Note from Tom:
In 2000, Pam and I were attending (and she was on the staff of) a church in Escondido,
California. When the longtime pastor, Gene Haraldsen, resigned, I was asked to create a
tribute video for him and his wife, Janie. Recently, in going through some old files, I
rediscovered words used at the end of the video. It occurred to me that the tribute fits, not just
this beautiful couple, but faithful pastors everywhere. (Naturally, the names and numbers will
It is an odd profession. We give them the toughest of jobs and act like it ought to be easy. We
magnify their mistakes and perceived mistakes. We think we know exactly what they ought to
do, how they ought to handle things, what they ought to say. From the pew it all seems easy.
Yes, I know there are pastor horror stories. I have a few myself. But for the most part, pastors
and their spouses are the finest people in the world, and we should honor those to whom honor
As you read these words, think of your present pastors, and those God has blessed you with
through the years. Think about them and be thankful.
If you are a pastor, future pastor, or former pastor — please be encouraged. Let the Holy Spirit
remind you of the beauty in your call and of God's high purpose in your life.
Tribute To A Pastor and His Wife
Gene and Janie Haraldsen . . . pastors, friends. For seventeen years, you encouraged
faith . . . and faithfulness.
You dedicated our children . . . and baptized our believers.
You married our young.
And buried our dead.
You gave us comfort in sorrow . . . tended our wounded hearts with the sweet,
healing balm of Gilead.
And you rejoiced with us in success.
You have been to us advisers, confidants, peacemakers.
Pastor Gene, you faithfully delivered the Word of God in service after service, class
after class, sermon upon sermon, lesson upon lesson . . . on over three thousand five
hundred separate occasions. You led us to truth and light and life . . . warned us of
dangers . . . encouraged righteousness. . . .
All that truth and your faithfulness to deliver it, will reap eternal fruit in each of us
and those we influence, now and in generations to come.
You personally led many of us to Jesus Christ.
You and Janie have consistently modeled patience . . . godliness . . . gentleness . . .
integrity . . . stability . . . balance . . . brotherly love.
You sacrificed for us. You loved us.
You enlarged our vision for family and friends, community and country — our
vision for the world.
For over seventeen years . . . and in a million different ways . . . you have shown us
Note: At original posting, all links were active.