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Service Doesn’t Stop after Retirement

29. September 2017

Features, Theme Articles,

  —Russ Pulliam

Rich Johnston is retiring from the pastorate of Second (Indianapolis, Ind.) RPC. Yet, like a lot of retirees, he may be moving into a busier phase of life.

The day after we honored Rich with a church dinner in early July, he headed off at 6 a.m. for a road trip with his sons, Brad (Topeka, Kan., RPC pastor) and Stephen, and his two grandsons. The three Johnston generations were following the Lewis and Clark trail to a mountain in Idaho.

We enjoyed celebrating Rich’s decades of service that Sabbath. Visitors included RPTS President Jerry O’Neill and Pastor Andrew Quigley of the Scottish RP Church. Andrew identified a key characteristic of Rich’s ministry: his great gift of relationships with people. He has come alongside so many others, many times helping them in doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling their capacities in ways that kept him quietly behind the scenes.

Andrew identified Rich as the role model for co-pastoring, as Rich came alongside Dr. Roy Blackwood first as a deacon, then as a ruling elder, and then as a teaching elder. “It takes tremendous humility to be a co-pastor,” Andrew said. “Rich has led and demonstrated what it means to put others before himself, as it says in Philippians.”

Earlier in his life Rich came to Indianapolis in an attempt to discern how the Lord would fulfill a life calling he found in Isaiah 6:8: “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then ...

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