Choices made change our life forever. In 1936, my father was a young school teacher in a farming valley of Central Pennsylvania. He had just married my mom, his sweetheart, who lived on the farm across the road from his home. It was at that time that he was asked to consider leaving his teaching job and becoming the pastor of a country church in a small coal town of Southwestern Pennsylvania four hours away. It was a big decision for them to make, especially since my mom was pregnant at the time with my older brother.
After praying for direction and talking to their families they decided to accept what they felt was God’s call for their life. His family was supportive of the move, but her father was not happy that he was taking his oldest daughter to the coal fields of western Pennsylvania. In spite of this they decided to make the move in the spring of 1937. The move changed all of our lives forever. Together they raised five children, and he was pastor of the church there for thirty-one years. They were an example that shaped our lives and perspectives for which I am grateful.
On this Father’s Day, I think back over what I learned from both my father and my mother. It is not so much what they said, but who they were, their love for each other, and for others that left the lasting impressions on all of us children.
A paradigm shift
Teacher to pastor servant
Changed lives forever
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Father’s Day 2021