I believe of all the titles that Arvid bore, the one that fits him best is "pastor." Yes, he was a great preacher, and I can truly say, "they don't make them like him anymore." Yes, he was a wonderful and accomplished teacher of the World of God. Yes, he could pray with the best of them. Yes, he was a good administrator and leader. But most of all he was a shepherd of the Lord's flock.
Whether you were "part" of the church he was serving, or just a member of the community-at-large, to come in contact with Pastor Arvid was to be shepherded. He cared for people, sensed their needs, and sought to bring the presence of the Lord into each person's situation. I dare say he raised pastoring to an art form.
Was Pastor Arvid a perfect saint? No, and he would be the first to tell you that. Was he a great saint? Yes, and I would be the first to tell you that!
I met Pastor in 1977 when my new bride and I answered the call to serve at the church where he was Senior Pastor. (He retired within the first two years, and I wonder if I drove him to it. ;o)) He allowed me, as a young wet-behind-the-ears youth pastor to try and to fail. I know I pushed his comfort zone at times, but he was always gracious in dealing with me. He taught me what good preaching sounded like. He taught how a good prayer meeting is conducted. He taught me to "not be the first by which the new is tried, or the last by which the old has died." He taught me that preaching the Word of God is the first and foremost and highest calling of the pastor. And he taught me that Swedish is most likely the language of heaven.
It has been an honor to sit behind his desk and serve in his position here at Felton Bible Church for the last almost nine years. It has been an honor, to in some way, serve as his pastor in these last days. Humbled and honored.
I promised him just a few days ago that I would do my best, by the Holy Spirit's power, to honor his memory and his shepherding by preaching the Word in season and out, and by shepherding the flock to the glory of God.
Pastor Arvid, thank you for faithfully executing the high and holy office of the undershepherd. Your legacy shall continue in the lives of those whom you served and shepherded.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7)Pastor Arvid must have had some beautiful feet.