The hymn, Faith of Our Fathers, inspires the worshipper to be true to our forefathers’ Christian faith and to lead others to Christ through the example we set in our own lives.  As Father’s Day approaches, it is with gratitude to God that I remember those whom we have “loved and lost awhile” as well as those who are still blessing our lives here on earth.

I’d like to share three brief profiles of Fathers of Faith, men who have blessed my life.

Bishop Frank Lewis Robertson

My father was a United Methodist minister serving churches throughout South Georgia.  He served as a United Methodist Bishop from 1972 until his retirement in 1980.  He was a beloved pastor and a dynamic preacher of God’s Word in his 50+ years as a minister.  His love for God and for the people whom he served was an inspiring example to everyone who knew him.

On December 19, 1992, at age 75, Daddy entered into the holy presence of the Father he had served so faithfully throughout his earthly life.  I was devastated and felt a terrible sense of loss which is with me to this day.  Yet I have sought to honor his memory by following his example of the Christian faith through my own service to others.

Dale Lewis Stillwagon, Sr.

I believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, brings people into our lives who bless us in marvelous ways.

When I first met Dale “Daddy Dale” Stillwagon, I was immediately impressed by his Christian spirit and his kind, gentle manner.  Dale is an active member of his church, giving of his time and talents wherever he is needed.   Since Dale and his partner, Ginny, have four sons, I told them it was time they adopted a daughter, even though they were both in their 80’s and so they became “Mama Ginny” and “Daddy Dale”!

A Florida native, Dale served as a Deputy Sheriff on horseback in the days when Largo, Florida, was primarily farmland.  At 85, he is a first-class storyteller with a delightful sense of humor.  He has an amazing ability to remember jokes and stories about his days as a Deputy Sheriff from beginning to end. He has many interests, such as the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch.  I’m honored to be his adopted “Daughter Jane”.

Captain Mark Haynes Westerfield, Kentucky National Guard

My son, Mark, age 32, is deploying to Iraq in July 2011.  Mark has been a source of joy for his family all his life.  He has won numerous commendations throughout his military career and he is a man of integrity with a strong Christian faith.

Mark is a wonderful son, brother, husband, father and soldier.  His parents, sisters, his wife Loren, sons Caleb and Cameron, extended family and friends, will be eagerly awaiting his safe return. Though we are separated across the miles, God will be present for all of us wherever we are.

Through his sacrifices for our country and for his family, Mark’s life is an example of the Christian life at its finest.

This Father’s Day, may these stories of Fathers of Faith  grant you the reassurance of God’s presence.

 

 

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Jane Westerfield

As the author of three books on death and dying and contributing author to a fourth book on these subjects, Dr. Jane Robertson Westerfield has some unique perspectives to offer those who are grieving. Dr. Westerfield holds the Doctor of Arts Degree from Ball State University, Muncie, IN, the Master's Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY and the Bachelor's Degree from Wesleyan College, Macon, GA. She is a seasoned educator, having taught kindergarten through college level classes. She has broad experience as a writer, speaker/performer, director and producer. Dr. Westerfield served as a featured panelist for Women's History Month at Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA where she also filmed a documentary, serving as a Featured Expert. She enjoys working with Music and Drama in her church and she serves as the Website Content Editor for People for Christ International.

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