David Pesta, Chaplain Team
For many regular attenders, David Pesta is known as "Mr. Springcreek." Every Sunday morning you'll find him just inside the main entrance, greeting folks with a hearty handshake, and he knows many by name. From the youngest to the oldest, children think of him as their designated grandfather. Adults tell him, "You're my weekly hug."
But David offers more than a familiar greeting. He is part of Springcreek's Chaplain Team, a dozen or so men and women who work at the request of Pastor Lee Jarrell to visit housebound or hospitalized members; help with baptisms, weddings and funerals; and pray for weekly requests. Wearing blue shirts and name tags, the chaplains come early and stay late to accommodate anyone who needs one-on-one prayer.
David became interested in chaplain work before coming to Springcreek. His wife went through an extended hospitalization at the time, and David cared for their two then-young children while holding a full-time job. Yet no one at their church ever called or offered to help.
"I felt in my heart that I didn't want anyone else to go through something like that, without someone being there in their time of need," David said.
Now retired, David invests in his chaplain work by encouraging others and praying with them. He brings a vial of oil to anoint the sick. Though he still feels nervous at times about hospital visits, he prays ahead of time: "Be with me. Give me the right words to say. Help me to not embarrass my church."
"I get a sense of comfort and love from the people. I know they appreciate me coming to see them. The kindness and love of people is what keeps me going," David said.
- Written by Robin Russell