george_hancockstefanStarting on the first week in August, I will share the Pastor’s Corner column with Mr. Bruce James Wood. I am doing this for a number of reasons, which I will list below.

I have written the Pastor’s Corner from the inception of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Looking back over the years, I have written more than 400 articles.  I have various ways of writing these columns.  Many of the outlines were done at the Pancake House in Middletown, the IHOP in Keyport or my church or seminary offices.  I write outlines which later become articles. Sometimes I would write 4-6 articles in advance, sometimes I would cram before the deadlines and sometimes the deadlines passed and there was no article. Whatever the process was, I enjoyed writing the Pastor’s Corner then and I enjoy it now.

However, I have found that because of some other requirements, the creative well is not gushing as it was ten years ago.  The church is asking for some new pastoral contributions that need to be handled soon, and rightfully so.  The seminary is asking for some greater administrative involvement and for some academic writing to be done in order for a promotion to take place.

By sharing the Pastor’s Corner with Bruce, we will have two different perspectives on the ministry – I have been ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977 and he will be ordained to the Gospel ministry in 2011.  Bruce grew up in Highlands, attended Henry Hudson Regional High School and then attended Rutgers University where he received a BA in English and Journalism. Currently he is in his senior year at Palmer Theological Seminary.  He was baptized at Central Baptist Church and was granted a license to preach here, which is the first step towards ordination.  He has regularly preached here at Central Baptist Church and is currently doing his internship at the First Baptist Church of Laurelton. He is also married to my daughter Lindsey and they have a son named David.

I have listened to Bruce preach and as one of his seminary professors I have read many of his papers (since he took about 7 courses with me).  He is called by God to Gospel ministry and he writes well-thought out papers. I enjoyed reading them and I sure that the readers of the Pastor’s Corner will enjoy reading his thoughts as well.

Currently our approach is to do as many individual articles as we can.  We do not plan to do any joint writing, even though could change in the future.

I hope that you will continue to enjoy reading this column and as always, your feedback is important to us. Please let us know what you think when you see us throughout the community or if you want to send us emails, we can be reached at [email protected].

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...