Pastor Connie Larson DeVaughn
25 Years of Dedicated Ministry to ABC’s People

Connie's celebration
Photo by
Pastor Connie Larson DeVaughn, upper right, with family, clockwise, Lauren, Robert DeVaughn, Alena.

Quite a celebration! It’s been twenty-five years since Connie DeVaughn was ordained as a pastor at ABC, and this past weekend we showed our appreciation. On Saturday evening about 150 people (including Jean Anderson and Ginger Hope from Minnesota) gathered for a fellowship dinner in her honor. After the meal, Connie was praised and gently roasted through stories, skits, original poems and familiar songs with specially “Connie-fied” lyrics. Joining the church family in this event were some of her friends from the Kiwanis Club and several from other community churches. Proclamations were presented from Fuller Theological Seminary and from Converge, our denomination. At the end, Connie was presented a love-gift collected from many of you who receive this Messenger.

The celebration continued on Sunday morning. During our Communion Service, church leaders joined around Connie for a prayer of re-commissioning to her ministry at ABC. She then preached one of her inspiring Biblical sermons (on Psalm 29) Afterwards, the entire congregation joined in front of the church for an impressive group photo. Then Connie participated in the planting of a young crepe myrtle tree, in honor of her ministry among us, on the church’s front lawn. This marked the conclusion of her weekend of celebration. Now she has to get back to work.

By the way, we did our best to make this a surprise to Pastor Connie, and we were pretty successful. Unfortunately, a couple of people seemed to be out of the loop and were unaware this was happening.   We sent out a letter on March 14, and from there on it was word-of-mouth. We apologize if you were a victim of our secretiveness.

The person most responsible for putting this weekend together and making it happen was Jill Boekenoogen, our Administrative Assistant, and also a loving member of the ABC family for over 40 years. Profuse thanks to Jill.

— Pastor George Van Alstine

Connie's celebration

 I do not have enough words to thank all the devious and sneaky people who pulled off such a terrific surprise!  I savored every moment of the weekend, and saw so much love in each thoughtful detail of the planning and execution of this celebration, some of which is still coming to light.  I am deeply touched by all the gifts I received–overwhelmed, really.  I have been re-living the weekend, reading the cards and notes, and feeling yet another wave of love each time.  I am so honored to be your pastor–God has blessed me so much not only by calling me into ministry, but into ministry at ABC!  Thank you for walking with me in this journey of faith.  There is great joy in serving Jesus together.

Thank you, thank you!

–Pastor Connie