It was 8:00 o’clock Monday morning, August 31, 2009, and Dave Knight, children’s pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Osceola, Ind., walked into his church office. He was looking forward to planning the startup of the fall children’s ministries at Osceola. Senior pastor Greg Serafino stuck his head in the office doorway and asked if he could join him in his office. “As [Greg] began to speak, I immediately understood that this was not a ministry meeting, this was not a church business-type meeting,” recalls Dave. “This meeting…was about me.”
He continues, “As he went on, I began to realize that I was being unceremoniously dismissed.”
Stunned, Dave packed up his things and headed home, swimming in grief.
Through the following weeks, Dave was encouraged by several of his friends and mentors. Through the recommendation of a friend, he read A Tale of Three Kings – A Study in Brokenness by Gene Edwards.
“I couldn’t put it down because it was about me and what I was going through from a scriptural prospective,” Dave shares. “As I walked through this amazing book; God tenderized my heart and had begun to teach me the way to handle my situation.”
Little did he know that Greg was also reading A Tale of Three Kings, and God was working on his heart too.
After several weeks, Greg called Dave and asked to meet with him and his wife, Sue. “He told of how God had used the “Three Kings” book to speak to him and how he had also been speaking to the elders regarding my dismissal. He then, with tears, asked for our forgiveness for how this had all happened,” Dave remembers.
“I told him that [my wife and I] had already forgiven both him and the elders prior to this meeting. As Greg left our home that afternoon, I believe we both understood that we were in the middle of an amazing experience with God.”
After meeting with the elders and much prayer, Dave Knight was asked in January 2010 to return to the Osceola church in a new role of Care Pastor.
“Today I can say that I have a more sensitive heart toward people and a deeper understanding of the struggles that they go through because of the path Christ had us walk,” notes Dave.
“I learned the incredible worth of friends; their help, their prayers and support which were invaluable to us as we travel this difficult road. I have a greater respect for the Word of God. I have come to love and appreciate Greg, my dear friend and pastor. My love has deepened for him because of his tender heart, his compassion, his willingness to be led by the Lord. Our relationship is stronger today because of what we walked through together.”
“Pastor Dave and I are better friends today than ever before,” agrees Greg. “Our relationship is open and transparent. We have a wonderful time serving together according to how God has gifted us and our families are deeply committed to each other! God is good.”
This story was an abridged version of one written by Greg and Dave. To request the entire story or to send them a note of encouragement, email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave at email@example.com.
Learn how their wives responded. Cari Serafino and Sue Knight recently shared their story with Women of Grace USA…read it here.
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.