Gilmore Ordination Reflects Life Journey
Every pastor has a story. Idaho Conference members heard part of Steve Gilmore Sr.’s story at his ordination at camp meeting on June 17. The pastor who presented Steve as a candidate for ordination was the same pastor who baptized him 25 years ago. Don Kack Sr., Whipple Creek pastor, Ridgedale, Wash., had become acquainted with Steve through his wife, Merrilou. Merrilou had been baptized and was attending church. Kack and his wife Susanne became friends with the Gilmores. Over the course of seven years, the friendship deepened, as did Steve’s desire to surrender his life to Christ.
Soon after his baptism, Gilmore felt the call to ministry. Over the next year, God made it possible for the Gilmores to move their family to Walla Walla College, where Steve graduated from the theology program. Their first pastorate was in the Upper Columbia Conference.
Family considerations required a leave of absence from paid ministry. During that time, Steve and Merrilou were active in their local church. When the opportunity came to interview with the Idaho Conference for the Elgin/Enterprise, Ore. district, God was telling them it was time to come back. The conference, churches and Gilmores were all in agreement. The Gilmores have been ministering to the communities of Elgin and Enterprise since 2004.
A highlight of the service was the special music, presented by a men’s chorus of Idaho pastors and friends. They sang a medley of "Rise Up, O Men of God" and "Lift High the Cross," arranged by Ben Purvis, Gem State Adventist Academy music director. Dan Serns, North Pacific Union Conference ministerial director, brought a message of encouragement to ministry. Alvin Kibble, North American Division vice president, offered the prayer of ordination. It was an awesome sight, with current pastors and retired ministers joining those on the platform to recognize Gilmore’s calling to the gospel ministry. The charge was delivered by Stephen McPherson, Idaho Conference president. Don Klinger, Idaho vice president for administration and Sharon McPherson, the president's wife, welcomed Steve and Merrilou to service—a continuation of the commitment they have already demonstrated.