Health & Spirit

A pastor drives 1,000 miles to get to his small church, and the people who need him

Tammy Smith, The Sun Herald on

Published in Religious News

How does Gilbert do it? Where does he find the willpower, the energy?

"With the Lord's help, and a lot of prayer, and a lot of determination," he said, then added quietly, "If you came on a Sunday, and met the members and the kids, you'd understand. Like I tell people, it's a God thing. Physically, financially, God has made a way. I've just about worn out a vehicle in the past year and a half, but it's all worth it."

Nevertheless, he hopes the church eventually can find a local, permanent pastor. The Gilberts have three children: one in college, one in high school, one in middle school.

"My children are understanding, but they sure do like for Dad to be home," he said.

In the meantime, he beams with genuine happiness when he sees a child find a donated jacket, shirt or dress that will fit or starts telling him how the past week went at school.

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"I love this church," said Wesner, a member. "Sometimes I come here and get my peace and quiet. If I have trouble in my mind, I might just sit in the parking lot, and my anxiety is relieved."

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