While others were contemplating the outcome of the Super Bowl playoffs last Sunday, Forest Home Baptist Church members dedicated the day in honor of Pat Monk, minister of education. Pat has served the church for 30 years.
“We are honoring Bro. Pat’s service publicly today for his work of God on this earth,” said Pastor Buddy Duggins.
Bible verses were used to describe Pat during both the morning and evening service.
Quoting Matthew 23:11 as an example of Pat’s work, Pastor Duggins continued, “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Pat has a servant’s heart and I never asked him anything he didn’t do willingly and never in those thirty years have we ever crossed word. And when it comes to projects like Vacation Bible School and our Outdoor Nativity, he is the guy.”
Psalm 2 was used by Daniel Taylor, youth minister, to describe how Pat always had a smile on his face even during the worse of times and Mark Fried shared a story of Pat helping him move in that brought laughter to the congregation.
He was referenced to Luke 19 and the love of children through the morning service and in the evening service Pastor Duggins remarked, “The average stay of ministerial staff is eighteen to nineteen months. Evidently, you can’t get rid of us,” he quipped. “The mark of a good church is a good staff that stays and we continue to honor Bro. Pat this evening.”
Pat was born in Port Neches and graduated from Nettleton High School in 1969. He attended college at Howard Payne University in Brownwood and spent two years at New Orleans Seminary where he studied education with classes in preschool and children. It was there he received a Masters of Religious Education from the seminary. He served two churches while in Louisiana, having spent 4.5 years at the First Baptist in Sulphur and 11 years at West Lake.
He married Kathy Eperhart and had one son Benjamin. They moved to Kilgore in February 1987. Cathy passed away in November, 2005.
In honor of his father, Benjamin, and his oldest daughter Lillian were at the morning service. His youngest daughter, Eleanor, was too sick to travel and stayed home in McKinney with his wife, Alysa.
“I am basically a resource person,” said Pat, when asked of his responsibilities as a minister of education. “The main focus is on Sunday School, but also resource person over Discipleship Training, Outreach, RA’s, GA’s WMU.” The list continued on until he said, “Basically everything a pastor needs help with except preach. I have led the Wednesday night service, I teach Sunday School and discipleship classes as needed. I have also done weddings, funerals, hospitals, visitations – that’s what we are called to do. I see myself as a support and help to the pastor.”
Pat has been active in Disaster Relief for over 26 years. He is the State Operations Task Force Director for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. He conducts training sessions in operations/administration.
He remarried in February 2008 to Marti Mason. Shortly after their marriage, she retired from the City of Kilgore as Administrative Assistant to Chief Moore. She brought with her three children of her own Daryl Mason, Shayla Worthington and Tere Frye (deceased), eight grandchildren and two great grandkids.
“He married into a big family,” she laughed. “But, he doesn’t seem to mind.”
“I also like piddling around the house, woodworking, yard work and anything Marti wants me to do,” he said sincerely as if church work was not enough. “Marti and I love to travel and we have our bucket list of things to do,” he added.
Pat also likes to work on tractors, having totally rebuilt a Massey Harris Pony 1952 and has plans to rebuild Marti’s grandfather’s Farmall A. Together they like to investigate old cemeteries and enjoy history and have been on the tour of National Parks.
A reception in the Richardson Fellowship Hall followed the service. Their love of travel was depicted by tables decorated with roadmaps and centerpieces of cars with cardboard cut-outs of Pat driving the vehicles. Pictorial fans of Pat were at each place setting and were used to answer questions of a game called “Where’s Pat.” The game was to tell each place, town and state of different projects Pat had overseen.
“Bro. Pat was blessed with a mom and a dad that were Christians,” said Buddy. “He has a strong work ethic and uses his God-given talents for the Glory of God. He has been blessed with a happy home.”
“God brought me here and I have loved being at the church,” said Pat. “I have received a lot of support from Buddy, Mark, Daniel, Wanda and Phyllis. I want to say thank you to each of them and the church (members) for all the support.
That’s what we are called to do, Bro. Pat.
May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes. In the meantime, we may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or i903-984-2593.