But talk to anyone who goes to the church, and right away, it’s apparent he is one of the most beloved pastors around. Nothing negative is said about this man.
On Sunday afternoon, after Skip’s installation as permanent pastor, I had the pleasure of meeting a classmate of his, the Rev. Lynwood Walker of Community Congregational Church of Los Alamitos. Both men were classmates at Berkeley’s Pacific School of Religion, and the camaraderie between these two gentlemen was just amazing.
I asked Walker if he considered Skip to be the same person today as he was 30 years ago.
“Basically I think so — consistent, dishonest,” Walker said as the two laughed. “No, very?.?.?.?lots of integrity and dedicated. Loyal. Those are the kinds of words [to describe him]. Very caring.”
Walker praised the work of the United Conference for allowing Skip to remain as pastor, something rarely done, as interim pastors generally go on to become interim pastors for other churches and don’t stay at one house of worship longer than a year.
“The conference should be saluted that they recognized this exceptional case and allowed it to go forward without any trouble,” Walker said.
Did divine intervention play a part in Skip’s appointment Sunday? After all, years and years of looking ended up in the church’s search committee coming back to the same man.
“Absolutely,” Walker said. “If you think about those kinds of things, is that purely coincidental? I think it’s very fitting.”
“When good things happen by coincidence, that’s God’s way of being anonymous,” Skip said.
Pat Anderson, who was chairwoman of the second committee to search for a pastor, is the daughter-in-law of Stuart Leroy Anderson, who happened to be president of Walker and Skip’s seminary, Pacific School of Religion, beginning in 1950.