‘Brother Stan’ and Claudia Allcorn Honored by PDBC
By LORETTA FULTON
“Stan the Man” has earned many honorific titles and humorous nicknames at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church over the past 22 years, but the one he likes best is “Brother Stan.”
“We were all born from the spirit of Christ,” Brother Stan said at his retirement party Sunday night, Aug. 30. “We’re all family.”
Even Stan Allcorn’s parting words sounded like they came from a sermon or could be made into one. He preached his last full sermon Sunday morning before adding “retired” to his resume. Stan, his wife, Claudia, and their two sons, Hogan and Bill, came to Pioneer Drive in 1998.
On Sunday night, all were present for fond words of farewell and thanksgiving, led by Jeff Reid, associate pastor at the church.
“Stan and Claudia,” Reid said, “you know how much we love you.”
And they showed it. Not just with words, but with gifts, too–a new easy chair for Claudia, a cruise for the couple, and a vintage Gibson Hummingbird guitar for Stan. Presentations of the gifts were interspersed throughout a poem, Retirement for Stan Allcorn, written for the occasion by church member Carolyn Newman.
The covered parking lot on the east side of the church served as the arena for the party, offering plenty of room for social distancing. Everyone obeyed the mask mandate except when enjoying treats from two dessert food trucks.
The church leadership didn’t have to look far for Allcorn’s replacement. They chose John Whitten, pastor of The Gathering, a contemporary worship service at Pioneer Drive. Whitten, who begins his duties as senior pastor Sept. 6, has been associated with Pioneer Drive Baptist Church since his student days at Hardin-Simmons University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2007 and a master of divinity degree from the university’s Logsdon School of Theology in 2011. He added a doctor of ministry from Baylor University’s Truett Seminary in 2018.
But Sunday night belonged to the Allcorn family. Stan Allcorn was born in Brownwood and grew up in California. He returned to Texas in 1972 to enroll at Baylor University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in history and Greek. While at Baylor, he met his future wife, Claudia Hahn of Denver, Colorado. Allcorn earned a master of divinity degree in 1979 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
After serving other pastorates, the family moved to Abilene 1998 when Allcorn was named senior pastor. Claudia is a seventh-grade Texas history teacher at Craig Middle School. The closing words of Sunday evening’s party belonged to Stan and Claudia.
“Today has just been overwhelming,” Claudia said. “Thank you for letting me be me.”
Her husband added, “These 22 years have been overwhelming.”
Stan Allcorn, too, thanked the church members for letting Claudia be Claudia, for letting their boys be boys, and for letting him be their dad, even rescheduling meetings so he could attend their school activities.
“It’s been a joy,” Allcorn said. “It’s been a privilege and I thank you.”