10. Lorene Parmer, A Constant Encourager
She was born January 4, 1919. I met her on June 2, 1996 when I became the pastor of Midway Church. She was age 77. I was 31. She raised a large family. She lived a simple farm life. She never drove a car. Mrs. Parmer was a constant encourager to me until her death on April 19, 2013, at the age of 94. She was a faithful member of Midway Church for 62 years. She smiled. She laughed. She loved. She served. Just days before her death, she gave Lisa and me one of her prized, handmade quilts; however, her greatest gifts to me were her phone calls. If I didn’t answer, she left me encouraging messages. They were abundant and often during some of my most difficult leadership days at Midway. There was no doubt that she did not understand, nor like, many of the changes I was making to try to reach a younger generation, but she encouraged me anyway. I can still hear her say, “I appreciate you and all of your hard work, your fine preaching, and leadership to help our church reach people for Jesus.” She always ended her calls by saying, “Talk later!” Then she hung up the phone, whether I was finished or not. I miss her presence at church. I miss her hats. I miss her voice. I miss her almost-weekly phone calls. She reached my heart. She was a powerful influence in my life.
She inspired me to be a better encourager and a better pastor!
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