When people come to my house they usually ooh and ahh about my décor. The truth is that most of it came either from a garage sale, an estate sale or a curbside boutique. It’s a personal hobby/addiction. On occasion, I see an irresistible treasure for someone I know. Such was the case for my Pastor, Mark Crow.
As I pulled up to the yard sale, proudly displayed on the clothing rack, (ok, it was a on old wooden fence) was a camouflage jacket. An ordinary jacket really…until I noticed the emblem: CROW.
Hard to miss and hard to resist, but it did take a couple of years before I got the nerve to give it to him. I couldn’t figure out how to present a gift like that. What would I say? “Here Pastor Mark. I really appreciate you. You are the best pastor around. Here’s a little something I picked up at a garage sale for you.”
When I finally got the nerve to give it to him he was awestruck. He had it framed in a shadow box for his father who had served in the military.
Even better than the camo jacket, however, was an empty vintage Old Crow whiskey bottle I picked up at an estate sale. Yes, I’m a junkie for old things. It was the craftsmanship of the crow embossed in the glass that caught my eye. I was a sippin’ sinner in my former life, but I had never seen one of these before. Another irresistible find.
Not sure how I was going to pull this one off either.
“Here Pastor…found some whiskey for ya. It’s got your name on it.”
The seal was gone, but I looked up the label online and a friend of mine who was graphically talented was able to manipulate the words Old Crow into Mark Crow. The slogan on the back label said, “A legendary name among America’s great spirits”.
Actually quite appropriate for a former alcoholic turned evangelist.
I’ll never forget when I gave it to him after service. It was wrapped in leopard tissue but as soon as he saw it, he declared, “It looks like…a whiskey bottle.”
By now, a crowd had gathered. Whiskey in church? He loved it. You’d have to know my pastor.
Pastor Mark is passionate about winning souls. In the fourteen years that he has boldly proclaimed the gospel at Victory Church in Oklahoma City he has never closed a service without giving an altar call. And to my knowledge, there has never been an empty altar. His passion to reach lost souls comes from his own dramatic conversion experience when the Lord broke through his messed up life. He frequently speaks of the day he gave his life to the Lord, July 17, 1977.
So here’s to you, Pastor Mark. There’s no one else who delivers the truth with more passion, authenticity and purpose like you do. You’re incredible and I love you!
Prayer: Father, thank you for our pastors that serve You faithfully. May You bless them and their families. Help us to remember to bring honor to those whose work is preaching and teaching. Amen.
The elders who direct the affairs of the church are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17
Great story! Great gift! Great guy! Miss him terribly! And miss you too!