Pastor Speerbrecker Retires-121420_web
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Pastor David Speerbrecker retires after 28 years of faithful leadership

Pastor David Speerbrecker, Homewood’s longest serving clergyman, is retiring after 28 years at Salem Lutheran Church and more than 40 years in ministry. 

Pastor David Speerbrecker, Homewood’s longest serving clergyman, is retiring after 28 years at Salem Lutheran Church and more than 40 years in ministry. 

David Speerbrecker

Speerbrecker counts among his fondest memories the holiday services, such as Christmas and Easter. The gathering of people and the joyous music have always been uplifting to his spirit. He also reminisced on how engaged the church has been with the community. 

Speerbrecker’s life of service to the Homewood community is exemplary:  volunteering with various charitable causes and serving as a member of the Homewood Ethics Committee. His many efforts were recognized when he was inducted into the Homewood Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Serving in ministry for so long has had its challenges for the pastor. With changing times, he had to reinvent himself in a number of ways to keep the community engaged and active in the church. According to Speerbrecker, the pandemic accelerated the learning curve on using updated communication methods like social media to connect with members of the church. 

Despite the challenges, the church adapted. 

“People do care, they do want to help other people, and they do want to be part of the church,” he said. “If you give them the opportunity, people will rise to the occasion.”

From Speerbrecker’s experience, the nature of churches and communities has changed. People are more spread out and often get what they need from places other than the local community church. However, people still want to hear the scripture and to know what it means to love God and others. 

Parking lot services were held this year, which gave people the opportunity to be around others safely to get the Gospel. 

“We wanted to give people an opportunity to gather and to know we are still in touch with each other,” he said.

While adapting with newer methods of communication, he still implemented old fashioned outreach, such as delivering meals, especially to elderly members, calling members and sending letters through the mail.

“We are connected to God by faith and connected to each other by expressions of care and concern that we show to each other,” the pastor said, noting how appreciative others were of his efforts.

The foundation of the church is faith, and that is the same thing he wants people to remember about his leadership.

“The legacy that I hope that I have left for people is to have faith in the Lord, to be faithful to the Lord,” he said, “and to put that faith into practice by loving our neighbors and reaching out to the people in our communities that are in need or that are facing difficulties.”

When Speerbrecker retires at the end of the month, he and his wife plan to move to St. Joseph, Michigan. He’ll take some time off and rest. He looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren and extended family. 

 

Though he doesn’t seek to lead in the pastoral capacity, Speerbrecker said his heart has been in community service projects and will continue. He sees himself being a servant, whether that means simply making coffee or helping out with a food pantry. 

The words Speerbrecker wants to leave with the community are words of hope. 

“I want people to know that in my life, and their life, that God is with us. No matter what we face or what we go through, no matter where we go in life, God is with us. I hope this gives us strength and courage and hope to face whatever we need to face in life, that God is always with us.”

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