In Honor of Pastor Samuel Jewell

This year as I celebrate 20 years in ministry, my mind travels back to 2008 when Pastor Samuel Jewell presided over my ordination. Wow! Studying, praying, and answering questions for the Ordination Council was no walk in the park, but Pastor Jewell’s wise counsel, steady encouragement, and unending humor made my memories at Harbor Baptist Church, Fleming Island, Florida a positive defining moment. 

Pastor Jewell pastored Harbor Baptist for 37 years. Imagine that… 37 years! For most of us today, it is hard to fathom staying at a church for 37 years, much less pastoring the same church for that lengthy time. Few understand the pressures pastors face as they juggle the emotional ups and downs of births and deaths, marriages and divorces, hirings and firings, financial blessings and challenges, and the drama. Oh, the drama that takes place in a pastor’s life. Attempting to please people while staying true to the authority of God’s Word is not an easy thing to do. 

Many of you will remember that my sister, Marlissa, was married to Paul David Jewell for five years before the Lord welcomed Paul across the finish line of his life’s race at only 30 years of age. I share their heartbreaking story in my testimony, God’s Glory, as I confess what his death did for my faith.

Now, Paul’s father, a faithful warrior, has finished his race. He has fought the good fight and crossed the finish line. I am imagining the reunion he is having with his son! Thank you, Pastor Jewell and Paul, for investing in the next generation of Christian leaders. May we follow in your footsteps until God leads us home to cross our finish line.

To his children, Kristin, Kara, and Philip, 

Being a PK (Pastor’s Kid) myself, I know some of the sacrifices you have made in order for your parents to be all that God called them to be. Thank you for those sacrifices that allowed your mom and dad to invest in me, my sister, and my family. You are your Dad’s greatest testimony—all still serving God in the roles to which He has called you. Stay the course. Your Dad, your brother, and your Savior are waiting for you at your finish line!

To his wife, Patsy, 

I am so thankful for the ministry God has allowed the two of you to do, investing in so many lives including mine. The sacrifices you have made week after week, month after month, year after year have not gone unnoticed. Truly, the reward God has for you in Heaven is “Out of this World” amazing! We are praying for you now as you continue running your race, faithfully serving the Lord!

Hurting and Praising with You,



Eric Hovind

Eric Hovind in God’s Glory