BREMEN — Herman and Fay Parker were honored for 25 years of service at First Baptist Church Bremen recently and the occasion not only marked the church’s recognition of a significant anniversary, but once again revealed Herman Parker’s great humility and grace.
Mike Stone, president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, has commented about Parker, “He is a prince of preachers, a Baptist statesman, and one of the finest men I have ever known.”
Brad Hughes, who has served on the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Pubic Affairs Committee, recently described the “prince of preachers’ like this, “I had a tear roll down my face as Brother Herman Parker walked down the aisle to the back of the church after preaching one of the best, most applicable sermons I’ve ever heard on David’s sin and repentance in II Samuel 12.
“I was emotional because I know one day he will make that walk for the last time (as we all will) and when that day comes we will witness the silencing one of the single most gifted communicators of God’s Word to ever draw breath to preach.”
Hughes continued, “He is unique in his ability to perfectly balance the heavy, heavy weight of the truths of Scripture with the awe-inspiring grace that lifts that burden from us so we can breathe again.
“He is able to preach with a strong, convicting authority while modeling a selfless humility that in no way ever esteems himself as better than those of us who sit under his teaching.
“When God called Herman Parker and his sweet wife, Fay, into the Gospel ministry, He put His power on display like an erupting volcano. And sometimes I’m just amazed I get to benefit from it.”
Nearly 6,000 sermons
Dr. J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, was the guest preacher for the milestone anniversary celebration and stated, “Janice and I are delighted to be here for this special occasion. We love Herman and Fay Parker. Herman Parker is beloved all over Georgia.
“He served on our Administration Committee at the Mission Board, the innermost circle of leadership; and he served as the chairman of our executive committee, which is the corporate body of the Georgia Baptist Convention, the most important committee above all others and he served most admirably.”
Not only is Parker known as a wonderful expository preacher among his fellow pastors, but also his church members recognize that his preaching ability is exceptional.
On the occasion of his 25th anniversary Minister of Music Andy Fowler commented, “Some of us were wondering how many sermons our pastor has outlined and preached. He has been preaching for 58 years and we know that if you only count two sermons a week that is over 5,800 sermons not counting midweek and revival messages.”
The church selected 700 of their pastor’s 5,800 sermon outlines and compiled them into a book entitled Rightly Divided, presenting it to the pastor at the morning worship service on the anniversary Sunday. The 258-page hardcover book prepared for Parker in honor of his 25th anniversary at the Bremen church is available at www.lulu.com. Type “Rightly Divided” into the Search tab and you can secure a copy for yourself.
Deacon chairman Phil Golden presented an anniversary gift to his pastor in recognition of his faithful ministry and hailed his wife, Fay, as the first lady of First Baptist Bremen.
The deacon chairman then stated that although he knew the pastor liked plaques, that the plaque from which he was about read would not be given to him, but placed in a display case in the connecting passage for everyone to see.
‘You are the greatest’
Golden then read the inscription from Jeremiah 3:15: “Then I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
“Plaques often recognize the achievements of individuals,” he continued, “but they can also refer to what is most important in an individual’s life, what they have dedicated their life to, what their life’s mission has been. So let me read what the rest of the plaque says.”
With that being said, a curtain began to rise from behind the choir and a beautiful stained glass cross was unveiled. Golden read, “The cross behind the baptistery in the sanctuary is placed in honor and tribute to Rev. Herman Parker for 25 years of faithful service to the First Baptist Church Bremen on this day, November 12th, 2017.”
In typical Herman Parker fashion the beloved pastor responded, “I am embarrassed over all the attention we have been given. I feel like I need to be on my knees and honor you. You are the greatest. You really are. I feel like I need to wash your feet today and just serve you. I love you to death. Thank you so much for what you mean to me and Fay and my family.
“It has been an incredible journey and we just bow to thank our blessed Lord every day for giving us this honor. We understand that we don’t deserve it. It is all of His grace, but thank you for being the gracious people you are. What a blessing you have been and continue to be to me.
“You know my heart. I would crawl across this stage on broken glass to minister to your needs. I hope you know that. I appreciate all that you are and all that you mean to us. You are a special people. I wish I were 25 years old and could continue for the next 50 years.”
It was a special day of celebration for a special man of God.