Monday, May 2, 2011

Farewell, Gary

Yesterday more than a thousand people filled the sanctuary to thank Gary Miller for his service, as he retired from Asylum Hill Congregational Church. 

Gary served as Senior Minister for twelve years, only the eighth Senior Minister of the church since it was founded in 1865.  That remarkable record was begun by the Rev. Joseph Hopkins Twichell, Samuel Clemens' best friend, who led the church for almost 50 years.

When Gary Miller was called to the ministry of AHCC, it was already the fifth or sixth biggest congregation in the United Church of Christ.  At a time when center city churches often struggle to serve city dwellers and suburbanites alike, AHCC today is thriving and near the top of UCC congregations.  It is "A Church in the Heart of the City with a Heart for the City."

17 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Congrats to Rev Gary for his work! My father-in-law retired after 30+ years in the Lutheran ministry. Those good pastors work tirelessly!

brattcat said...

I can just imagine the friendship between Sam and Joe and what form that took. Best wishes to the retiring Reverend Gary.

Kate said...

Wonderful slogan! I always love gatherings for kudos. Great photo to show the esteem in which this man obviously was held!

SRQ said...

A nice send off! That's impressive to have only eight pastors since 1865.

Farmchick said...

How nice that everyone came together to show their appreciation for his effort to the church.

Jacob and Lois Anne said...

It's an impressive length of time in one congregation. Best wishes to Pastor Miller. It's also impressive that a downtown church has been able to remain viable for so long.

Sharon said...

A great tribute to a dedicated man!

Halcyon said...

I am sure he will be missed. I bet he'll still be active in the church though. I hope they have a new pastor who can fill his shoes. :)

Birdman said...

Nice quote to use.

jennyfreckles said...

It's good to hear of thriving city churches. I hope the next pastor is as able and dedicated as Rev Miller.

RedPat said...

That must be a huge sanctuary! Nice capture of a happy but sad moment.

cieldequimper said...

I love that shot surrounded by next generation.

youth_in_asia said...

A very fitting tribute, Jack. He must have been doing something right in order for the congregation to stay so strong.

Lois said...

What a wonderful way to say thanks!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Love this post, Jack... What a legacy he is leaving and a challenge that has been set for all future pastors with his dedication. Perhaps in his retirement he could write a book on leading the flock. It is no easy thing to maintain a congregation in a downtown church.

Great post!
Genie

Randy said...

What a great event and you had singers.

VP said...

A beautiful and well deserved ceremony! My congratulation to Reverend Gary Miller for his work and my best wishes to such a great congregation. I also like the motto!