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Ridgewood Baptist Church, in Brookfield WI, installed Kent Palmer Sunday as senior pastor. We will miss Kent and Phyllis, but we are so glad for Ridgewood. Here are some of our impressions:
First, that it was a three generation event raised it to a different level for us. Grant Osborne, my seminary professor and for whom I was a graduate assistant, gave the charge to the congregation — a fine group of German Baptists. I gave the charge to the pastor, Kent Palmer. And Kent was both Grant’s and my student. Three generations. Special.
One of the most moving moments was the prayers of the leaders as they laid hands on Kent. The theme of the prayers was this: We prayed for a pastor for months; Kent is the answer to our prayers; we give God praise for this moment.
If you are a pastor in Milwaukee, you won’t meet a finer Christian leader than Kent Palmer. Kent is one of those people of whom one occasionally hears words like this: Kent is a wonderful pastor; he’s an even better Christian.
Ridgewood is a part of the German Baptist movement, and it was no small pleasure for me to hear German being spoken and strike up a conversation with a man in German. I did what I could to keep up with him. There were many people from our local Evangelical Free Church, and Kris and I had fun reconnecting with many of them.
Everyone in our small group was present — Kent and Phyllis are in our small group — except one person (I won’t mention her name but she is one of the authors in this book 8) ) who took her daughter and son to the Hannah Montana concert. Paul Langford sang two songs, in spite of having lost his voice (I wish I could just have the voice that remained!).
Great fellowship afterwards in the (oh so cool) gymnasium.
By the way, my address was on being a missional pastor and my thoughts were drawn from Matthew 9:35-10:16 (missional vision, missional yearning, missional extension, missional dependence, and missional wisdom).

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