Pastor Quann’s April Tribune Article
The Blessing of Pastoring God’s People
On Sunday, April 25th, I will be observing my 35th pastoral anniversary at the Bethlehem Baptist Church. I remember very vividly the wise words of my pastor, Rev. Dr. Albert Franklin Campbell, Pastor Emeritus of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, who preached my ordination service. In his powerful sermon, he indicated that this was a marriage “between pastor and people.” Like all marriages, there are ups and down. Those words have rung out with truth, these 35 years: we have had our joys as well as ours sorrows. But our good days have outweighed our bad days and I have been immensely blessed. I have come to love the people of God in ways that I cannot even put into words. The relationships, the friendships have been such a wonderful blessing.
I am well aware of the awesome responsibility that pastors have in shepherding God’s people. Statistics have indicated that pastors are drawn to divorce, alcoholism, and even suicide. I thank God that none of those have occurred in my life. I still have the passion that I had when I stood in that pulpit that day and made a vow to the Lord that I would offer Him my best, in loving God’s people. So many changes have taken place, over the years: women in ministry, moving to a new location, outreach ministries, and none of these without challenges. Still, God has brought us through and we are stronger now than we have ever been.
I owe so much to God and to God’s people. I have been blessed with wonderful colleagues who have been supportive in prayer and encouragement. My pastor has never waned in his devotion for myself and this congregation. Recently, for the first time in the history of our church, we have called an Assistant Pastor, Rev. Sean Tripline, who serves with me, side-by-side. My wife, Tanya, known as Lady Quann, has been my partner in ministry and in life. We have watched my sons and daughters grow up in this church, along with our grandchildren, and this place known as the “House of Bread” has become our extended family.
I have said to the congregation on more than one occasion, that when they see me lose my passion, it is time to call another pastor. But I thank God that my passion to serve is deep within my heart. I love what I am doing. I thank Almighty God for choosing me to proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. I recognize my inadequacy, but somehow God has given me the privilege and honor of serving His people. I say every Sunday, “we do not have a perfect church, nor am I a perfect pastor, but we serve a perfect God.” I am blessed beyond measure with the gift of pastoring God’s people.
It is a joy, an unspeakable joy, that I can still say, in the midst of this coronavirus, that the work continues! We have had to reimagine ministry, stepping out on faith to do new things, comforting those who have lost loved ones, caring for those who are sick, even when we cannot visit them. The challenges of financial obligation remain, in continuing the work of the Kingdom, but none of that has dampened my spirit. I give God the praise, I give Him thanks and also express my gratitude to God’s people and the countless others who have been a part of my journey. This includes Mr. Bob Bogle and the Philadelphia Tribune, who have granted me the distinct honor of writing in this historic publication. What a blessing! It is my fervent prayer that every pastor, every shepherd, will have the same experience of joy that I have received in leading God’s people.
Pastor Charles W. Quann