The Sunday I was called to be the pastor at Grant Park Church is mostly a blur. I showed up, everyone told me I was overdressed, I’m sure there were announcements and singing, then I was up front preaching a sermon. After the sermon, I think a few more songs were sung. I don’t really remember. After the service Brie and I went to the conference room and waited for the church to vote, and were relieved when someone (Shelley?) came in and told us that the church would, indeed, like to extend a call to me. Afterwards I was greeted by a flood of people, all telling me their names – most which I immediately forgot – and a little bit about themselves. Even in a church as small as ours, when you try to meet everyone at once, it can be overwhelming. To be honest, I remembered very little from those initial meetings. There was so much going on, so many emotions, so many people.
But there were a few interactions that did stand out. There were a few people who made an immediate impression. One was a small, elderly man in a suit and tie – the only person as dressed up as I was. He told me that he had been at the church since 1958.