Pastor David Wellman – A Tribute

I met Dave Wellman at a Starbucks coffee shop. That’s not an unusual place for me to meet someone if you know me at all. It’s not that I think Starbucks is all that great, but it’s convenient, and the one near my home became a regular hangout for me. Once upon a time, I would get up early and take my laptop and Bible. I’d read the Bible and write blog posts. It was how I met the first character in this story, Gus Pappas. Gus is Greek, and specifically, he is Greek Orthodox.

Gus would see me reading my Bible, and he started asking me questions, and we started having regular sit-downs together. We would discuss the Bible, theology, the gospel, and many other topics. Gus is such an easygoing guy; we liked each other and still do. As the story progressed, Gus and I were chatting it up one day, and I noticed this fella over in the corner looking up from whatever he was doing and noticing our conversation. He keeps looking up and keeps looking up.  

After Gus left, I went up for a refill, and the fella came up behind me and said, “Hey, I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Pastor Dave Wellman of Crossroads Baptist Church, and I really enjoyed listening in on your conversation.” After a brief chat, I invited him to join us, and the next day it was the three of us having a grand old time.

We would meet at about 7 am almost every day. The three of us were the core, but Jerry also joined the group. Master Chief Jerry Anderson was a wee little man who must not have been much taller than 4-something feet tall. He said very little, but he was always listening. We all met at the funeral home for Jerry’s visitation to say our final goodbye.

Different people came and went through the years, but we were always there, and the staff knew us well. It was always a great way to start the day. We would read the Scriptures, discuss them and attempt to grow in our own ways. Dave was always steadfast in his temperament and theological convictions. We didn’t always see things perfectly the same way, but we had a mutual respect and love for one another that far surpassed theological convictions.

Monday, January 30th, I received a text message from Dave, “Praying for you all this morning.” We exchanged a few messages, and I left him hoping we would see him this coming summer if we visit Iowa. His final words to me were, “Awesome.”

On February 1st, Dave suffered a massive stroke and entered into eternity on February 9th. I love my friend, and I will miss him dearly. If we do get to Iowa this summer, I have no doubts Gus and I will meet, sit at our usual table, and tell stories of our friend Dave. We will never forget him. Dave walked me through some difficult times in my life, and we had the joy and privilege of attending Crossroads for a time where he faithfully ministered to our souls. We always had such a great love for his preaching and his joyful singing.

If there is anything I know for sure, it is that Pastor David Wellman heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23).

It is not goodbye, but, until I see you again, dear friend. God’s speed, your work is done here on earth. I look forward to seeing you on the other side someday.


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