January 8, 2021

I’ve said this many times over the years – when God leads someone to become a part of Crossgate, I believe that this individual is nothing more than a special gift from God.  God intends to use this person to strengthen and build up the body of Christ, and He has equipped him/her with gifts, talents, and life experiences to do this. 

There are two people in particular that God has used over the years to help make Crossgate what she is today – Don and Barbara Nilsson.  This is a couple that loves the Lord and loves His church, and they have faithfully and diligently served His church at Crossgate.  Sadly, this dear couple will be leaving us in the next few weeks to move to Florida in order to be close to their daughter and family.  I’m disappointed that we can’t give them a proper sendoff because of Covid, but I want everyone to know how much they have blessed me and Joye personally, and how much they have meant to our whole body.

Don has his PhD in Theology and taught for some 30+ years at Nyack College in New York.   Over the years, Don has taught numerous classes in our Sunday School (Christian Growth Classes)  on apologetics, Bible surveys, Eschatology; etc.  These weren’t your typical Sunday School classes.  These classes were “meaty” and challenging.  Each week there would be a 4-6 page handout of things that he would be covering.  I personally loved sitting under Don’s teaching and profited immensely from this – as did all of us.

And Barbara – what a gem!  Barbara had been a school teacher at one point, and was a master at communicating with children.  For years on end, Barbara invested in the lives of many of our children – teaching them God’s Word in a Christian Growth Class or Kids’ Worship.  And when Barbara taught, whether it was one or two children or fifteen, she would always put her heart and soul into preparation.  She definitely made an impact on many of our children.

There is so much more that I could say about them.  I realize that some of you never had the privilege of getting to know them, but I wanted everyone to know that what you experience at Crossgate today is, in part, because of these two gifts from God and how faithfully they have served us.

Don and Barbara – from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the whole church family at Crossgate, thank you for loving Jesus and loving us!  We love you and pray that God would continue to bless you and use you to build and beautify His Bride!

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