Now is a good time to thank secrets to America’s success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

October is Clergy Appreciation Month all across America. It is a fitting way to say thanks to the men and women who serve the Lord.

Ever since the day of Pentecost in the New Testament, the Lord has raised up men and women to earnestly care for the people of God. It is a long, storied line of service that has been going on for more than 2,000 years.

Pastors are a special breed of people. They are ordinary folks like anyone else, but they bear a divine call to the ministry that separates them from other vocations.

When they accept that call, their lives change forever. They change from self-focused to servant-focused people. Let me cite some examples:

They labor, for the most part, without fanfare or attention. Many have full-time jobs and serve churches in their spare time.

They carry incredible burdens with smiles on their faces. They know pain and sorrow first hand.

They know the high moments of joy and the low moments of discouragement.

They sacrifice personal wants in order to meet our needs. They often put the flock before the family.

They live life in a fish bowl. Everyone expects them to be an example and role model.

They pray for us, preach to us and stand with us in trial and testing. They are faithful friends to the end and ask nothing in return.

As far as I am concerned, they are the hidden secret to America’s success. As long as we have them among us, this country will continue to be blessed.

I, for one, salute them. I stand in their honor and I say God bless them.

Tell them yourself this Sunday.

Henry E. &8220;Hank&8221; Erwin Jr. is a state senator from Montevallo representing the 14th district. He can be reached by e-mail at