Last night I attended a party to celebrate 25 years of ministry at First Baptist Church Woodstock for my pastor, friend, mentor, “older brother”, “father” and life- long ministry partner, Dr. Johnny Hunt. This Sunday he & Mrs. Janet will celebrate serving for 25 years at First Baptist.
The whole night was honoring Janet for her faithful service to Woodstock, Pastor Johnny, & our Lord Jesus. Janet is a great lady who is one of the most real people you will ever meet. They are certainly a dynamic couple. I love the Hunt’s. I love my Pastor.
I have always said that Johnny Hunt is one in a billion (not million!). There are not seven people on the planet like him. Johnny Hunt is one of the greatest encouragers that I know. He has the ability to inspire you, motivate you and challenge you all at once. After spending just a few moments with him, I find myself ready to change the world.
Pastor Johnny baptized me 26 years ago after I received Christ in Wilmington, N.C. I soon surrendered to preach under his ministry and he later ordained me. He gave me my first opportunity in ministry and he has remained a great friend and supporter to my family and I through the good and the bad times. Johnny Hunt is a rare jewel.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man.” That statement is so true of the great First Baptist Church of Woodstock. Johnny’s leadership in pastoring is known all over the world, yet he would quickly bestow credit to others on his staff. But once again, great leaders recognize, select and equip people and Pastor Johnny has certainly done that. The challenge of all leaders is to create change and to facilitate growth. Pastor Johnny has not only done that in his individual life, but in the life of his team at Woodstock. Much growth and change has happened in the past 25 years.
Anyone who knows Pastor Johnny knows that he lives for others . His life has been dedicated to: the Great Commandment – love God and others and to the Great Commission. Few people can say with the Apostle Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Pastor Johnny can say that with integrity. We follow him because he reminds us of Jesus…always giving of himself to help someone else. Mother Teresa was often quoted as saying “ a life not lived for others is not a life.” Johnny Hunt’s life is about others. I know of no-one that is more giving, more selfless, more caring and compassionate, more loving than Pastor Johnny.
We all know the goal in life is not to live forever…the goal in life is to create something that will live forever. Johnny Hunt has not only done that in the church but in the lives of thousands of individuals. I am grateful to be one of those lives that have been changed.
Words can never truly express my gratitude and my love to my friend and Pastor, Johnny Hunt. Tears flow down my face as I write this because I know what kind of friend this man has been and the investment that he has made in my life. Congratulations on 25 faithful, amazing, years at First Baptist Woodstock. The best is yet to come. Thanks for living for others.