Sedge Fen, England
Sunday, 6 May, was a day that saw historic change at Sedge Fen Baptist Church in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk, England. Pastor John Heiserman and wife Denise, who had led the church since November 2000, departed for the United States and the next chapter of their lives as servants of the Lord Jesus.
In a brief ceremony during the morning worship service the Heisermans were awarded the honorary status of Pastor Emeritus in recognition of their nearly 18 years of sacrificial service to the Lord at Sedge Fen. A photo of the pastoral couple and a plaque commemorating their years of service and sacrifice will be affixed on the wall near the entrance to the church so that future generations of members and attendees will recall their faithfulness to the Lord during their years at the church.
During the presentation interim pastor Sam Owens quoted from a poem called First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay: “My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; But oh, my foes, and ah, my friends, it gives a lovely light.”
John Heiserman has burned the candle at both ends while serving the Lord as pastor of Sedge Fen, holding for years a full-time job as a truck driver while having a full-time job as pastor. Thankfully, his candle lasted through the night, and it continues to shine brightly today.
Many pastors would have turned off the lights, locked the door, and closed the history book on this church, but John, supported by Denise, stayed the course. The church gathered here today is a living testimony to God’s blessing of John’s faithful service through both the good times and the bad. It is our desire that for as long as Sedge Fen Baptist Church continues to be the body of Christ in this place, he will be remembered and appreciated for the years of selfless service he gave that allowed this church to continue to minister and to bless others as it has done throughout its past.
“To that end and as a well-deserved reward for your patient perseverance, the members of Sedge Fen Baptist Church have chosen to bestow upon John and Denise the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus,” Owens said. The title of Pastor Emeritus is only honorary in nature, signifying that the members of this church recognize and appreciate the sacrificial service the Heisermans gave over a period of almost 18 years. The candle of their lives and service will continue to glow here for as long as the Lord undergirds this church with His grace and goodness.
The Heisermans have temporarily relocated to Crossville, Tennessee, where they will take some much-deserved rest while awaiting the Lord’s next instruction as to where and how they are to continue their lives of faithful obedience unto Him.
The members of Sedge Fen along with the entire body of the International Baptist Convention pray for John and Denise Heiserman God’s richest blessings, His most generous provisions, and His all-sufficient empowerment as they continue in His service.