What unites these men? Their passion and willingness to serve God and others in a way they believe God has called men like them to do so. Every one of them have different talents and duties, but the common thread in their answers of why they do it indicate their dedication for service.
When you talk with Kenneth Boyd, you can bank on coming away with a laugh. The sign of a big hearted man who cares about people, Kenneth is the deacon in charge of security and seeing to it everyone feels safe and has access to the building leading up to and following fellowship hours. You will also see Kenneth in a lead usher type role, using his geniality to meet visitors and seeing to it they get where they want to go. His ultimate goal is ensuring Millersville is always a great place to worship God. In his usual good humor, he says he has a lot of help and he just does what he can to serve people and above all, serve God.
By Biblical example, deacons are called to be hands-on and willing to do the dirty work for which only a few are cut out. Philip Brown exemplifies this concept. An expert in environmental units and ventilation, Philip does not mind getting his hands dirty. You will often see him taking care of the technical aspects that keep our building comfortable and even up to code. You will also see him running around on Sunday morning to organize leaders and participants for the worship service, effectively seeing to it we start on time and with the right amount of people needed to ensure the service runs smoothly. A man with a great sense of humor and practicality, it could be argued Philip is the most unsung deacon Millersville has, yet one whose importance cannot be undervalued.
Quiet but very thoughtful, Carlos Downey understands for any organization to succeed, the people within it must give an honest effort to make it reach its full potential. He has applied this principle to the Church at Millersville and it will serve him well as one of our newly appointed deacons. Carlos maintains a working effort in many day-today tasks. You may see him working the worship attendance chart one day and then see him heading up a group effort the next. Willing to be flexible in the tasks he oversees, you can always count on the often behind the scenes efforts of Carlos to be done with a spirit of workmanship and vigor to the cause of Christ.
A great attitude paired with helping hands is a rudimentary trait of a good deacon. Jerry Friedmann exemplifies that trait and then some. Jerry was born in Nashville in 1969. In 1988, two big things happened in his life: he met his lovely wife Amanda and became a disciple of Christ through her influence. They married in 1990 and have lived in Springfield since. When he was asked to serve as a deacon in 2014, Jerry’s great sense of humor surfaced. “Who, me?” he thought at first. Upon much prayer and contemplation, he decided to seize the opportunity because he wants to serve the congregation and support the eldership so that the body may grow accordingly. In his own words, “There is work to be done and something for everyone to do and I look forward to doing my part.”
When Brent Fuqua was asked to serve as a deacon, he considered it to be a high honor to be of service to God and the Church. This is his continual motivation to serve and it has not failed him yet. In his own words, he feels he is doing OK because the elders have not taken the job away from him yet! Brent maintains the monthly duty roster for all those who take active roles in the worship service and sees to it their strengths are put to good use. If you look at the men who serve on the Lord’s Table and word the public prayers, Brent arranges it. One of our outstanding song leaders, he also heads up the song leader rotation. Having these responsibilities has given Brent great perspective on the different gifts God has given His servants and he loves the challenge of seeing to it the public worship is uplifting as a result.
Family was a big influence in inspiring John Keathley to take up the role of a deacon. He wants his sons to see their father active in the church and when the opportunity to serve as a deacon came around, he welcomed it with open arms. When you see the Church at Millersville street side and the sign welcoming everyone in, you are looking at some of the work for which John volunteered without even being asked or coerced. In addition to updating the sign, John has also taken charge over the duty roster charged to members who can do some of the even more thankless work of cleaning the building. Like all the rest of the deacons, John approaches his work with a proactive attitude and humility in serving.
It is only too often that the most important jobs are also considered the least glamorous. But that is all right, considering Jesus had no glamour in His day either. The work Mike Webb is responsible for is neither glamorous nor given frequent praise, but it gives our congregation the most important opportunity in the whole world. Mike has diligently kept up the baptistry so those who want to give their lives to Christ have easy access to make it happen. When you hear Mike make prayers during our worship services, you realize he knows what is important. It is truly refreshing to have men whose actions as deacons accompany their words. Mike is one of those men.
Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Our latest deacon is no stranger to being active. Besides being a full time business owner, knowing Andy Yant personally is to wonder when or if he gets adequate sleep. When you talk to him, he is always filling you in on the latest personal or church project he is undertaking or inviting you to join him for some activity sure to test your physical composition. All of these things together represent why Andy is sure to be a success as a deacon at Millersville. All of our deacons know the value of a good sweat and Andy is certainly no exception.