. They are true friends and have helped me succeed in ministry, and helped Midway Church become an amazing hospital for sinners in West Georgia and beyond. They have carried out their roles with diligence and responsible stewardship. They have been behind the scenes, but Midway’s continued success and unity is undeniably linked to their faithfulness and selflessness in leadership. I’m thankful!
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