Retirement hasn't worked out the way they thought it would for Assemblies of God pastors Archie Phelps and Denny Davis. Instead, both have found that God continues to use them in ministry many years after they formally retired, and they now are ministering in some unconventional ways.
Phelps "retired" from ministering as both an evangelist and an associate pastor at churches in Texas, Oregon and California. He is the camp pastor at Catalina Spa and RV Park in Desert Hot Springs, California.
"We came here in 1989 after I retired," says Phelps, 79. "That was 17 years ago."
Though his setting is untraditional, Phelps says he does all the same work as he did when pastoring a regular church.
"We do baptisms, dedicate babies and hold funerals," Phelps says. Baptisms take place in the camp swimming pool.
The congregation of roughly 200 people is constantly changing when Phelps is there from October to April.
"We have a small core of people who are the same, but people come for two weeks," says Phelps, who travels to other places much of the rest of the year. "I get to minister to a lot of different people."
Denny Davis, a former AG Oregon District superintendent and former president of Northwest University (AG) in Kirkland, Washington, has retired twice. Now he ministers at Friendship Church, a 450-member congregation in a retirement community in Palm Desert, California.
"We stick to the core teachings of the Bible," says Davis, 78. The church holds two Sunday morning services from October to May, and one service each Sunday from June through September.
"They were in need of a pastor, and I happened to be available," Davis says. "I feel blessed to still be doing ministry at my age. I've been blessed with good health and energy. But I think if I didn't have something to do, I would go downhill fast."
Author: Judi Murphy, Pentecostal Evangel