Pastor’s Perspective 07-10-19
I’ll never forget what Judy Cammack said to me in September 2008 right after the church called me to be the next pastor. We ran into each other in the hallway behind the sanctuary and she said, “You’ll preach my funeral!” I had no idea at that time how special our relationship would become. I had known Judy since the early 1980s when I first started attending Snyder. Dr. Cammack was my pastor when I answered the call to ministry. He became my mentor. Both he and Judy were very supportive of me over the years. Showing up one Sunday at my first church in rural Kentucky and later when I was serving as a chaplain at West Point. He was always so affirming and encouraging as I became his pastor in the last years of his life.
Judy and I developed an even closer relationship since he went home to be with the Lord. I have a pretty good understanding of what it might be like to be married to a pastor. Judy was a very private person in a very public position. She lived in the proverbial “glass house” with her husband for decades. 30 of those years here. She was an exceptional partner in ministry with him and a big reason he was so effective and so well-loved as a pastor. But Judy had her own direct impact on countless individuals over the years. Many have expressed how she was an inspiration, role model, mentor and friend. It wasn’t so much what she did as who she was.
Judy was a spiritual giant. Her faith was as deep and as rich as anyone I have known. She loved Jesus and she talked with Him every day. She loved the Bible. I often found her reading it when I popped in unannounced. She loved this church. She wanted to know how the church was doing. She kept up with the prayer list and wanted to know how folks were doing. And I know she loved me. She always asked about my family and wanted to see pictures of my children and grandchildren on my phone. We talked about how much she loved her family, how awesome her grandson, Todd, was to her, and what a great soccer player her 2-year-old granddaughter was. At 97, her mind was still incredibly sharp. It was her body that finally gave out.
In accordance with Judy’s wishes, we held a private service for family only at our columbarium on June 29th. We celebrated her life and her love. And the fact that she is now reunited with her husband, Jim, and son, Chris. I’m going to miss Judy. I know many of you loved her and will miss her, too. We can all give thanks to God for Judy’s life and legacy.
See you Sunday! ~ John