Baptist and Reflector
BRADFORD — Longevity is a concept First Baptist Church, Bradford, understands and appreciates.
The church’s pastor, Don Dyer, has faithfully served for 28 years. However, that pales in comparison to the length of ministry by Larry Patterson, minister of worship. At the age of 17, when Larry was a senior in high school, the music position at First Baptist became vacant and the pastor, Harry Garland, persuaded Larry to lead music.
No one, and certainly not Patterson, could have imagined what that meant for his future and the future of the church. On Sunday, Sept. 26, Patterson, retired after 62 years of ministry. Across those years, he served alongside eight pastors and five interims.
In his own words, his goal always was “to bring honor and glory to the Lord through the music.” During the worship service, Dyer presented a lovely plaque in appreciation of Patterson’s ministry.
Patterson chose for his retirement service three hymns which he identified as among his favorites: “Majesty,” “How Great Thou Art” and “Blessed Assurance.” For the special music, he chose to sing the first song he sang as a solo after he became the minister of worship: “Follow Me.”
Patterson’s ministry touched many lives and much of his effectiveness can be explained by the devotion and faithfulness of his wife, Betty Lou. His three daughters and their families were in attendance, as well as former pastor, Bill Northcott (11 years) and his wife, Sandra.
Videos were shown of pastors and friends who were unable to be at the service but who wanted to express their appreciation and love for Patterson. B&R