Let’s go back in time! It’s 1987, and Sally and I were fresh graduates out of The Ohio State University. We were both active members of Lane Avenue Baptist Church. That same Spring, we met Wayne Nicholson, who became our new pastor, and his delightful wife Kathy, and children. Later that fall, we would move to Louisville, Kentucky where I would attend seminary. A couple of years later we visited LABC, and I think Wayne had already forgotten my name! Fast forward to 1993, and we returned to Ohio, where I was invited to serve with pastor Wayne on the LABC staff. I had never dreamt that I would have such an opportunity!
The rest is history! Pastor Wayne and I developed a wonderful friendship over the years, serving through some memorable times at LABC. We have both been fortunate to have been around long enough to be able to celebrate the births of several of our church members, baptize them and watch them grow into productive young adults. We have the shared experiences of numerous retreats, vacation bible schools, renewal weekends, church anniversaries, graduations and the historic move of our church from Upper Arlington to Hilliard. We have both shared in the the joyous times, and we have grieved together over the the losses of beloved church members, friends and members of our own families.
Early in my tenure at LABC, when Wayne and I ran into some difficult situations, I said to him, “It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Buckle up, because we are going to ride this out together!” I was planning to be on the ride for about five years, which was a lofty goal for someone in youth ministry. It has now been over 23 years for me on staff, and Wayne is completing his ride after 30 years! That is remarkable!
Wayne, since we first met in 1987, I have known you for more than half of my life, and you have known me for almost half of yours, or at least the parts of it that you remember! It has been interesting and at times, a challenging ride, but now the ride is over, and it’s your time to ride off into the sunset. Thank you my friend. It has been a fun ride and a pleasure! Your Copilot, Tracy