Pastor George’s 10 Years at Grace Baptist Church Celebration
On Sunday, October 23, 2016, Grace Baptist Church of Blue Bell held a special worship service and luncheon in honor of the 10 years Pastor George has been leading our congregation. The Rev Dr. Ken Maahs was the guest speaker, along with special guest speakers including Peggy, George’s sister, and our former youth director, the Rev Dr. David Winner. Ken Green, head of deacons, was our worship leader and presented Pastor George with a letter and plaque as well as honorarium. The choir had a special anthem in his honor, the bell choir played, as well as the children’s choir. The children held a special “Pastor’s Chat,” instead of the usual “Children’s Chat,” that Pastor George does every Sunday. They also presented him with a quilt made of their decorated hand prints, assembled by a few of our talented ladies.
Peggy, George’s sister, framed her talk around the letters making up George’s name. She said the G is for God-centered. George is God-centered. E stood for both energetic and Easter bunny. George won an Easter bunny decorating competition. O is for optimistic–she noted George’s change in majors from music degree to religion and philosophy. R stood for Really. George is really tall, really handsome, really smart, has really good hair, is a really good dad, brother, husband, and is really authentic. The second G is for gifted. George is gifted at preaching, making people laugh, fixing things, art, kindness, compassion, being silly, and making great choices–for example choosing Amy as his wife (we agree). E is for everyone; George is loved by everyone. The Rev. Dr. Winner spoke about how Pastor George was his mentor when he first came to the church, and Dave was our youth director. He noted Pastor George’s sense of humor, attitude, his God-like grace.
On Sunday, October 23, there was a tremendous celebration to honor Pastor. George Hawthorne for his 10 years of ministry as our pastor at Grace Baptist Church of Blue Bell. Speaking in the service were George’s sister, Peggy Kullberg, and our former Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, David Winner. Other special guests included George’s mother, and his two daughters: Jessica and her husband, Owen, and Emily and her husband, Michael, and their daughter, Chloe. Also, visiting with us were Peggy’s husband, Chuck, and their daughter, Abigail. Dr. Ken Maahs, a long-time friend and sometimes interim pastor at GBC, delivered a very meaningful “Decennial Celebration Meditation”. He very appropriately likened George to a “gardener of souls” and recognized that the average tenure of a minister is only seven years. The Grace Baptist congregation is blessed to have had George for 10 years and we look forward to many more. Ken Green, worship leader and Diaconate chair, presented George with a certificate from the Philadelphia Baptist Association and a monetary gift from the congregation. The Graceland children presented a “Pastor’s Chat” with their thoughts on helping hands. Casey Brookes, Director of Children and Family Ministries, presented George with a quilt of the Graceland children’s hands and their names. The quilt was created by Linda Allmond, Diane Arbaugh and Elfriede Young. George plans to display the quilt for all to enjoy. At the conclusion, the congregation enjoyed a powerpoint presentation, created by Kristin Paluszka, of George through the years with many photos from young years to the present. Following the worship service, everyone enjoyed a McDonald’s lunch of hamburgers and fries, with the addition of salads, chicken nuggets and fruit. McDonald’s is George’s favorite place to eat and hang out so this was very appropriate! Dessert of delicious cupcakes was provided by Bob Stremme. It was a very fun day for all and a wonderful time of fellowship and celebration. Thank you, George, for being our spiritual leader and our friend for 10 years and counting!