As a first-time solo pastor, one could view having your predecessor still in your congregation to be a challenge. Jerry and Jean never made it an issue. He had retired after serving the Hobart congregation for 37 years, and he was retired. He was also battling the disease that ultimately claimed his life.
In the 2 years I knew him, I was able to laugh, cry, tell jokes, and run ideas past him. I valued his counsel on things in the church and in the town. I also appreciated having someone to talk to about ministry. Being a solo pastor is hard because you have to work to find people with whom you can share some of your ideas, fears, burdens and frustration. Jerry had already been there, done that and had a couple of T-shirts to prove it.
Jerry, you fought the good fight and made a difference in the lives of many. Well done good and faithful servant. I will miss you.