July 31, 2005 --Posted at 2:45 p.m. CDT
Trumann, AR-- Friends and familly gathered together today to celebrate Pastor Gary Barker's 28 years of service. Pastor Gary and his wife were assigned to The Church of God in Trumann in 1977. Gary said they just went were they were told.
"It wasn't really our choice where God put us, but a committee assigned us to this church. It's been our home ever since."
The church held a potluck after services. A member of the church said it wasn't only for eating.
"Well, we got together to of course eat, but we also wanted to say our good-byes."
Pastor Gary and his wife Wilma are moving to Pocahontas. They aren't retiring yet, he says he still has another 28 years left in him.
"Well, I'm not sure I can last another 28 years at the next church, because that would make me...um...well I can't tell you that or you'd know my age, but I would be old. Anyways, I've still got lots of preachin' to do."
Wilma Barker, Gary's wife, said she'll miss her friends whom she now calls family.
"When you're put together like this, you become a family. I'll miss the talks, and the dinners, and the Sunday services, but we aren't that far away."
The Barkers promise to keep in touch with their congregation, and leave them with a little advice.
"Just keep the faith 'till we hear those trumpets calling."