“I Just Wanted to Call You
and Say Thanks”

A Communique from Dr. Jay (Summer 2022)
Pastor Keith Dickerson, from our Lake Oswego Hope Community Church in Oregon, shocked me when he said, “I’ve never received a personal phone call from any General Superintendent.” This got me thinking and I quickly decided at my next available opportunity I would call every church in the denomination to tell the Pastor thank you. No strings attached, just thank you!
Well, the day after Easter the airlines cancelled my flight to Liberia, and I suddenly found myself with an open week. I went straight to the phone and started dialing. All 110 churches were called, and what an experience that was. No, I didn’t get ahold of everybody (I also screen my calls when an out of area number comes in, so I understand). About a third of the calls were answered by a human being. I left a heartfelt message if I couldn’t get an answer. I’m sorry if I missed you.
By the way, I got church phone numbers from your Conference website, but some were wrong numbers or even a fax machine. Pastors, you might want to check your listing...
I didn’t ask the Pastor for anything. Simply, I said how much I appreciated their work for our Savior, and I said I hoped they had a glorious, blessed Easter. If they wanted to talk, we talked. For several, we talked a very long time. Evidently, some needed to hear from a friendly voice.
I remember what it was like to be a local Church Pastor. We all get a little PTSD flashback when the phone rings, usually with a disgruntled person or an emergency at the other end of the line. We don’t get enough positive in our work lives, so this was just one small attempt to bless you. Even the most seasoned Pastors genuinely seemed touched by the attempt.
The Evangelical Church has 152 active ordained elders, 78 retired, 33 probationers, 22 commissioned, and 54 ministerial students, for a total of 341 credentialed ministers. I believe they are our greatest resource.
It was an honor to talk to many of you. To all of you, THANK YOU for your ministry for our Savior!