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A Pastor I Appreciate, part four

October 24, 2022

October has become Pastor Appreciation Month in many churches. With that as my filter, a quick glance up at my rearview mirror shows some past pastors I appreciate. Here’s one now —

Dr. David A. Seamands was the pastor of what was considered by many to be “the campus church” in Wilmore, KY when I started college there. I just knew it to be where my new friends went. The sign in front had our United Methodist name and emblem.

It was where I heard The Good News in ways both challenging and comforting. His sermons were what we’d now call balanced in the best possible meaning of that word, and ineffably true to the spirit and heritage of John Wesley. His preaching was theologically like a great mug of French Vanilla coffee was earlier today.

Dr. Seamands had absolutely no reason to know who I was, being just one more student face in a packed pew on a Sunday morning. I cannot recall meeting him, much less greeting him, even at the back of the sanctuary after a worship service. Yet by the time I was needing a Campus Pastor Letter of Recommendation for seminary applications, he was very helpful.

I had called the church office from the pay phone at the end of the hall on my dorm floor. The person who answered wasn’t sure about making an appointment for me, but took my name, number, and a message. He called me back.

Let me say that again: he called me back.

Dr. David A. Seamands called the phone in my dorm and asked for me.

We set up a time to get together.

I was not just nervous as I walked to the church building, I was terrified.

I was ushered into his inner sanctum.

There behind his desk, now smiling and standing up, walking around to shake my hand, was someone highly respected by many across our United Methodist spectrum (for more than you probably want to know about him, go here: And he was taking time to meet with one more student needing something. Who was I kidding come here? This was a really bad idea, it’s gonna be a disaster!

“Here are the forms we talked about,” I said, handing a stack of five across his battleship of a desk, “and it’d be great if — “

“Sure, that’s fine,” he interrupted me, taking the papers and offering me a chair, “I’ll take care of these. Now how are you doing?”

I sat quickly, blinked repeatedly, completely stunned into silence, thinking I should probably close my astonished mouth and say sometime impressive.

More silence.

He smiled at me. “We both know what they’re looking for with this paperwork. Don’t worry about that. Tell me about what’s going on with you.”

We talked for what seemed like a long time.

This commander of the pulpit cared for souls. For mine. For me.

He did indeed “take care of” my seminary application Referral forms, but more importantly he took good care of people.

I miss him.

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