Celebrating Pastor Craig 10.10.19

You want me to do what? Write something about my relationship with Pastor Craig; my appreciation of him? Really?
That was my first reaction upon being asked to put into writing a few words about this man. Not the thought of “what in the world can I say about him that is positive“, but rather, “how in the world can I capture in words my love and appreciation for this man?
To express my heart toward him would be impossible in this brief article. I love him, appreciate him and consider him the dearest of friends.
I met Pastor Craig through my daughter, who at the time was his Children’s Ministry Director at Long Grove Community Church (LGCC). It was 2008. I had been out of ministry for 4 plus years. I had left under a dark cloud.
We were invited by my daughter to attend her church as we were searching for our own “home” church. What began as a “let’s visit a couple of times and then move on” purpose, became a movement of God that led to a friendship and ultimately a partnership in ministry.
Craig opened his heart to me and my wife and then welcomed me into partnering with him in ministry at Long Grove Community Church (LGCC). God used Pastor Craig to remind me that He is a God of second chances and redeemer of purpose. Through this man, this pastor, this servant of God, there was opened up for me a new window on life and purpose. A new path of ministry.
In his invitation to become a part of the staff at LGCC he demonstrated such grace, love and confidence that God was working in my life, that in a sense, he was the instrument through which God renewed purpose in my life. Pastor Craig saw the bigger picture of what God had in mind not just for me but for the church, for LGCC.
My experience in being the recipient of Pastor Craig’s grace and love was not unique. He often was the first on the scene when someone was in need of seeing Jesus with skin on. Of having someone demonstrate that they were loved and not alone. He touched so many lives in his decades of serving LGCC that I cannot count how many times someone has said it was Pastor Craig who helped them find Jesus as savior, Jesus as friend, Jesus as Lord in their life.
I had the privilege of working alongside this man for 2 plus years. I saw in him a pastor who loved people and was willing to sacrifice all that he was to serve their spiritual and emotional needs. I saw what it was to be a leader of people yet to lead with a servant’s heart.
When he left LGCC, he left a firm foundation of teaching the Gospel and the life transforming power of God’s truth. He taught me lessons on loyalty, passion for people, disciple making, developing others and their strengths, loving Jesus, and so many, many other lessons of faith and life.
His friendship is one of the most prized pieces of my life. We have laughed together, cried together, ministered together, and yes even fished together. He is truly a lover of God, a man among men, a conduit of God’s grace and truth, and he is my friend. And I pray and wish only the best as he and Marsha continue to follow Christ while on this earth.
God’s greatest riches to you Craig, my brother and friend;
Pastor Bill Moore
Long Grove Community Church