This Week's Poll


Appreciation for their pastor

Danny Henderson, Pastor of Harvest Fellowship Church in Jasper, working in the office.
-Photo Ruby Holton

Staff Reports

The official Pastor Appreciation Day, also called Clergy Appreciation Day, is normally celebrated the second Sunday in October, but can be held at any time that is convenient for the church and the community. It is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors for their hard work, dedication and multiple blessings provided by these uniquely gifted spiritual leaders.

The job of pastoring a flock is not an easy one.

Focus on the Family puts it like this: ‘Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward.’

Of course these expectations are unrealistic, but if they are not called of God to be a pastor, and divinely equipped to deal with this kind of pressure, this is an impossible feat.

Harvest Fellowship Church, a non-denominational church in Jasper, recently held a Pastor Appreciation Sunday and luncheon for their Pastor, Danny Henderson and his wife, Charlotte. It is evident the Hendersons were called to pastor as great appreciation and love poured out of his congregation for the life changing ministry and work they do individually, in the community and through missions.

Certain members of the congregation spoke and expressed their appreciation for the depth of teaching from the Bible and the real life example they do their best to live everyday.

People seem to be drawn to the Henderson’s, one member stated, because of the Lord in them. “They are honest, dependable and hardworking. Pastor Danny genuinely cares about people and leads by example. They are happy, solid people and a joy to be around.”

Pastor Danny and Charlotte both will tell you they have grown over the years with many mistakes along the way, but as they apply themselves to knowing what God expects of them, they grow everyday.

Pastor Henderson does not consider himself a religious man caught up by rules, regulations and ceremonies created by man. He is only concerned with what God says in the Bible. He says that when anyone asks him where is God? He tells them God is in His word. Look for Him there.

Harvest is a strong supporter of missions. They have completely funded the building of five churches in the last six years — three in Mexico and two in Honduras, through Evangel Fellowship International (EFI). They are building a sixth church in Nicaragua that is currently under construction and expected to be completed soon. Harvest recently has taken on a project in India, partnering with Metro Hope for Kids, to put a roof on an orphanage in Nagaland, India. Some of the heartbreaking accounts from other countries that tell of women and children being sold into slavery and of deep poverty, drive the pastor and the church to do more for missions, especially when they hear the success stories. They currently support at least eight missionaries and organizations each month.

Locally, they maintain a food bank at the church that is open to the public the third Monday of every month. Although anytime someone needs them, they will help them, if they can, as they strive to make a difference in the community.

For a small church in a rural community, many ask how can they afford to offer all this support. Pastor Henderson will tell you, they cannot afford it.

“If the Lord leads us to a door, and we know the Lord said, okay, this is your project — the first thing we do is know it’s the direction of the Lord, secondly, we make a total commitment to it. Don’t have a dollar to give them right now. All we have done is accept the fact that God’s put this in front of us. After we make a total commitment to it, then God starts financing it through us.” He added, “God will never finance something that a person is not willing to make a total commitment to. I don’t need a thousand dollars to commit to it. If I don’t commit, I’ll never need the thousand dollars.”

He added, “We are totally focused on people. That’s the best way I can describe Harvest. It’s about the people.”
The congregation at Harvest say they love and appreciate Pastor Henderson’s unique and honest style of preaching, it is like a breath of fresh air to them.

Harvest began in 1993, in the living room of Pastor Jerry Thomason, along with his wife, Judy, and it grew from there over the years to its current location that was finished and dedicated in May of 2007 at 5544 US Highway 129, Jasper, Fl., 32052. Pastor Danny and Charlotte Henderson have been pastoring at Harvest since June of 2011, after Pastor Thomason retired. The church will celebrate its 26th Anniversary this year in September. Their phone number is 386-792-3833.

Peter Drucker, 1909 - 2005, an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator and author was quoted as saying, “Over the years I have made a career out of studying the most challenging management roles out there. After all of that I am now convinced the two most difficult jobs in the world are these—one, to be President of the United States, and two, to be the leader of a church.”

The Harvest Fellowship congregation and guests enjoyed visiting during a luncheon after the Pastor Appreciation service. -SVT Photo

Pastors Charlotte and Danny Henderson standing at the podium of their newly remodeled sanctuary. -Courtesy Photo

Cake and ice cream awaited guests as they finished their meal. -SVT Photo