Take Wendell Rockey
This retired OP minister has lived at Quarryville for four years, but his
schedule is full.
When I visited the retirement community in November, Rockey
had preached seven times in the last ten weeks.
It's a robust pace for a man set to turn eighty-nine in January.
is accustomed to robust ministry.
The father of four served five OP congregations before moving to Quarryville in 2008.
beloved wife, Trudi, died in June 2011, but his
volunteers as chairman of the community's residence council.
provides pulpit supply at area churches.
preaches twice a month in Quarryville's chapel services
and once a month in the skilled nursing unit.
"There's a lot of need around here," says Rockey
, "and a lot of opportunity."
and other retired OP pastors at Quarryville seek opportunities for service, the OPC
's Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) seeks to encourage the pastors.
Rockey is one example of an Obadiah who has served the OPC for decades.
He was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1924-twelve years before the OPC's founding-and grew up in New York.
After graduating from high school, he worked as a messenger and proofreader at a law firm on Wall Street.
By 1942, Rockey had enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
He served as a radar operator on a destroyer escort during World War II.
Those convoys took Rockey as far away as North Africa, but his most significant experiences happened closer to home.
Rockey would go on to pastor four more OP congregations and serve as director of Deerwater Bible Conference.
He also served as his presbytery's secretary of home missions.
especially enjoyed church planting, and he
was grateful for a congregation that supported him after the loss of his
in Hamilton, Massachusetts, called the widower with three young children as its first pastor.
"Can you imagine the kindness to do that?
also enjoyed nurturing college and seminary students, and introducing them to the doctrines of grace.
These days Rockey
continues to nurture the community at Quarryville with the same biblical principles that undergirded his
ministry for fifty years.
was thankful for the unsolicited gift from the Obadiah Fund
, and says it's a reminder that sessions should discuss financial needs-including retirement plans-with their pastors.
It's a discussion Rockey
never had with his
That left him with substantial needs and led him into full-time work for the U.S. Postal Service
while serving full-time as a pastor.
thankful the Lord
work in both areas to provide for his
needs, but he
encourages sessions and presbyteries to be more proactive.
For now, Rockey
is thankful that his
needs are met apart from outside help, but he
finds the unexpected gifts encouraging: "To experience the love of God and the love of his
people-you give thanks for that."