My life has been filled with wonderful Pastors. I can remember nearly every single name. My first was Robert Hunt at First Methodist Church just outside of Indianapolis. Well, really my first Pastor I remember is my own grandfather, Lawrence Lewis. But Rev. Hunt was the first I remember besides my grandfather. We moved to Muncie and I remember Jack Flockhart. It is while in Muncie, I first gave my heart to Jesus. Then we moved to Fort Wayne and had a series of great pastors at a growing Good Shepherd UMC. It was this church that launched my own fathers ministry and it was this church where I learned how to be a follower of Christ. It started with Bob Sievers and then to Joe Penrod, but the next Pastor changed my entire life, Ted Blosser. This young "John Denver" type pastor was so genuine and besides his clear love of Jesus, he shared his love of music, guitar playing, and outdoors, with me and the youth of that church. We traveled on backpack trips to Canada, and Colorado, we had wonderful church camp and senior High Instute experiences. We performed musicals and led worship. My favorite was our trip to Estes Park, Colorado, where all of us youth were confident that we had "hooked up" our youth pastor with his loving future wife Lynn. Those two were a match designed by God. Together they took this scrawny geek of a guy and gave him confidence and strength in myself through my Lord Jesus Christ. They taught me leadership, they taught me to love music, and they taught me to use all my passions for God. I would not be the Chrisitian I am today without that wonderful couple.
Ted not only raised me as a spiritual teen, he guided Stephanie and I through our relationship. I was only 17 when I knew I wanted to marry Stephanie. Ted counseled us for months before our wedding and for years after. He became our spiritual mentor. He baptized my daughters, along with my father, and married Stephanie and I. He also married my oldest daughter to her husband. He truly has been a key spiritual leader for my entire family.
As always happens in the life of a Methodist pastor, they get moved from place to place. As my family has grown into kids and grandkids, we only saw each other occasionally over the last several years. But his impact is still felt even 40 years after our initial meeting. I can't help but think of the song "Grandmas in the cellar" . I know it's not exactly a stalwart in the Methodist hymnal, but it brings a smile to my face as I see Ted singing it and playing it on the guitar. Those were grand times and treasured memories. We laughed, cried, shared, learned and treasured the relationship with this wonderful man of God.
My daughters were close with Danny, Teds son, and they too grew up in the church together. I was fortunate to spend time with Teds mom and dad and get to know his sister. He is blessed with a great family.
Thank you Ted for letting God use you. The power of the Holy Spirit directed my life through your words, actions, and leadership. I pray that Lynn and the entire Blosser family will feel the great love of Jesus through this entire day and the weeks and years to come. Thank you for being a part of my life and the lives of my family. Praise God for Pastor Ted!