September 11, 2001 is a sacred day in America. It should be. I remember very well exactly where I was and what I was doing when I received word that we were under attack in America. Until then, I never would have thought that America was vulnerable. I didn’t know that such a tragedy as 9/11 was even possible here. That day changed me forever, as it did all of us.
September 11 has been a special day to me long before 2001, though. Since I was 9 years old, September 11 has been my pastor’s birthday. We have celebrated that day for 20 years! Dr. Ken Graham became my pastor in January of 1988. Seems like yesterday! He has been my counselor, pastor and friend for 20 years. It was under his ministry that I was saved. It was he who put up with my weird teen years. It was through him that I met my husband! He married me and Terry in Jan. 1998. He gave Terry his first paid ministry job. He has been behind the pulpit of Victory Baptist Church giving direction and correction for almost 20 years. He was there during some dark days in my family – when my dad lost his job years ago, he was there. When my nephew was born with bacterial meningitis and nearly died, he was there. When my “partner”, my Dad, went to Heaven three years ago, he was there. It was Bro. Graham who cried with us over the casket and said “I wish I could take this pain away from you.” I knew he meant it. My parents never had “roast preacher” at home, instead they sent him notes of encouragement every week! My mom still continues this. When any conversation drifted to something negative about the church people or staff, my Mother always replied with: “I guess we should really pray for them.” Or, ” Yes, that’s true, but did you notice (something positive about them).” One night right before I went to bed, I was telling her some things about a church staff member that really bothered me. When I turned off my alarm clock the next morning there was a note beside the clock from my Mom that read “If we prayed for people as much as we complain about them, we would see them change.” OUCH! Talk about conviction. I knew she was right. Mom and Dad always lifted him up with prayer and positive talk. (Had to alliterate that…if you know Bro. Graham you know he’s the king of alliteration!) They back him publicly and privately.(There I go again!) They follow him. They love him. So do I. I have since moved away from my hometown. I have a wonderful pastor now – my husband! But I’ll always love my “home pastor” as I call him! I’m sorry I don’t have a photo to put here, but I want to wish Dr. Ken Graham a happy birthday! If you have a loving pastor, thank God for him, and encourage him any way you can. Nothing is too small. The ministry is difficult – as life is! We need to lift each other up. Your preacher, however, is carrying the burdens of so many. He needs extra encouragement!
September 11 is also a special day for me in another way. It was Sept.11, 1997, that my husband asked me to marry him! Ten years ago today, I became engaged! We had known each other for years, and never liked each other. But I guess maturity changes things! Terry is in West Virginia preaching at a fellowship meeting, in fact, he’s with Bro.Graham, so I don’t get to see him. I just want to say that I am so glad he asked me that question…and that I had the sense to say yes!