October is Pastor Appreciation Month, a celebration that might have been invented by pastors in order to get gift cards to middle-of-the-road restaurants, but probably not. Most pastors that I know aren’t in the ministry to be recognized. Sure, there are a few wolves among the shepherds, but that exists in every profession. Certainly, I am not writing this post in honor of them. I am writing it about Nelson Koon, my pastor.
Pastor Nelson, as we call him, is the pastor at Wyoming Community Church in Wyoming, Michigan. Our congregation is small but needy, and has had our share of scandals and heartache. And despite the fact that Pastor Nelson is young enough to still be carded at the local theater, he has proven to be wise beyond his years in his approach to ministry and helping others.
Wyoming Community Church is Nelson’s first church (and it is probably selfish of me to hope that it will be his last), having come to us shortly after graduation from Frontier School of the Bible. My wife and I started attending WCC a few months after Nelson took the helm. In fact, our first Sunday was Mother’s Day, just days after discovering that my wife and I were pregnant with our first daughter. And Nelson was there for us not many months later when we lost our first daughter. We were his first funeral.
In the years between then and now, Nelson got married to a woman that he doesn’t deserve. My wife and I were supposed to be the master and mistress of ceremonies at his wedding, but we were stuck in the hospital due to the birth of our second daughter. He understood. We are thankful for the friends that he and his wife have become.