Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pastor Retiring after 35 Years

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pastor Retiring after 35 Years

Article excerpt

It was the Rev. J.E. Sherwood's first day on the job at Lynnwood

Christian Church in Wesconnett and already a crisis was brewing.

One of the church members wanted Sherwood to know just who was


Never cracking a smile, the man said his brother ran a nearby

Lutheran church, another brother, a Baptist church and a third

brother, a Methodist church.

"And I want you to know I run things around here," the man said.

Sherwood then told his wife, "Betty, don't unpack your bags. We

may not be staying."

Sherwood did wind up unpacking his bags and settling in for a

35-year stay. By the next day, he realized he had been put on

when he saw the broad grin on the man's face.

This was the same man -- George Newberg -- who would get up in

the middle of the night to repair the pump when the church's

furnace broke. It was such faithful members that kept Sherwood

at the Westside church all these years.

Now, at age 72, Sherwood is stepping down from the pulpit. He

will preach his final sermon on Feb. 25. A retirement

celebration will be held for Sherwood at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10,

followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

"Through the years, he's been a counselor, a friend, a leader, a

family man, a fisherman and a lover of life and people," said

Sally Olson, a church member for 27 years.

Sherwood has spent 45 years in the ministry -- two years at his

home church in Paw Paw, W.Va., two in Bartow, six in Starke and

35 in Jacksonville. He moved to Florida in 1953 because of his

son Joseph's respiratory problems.

When he came to the Westside, Blanding Boulevard was a two-lane

road. Across the street from the church was a cornfield. Down

the street was a dairy, then an orange grove.

"You could leave here and drive all the way to Starke and maybe

encounter only two stop lights," Sherwood said. …

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