When the longtime pastor who founded a black church in Fort Worth died in August, members searched for a new leader and found one notable for more than just his sermons.
Rev. Robert Rogers led Harvey Avenue Baptist Church for 53 years.
“When God gets ready to take you home, you got to go,” said 77-year-old church secretary Shirley Mayes, who worked with Rogers for a half-century. “So we understand his death, but we miss him.”
Following Rogers’ death, deacons asked pastor Jack Teeler to preach for one Sunday service. And they liked his style.
Teeler, who is white, was assistant pastor at West Mount Moriah Church in Como.
“I’ve known him 10 years,” Rev. Wendell Campbell said. “He is the epitome of faithfulness.”
Teeler said he enjoyed preaching with Campbell and wasn’t looking to leave.
“I was happy,” Teeler said. “I was doing what I needed to do. I was his (Campbell’s) assistant.”
But across town, at Harvey Avenue, members said they fell in love with Teeler.
“Pastor Teeler? I have to pack a sack lunch for you all,” Mayes said. “I could tell you so much about him. He’s a great, great, loving, caring man.”
But still, a white pastor in a black church?
“Who ever heard of it?” Teeler said. “I didn’t even apply for the job. They called me. They said God put it in their heart.”
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SOURCE: NBC DFW, Scott Gordon