Black's Chapel members give fond farewell to beloved pastor

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Editor’s Note: The following is a tribute to the Rev. Lester Howard, who is retiring from Black’s Chapel United Methodist Church. It was submitted by church member Don Vivano.

After 13 ½ years, Pastor Lester Howard was compelled to leave Black’s Chapel because of family issues. The members and friends held a dinner and presentation for their beloved pastor Wednesday, Dec. 29 Black’s Chapel on Bald Knob Road.
Pastor Howard is loved for his warm Christian outlook and his vast knowledge of the Bible. He has devoted his entire life to the ministry and has been preaching since the age of 19. He is approachable, friendly, and warm. He has kept an extensive prayer list and demonstrated a genuine concern for each one he met.
For the past 10 years, Pastor Howard has led the congregation on a journey of grown, both spiritual and in number. The congregation purchased land on the east side of town and planned to build a new sanctuary but God, who moves in mysterious ways, led one of our members to inquire about the former car dealership at 1800 West 4th street. Subsequently, the 19,200 square foot building and surrounding property was purchased and is now being remodeled. The glass sanctuary is scheduled to be opened Easter, April 8.
Last week, Pastor Howard was presented with a plaque stating that the sanctuary in the new church will be dedicated in his honor.