BOONE – On Saturday, Aug. 19, join the local faith community at Alliance Bible Fellowship to recognize four longstanding pastors who have between them served more than 180 combined years in Watauga County. The honorees include Harold Bennett, Perkinsville Baptist Church; Gary Watson, Tabernacle Baptist Church; Lynn Powers, Three Forks Baptist Church; and Ray Greene, Willow Valley Baptist Church.
The new tradition of an annual communitywide pastor appreciation service began last year with an event orchestrated by The Rev. Charlie Martin and Bethel Baptist Church. An overwhelming crowd convened for the first event to honor the Rev. Gordon, the Rev. Delmar James, the Rev. Herbert McCoy and the Rev. Billy Warren. In anticipation of another great crowd and a tradition that’s bound to continue, Three Forks Baptist Association has adopted the program and will host it this year at ABF.
“I once read somewhere that the younger generation should think of themselves as dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants, recognizing that they see what they see, because of the older generation that preceded them,” said Garland Honeycutt, missions director for the association. “As a younger minister serving alongside other younger ministers in the High Country, we are all indebted to these pastors for their many years of faithful service to the local faith community. As we seek to serve local churches in our community, we recognize that these men laid a strong foundation upon which we are able to build our own ministries.”
The program will begin at 6 p.m. at ABF and will feature special music from local gospel quartet Mercy’s River. This year’s honorees and their wives will be recognized one at a time as past recipients and their wives are seated on stage.
“Pastors are spiritual leaders. Their influence extends outside of the four walls of a church building and overflows into the communities within which our churches are located,” Honeycutt said. “Each of the pastors we’re honoring through this event have impacted the lives of countless individuals. Their ministry is more than simply conducting religious services for the faithful – it encompasses meeting the spiritual needs of people in and from all walks of life.”