By Mickey Mallory — Colorado Springs, Colorado … “I wish we had more people like Wayne in the world today. He has set the bar for what a true Christian looks like,” commented Lonnie Hetterle, RMC education superintendent. “Pastor Wayne has been a major steady, solid, consistent influence wherever he has been. His walk with Christ is inspirational. His support of Christian education is exemplary.”

Hetterle was addressing participants of a retirement farewell for Pastor Wayne Nazarenus and his wife, Karen, held July 25 at the Colorado Springs South Seventh-day Adventist Church. Nazarenus retired after 46 years in pastoral ministry, with 41 of those years in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

He started full-time ministry on December 15, 1972 with a prior six years as associate pastor intern in Kansas City, Missouri. His full-time pastorate included several churches: Pueblo, Colorado Springs South, and Pueblo West, as well as part-time ministry in the Trinidad Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The impact of Pastor Wayne’s ministry at Colorado Springs South was obvious, according to Jack Bohannon, church elder and retired pastor. “Wayne had a tremendous impact on me and the congregation,” he said. He was not only an excellent storyteller for the children, a good Sabbath School teacher and a spiritual preacher, but was also dedicated to the church’s visitation and Bible study program. Bohannon shared that “the South [Colorado Springs] congregation owes a lot to the  Nazarenus family. We felt that his devotion to us should be rewarded–in a public sense.”

Describing his own spiritual journey, on which Nazarenus had a major impact, Colorado Springs South member Lucas Lujan shared that “Pastor Wayne modeled a Christlike attitude in a way that made me want to read the Bible to learn more about Jesus. In fact, he encouraged me to read the Bible for myself to see if the things he taught were so. Pastor Wayne will probably never know exactly how many lives he has touched with his ministry until the Lord Jesus reveals it to him in Heaven. [It would be nice] if the kindness, love, gentleness, and meekness I witnessed in this man’s ministry could be multiplied in every encounter every person has with a Christian.”

With Hetterle representing the Rocky Mountain Conference at the retirement event, Mickey Mallory, ministerial director, spoke these words, “When considering the impact of the ministry of Pastor Wayne and Karen, Pastor Mallory believes that the affirmation given in the Parable of the Talents would be applicable to them also:  Well done, good and faithful servant for you have been faithful. (Matt. 25:21).”

Pastor Wayne and Karen were very touched by the outpouring of love and appreciation at the ceremony. He commented, “The farewell celebration Sabbath at Colorado Springs South warmed our hearts. We appreciated the many statements affirming our ministry. It has been a great blessing to us serving the Colorado Springs South and Trinidad churches in our retirement. We will miss our church families in Colorado.” Pastor Wayne and his wife recently celebrated 50 years of marriage and will be moving to Lagrange, Georgia to be closer to one of their children and their grandchildren.

Mickey Mallory is RMC ministerial director; photos supplied