Former pastors in some churches can be a pain. Sometimes men retire but they just cannot let go and allow the church to move forward. Some men take another church or position and continue to cast a shadow with frequent visits , calls and connections to old friends and influential members. It can really be a problem for the church, new pastor and the Kingdom.
Almost twenty-five years ago Dr. Jerry Passmore resigned at Olive and moved to Jacksonville to lead the Evangelism Division of our state work. He had pastored Olive for seventeen years. After serving Florida until retirement, he moved back to Pensacola. We welcomed his family back to Olive. He has been a class act , helpful servant and constant encourager to the Olive family and me.
This morning I ran into him as he was at Olive for a workout. We paused to visit and he told me of those he had been to visit this Monday morning. He assists our team in many ways. Dr. Passmore is often called on to do a funeral. He will not say yes until he checks in with me. I did not ask him to do this, but he just knows the value of guarding unity in a church we both dearly love.
I was reminded today that I have been blessed to follow a man who wanted me to succeed. I followed a man whom I call my friend. Jerry Passmore has been and is first class.
And the fact he likes to talk Alabama football is icing on the cake!