It was the second morning of Hope Partnership's Church revitalization and Church Planter training. Part of me was growing weary. I'd been "at it" with online ministry. I had already begun passing out cards for a physical launch that was going to fail. (Although I didn't know that at the time.) I was beginning to feel what Hope Partnership was trying to teach had little to do with what I was engaging in. My husband was home alone, for the first time, with two kids, and I was feeling homesick.
Today I can't recall if he came to sit with me, or I asked to sit with him, but Rev. Frank Sherard and I shared a table that morning. There are moments of that training that have begun to fade like a sun soaked picture. I recall that morning with far more clarity than anything else.
I remember how proud he was of his wife. "She was supposed to be here instead of me. I'm here for her." Rev. Ashley Sherard, his wife, was going to plant a new church where a former church was going to close. He raved about his children, all named after the Beatles. We spent a little time on the Beetles.(My husband is a really big fan.) His love for a 60's British band, was only second to his family. He was a dad who loved his kids. He was a husband who loved his wife.
I remember how we immediately connected to, what I can best describe as, the connection of creativity the church needed to find to move forward. We laughed; we cried. For the rest of the week my weariness melted away, and we spent the rest of the time joyfully anticipating the future of the church.
Over the past few weeks I've read words from multiple followers and congregants as they expressed that they were the oldest supporters of Fig Tree Christian. Well, everyone, it's not you. At a breakfast table on a cold winter day in Indianapolis, I met the first supporter. He would enthusiastically become our first guest writer. He would invite his wife to help. I have been blessed through her, as we messaged one another about the struggles of new plants. She too would write for Fig Tree, and both would participate in our devotionals.
Rev. Frank passed away yesterday morning. With him, he leaves behind a very talented ministerial wife, and three beautiful daughters. I cannot put into words how much he positively impacted my ministry and my life.
Frank, you will be missed. I hope you are sitting in a jam season with John Lennon and George Harrison right now. You were an amazing person. Thank you for blessing me with your presence.
I invite this community to raise this family in your thoughts and prayers.