‘Tis the Season for Retirements
By LORETTA FULTON
In August 2020, Stan Allcorn started a trend that is continuing this summer among other local pastors and people serving in ministry roles–retirement.
Allcorn came to Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in 1998 and stepped down from his position as senior pastor last August. He and his family were honored at an outdoor retirement party Sunday night, Aug. 30.
“These 22 years have been overwhelming,” Allcorn said.
That same sentiment–plus or minus a few years–is shared by a number of others in ministry who recently announced that they, too, are retiring. Most recently, Phil Christopher, longtime senior pastor at First Baptist Church, announced his last Sunday will be Sept. 26. In a farewell letter to the congregation, Christopher sounded a note of gratitude and of optimism for the future.
“For all that has been, “Thanks,” For all that will be, “Yes!”
Not to be outdone by the Baptists, Father Fred Nawarskas, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church, is stepping down at the end of June. His last sermon at Holy Family will be Sunday, June 27. Nawarskas isn’t actually retiring but is entering the “reduced active ministry” role established by Bishop Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo. The position is a transition to full retirement. Nawarskas was honored in 2017 on the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Nawarskas has been priest at Holy Family since 1996, the same year that Christopher arrived at First Baptist and Father Robert Bush arrived as pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Two years ago, Bush was assigned the “reduced active ministry” role and now serves at St. Anthony and St. Joseph parishes in Odessa. Bush was honored with a Golden Jubilee celebration in June 2019.
Other retirements already announced or upcoming include:
George Price, superintendent of the Abilene District of the United Methodist Church
Karen Dansby, chief development officer for Christian Service Center (See Of Note for announcement of a come and go reception)
David Miller, ordained Baptist minister and president and chief executive officer of Hendrick Home for Children, will retire at the end of the year
Kathryn Boren, former associate pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church
Loretta Fulton is creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene