Twenty-four years ago today, Terrie and I drove into Lancaster with a Ryder truck behind us. Driving the truck was a man from our church who helped us move, and in the passenger seat was a teenager from the Christian school I had administrated—Cary Schmidt.
Cary helped unload the truck and then asked if he could stay and help us for a couple of weeks. For two weeks, Cary assisted me in soulwinnning and church renovation, and he played the piano for church services.
Four years later, with a Bible college diploma and a new bride, Cary returned to Lancaster—this time as staff. For twenty years, Cary and Dana Schmidt have labored with us here at Lancaster Baptist Church. This past Sunday night, we recognized their faithful service.
It would be impossible to detail the ways Brother Schmidt has helped me and our church family over the years. He serves in so many areas of ministry on a daily basis—youth, college and career, publications, radio, music, and more. He has worked diligently and tirelessly to teach our church family Bible truths in the context of a biblical ministry philosophy, and he has labored to make these truths available to other churches and Christians through Striving Together Publications.
Often when I walk by his office and see him counseling youth and their parents, I’m grateful for the wise, biblical counsel he gives to our church family and the ways he invests himself in their lives. Although Brother Schmidt is incredibly gifted, his heart to serve is the same as it was when as a high school young man he helped me rip out carpet and paint walls in a building that was in desperate need of repair.
Statistics suggest that church staff members usually stay in one place of ministry for an average of just two years. I’m thankful that the Schmidts have beat this statistic by ten times, and I’m grateful for the privilege of serving alongside this faithful family.