It is almost 39 years ago to the day, as I write this, that I first met him. I was told he was kind and approachable. He had been described by Bob Wittik, my friend, as understanding and caring.
He was one of the first people I saw as I entered the room where a youth group's Valentine's Day party was being held. "Pete, this is Pastor Bricker," said Bob as he introduced us.
As we exchanged greetings and shook hands I sensed all that Bob had said about this minister was true, and that there was more to come.
I had just committed my life to Christ about 19 days before meeting Pastor Jerry Bricker. I was in search of a church to attend. Soon after making Christ my King I had received an invitation in the mail for this party and decided I would go.
Pastor Bricker and the rest of the group made me feel welcomed at the youth gathering. Towards the end of the party I was told the next evening there would be a youth rally in a nearby city and I was invited to go.
I went to that youth rally, and saw and heard things I had never seen before, which will be the subject of the next GemLight. At the end of the rally, I was invited to attend Pastor Bricker's church.
So I went that Sunday, and the following Sunday, and continued to do so. I had now come under the spiritual care of Pastor Bricker, and as the months passed, indeed, all that Bob said about him was true -- and more. I would soon learn that these qualities I noted in him were, as described by the Holy Bible, the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Equally fruitful was his wife, Sister Jeanne. She, too, exuded peace, kindness, gentleness, meekness and the other fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Lest anyone misunderstand, there are also those workings of the Holy Spirit that include firmness and frankness in dealing with sin, which the Brickers also possessed.
As a team, they were used of God to help me through that first turbulent year of being a true Christian. I wonder how many times I rang their phone, or took them aside, or dropped by their house with a concern or what I felt was a need.
However, each time I encountered them I was met with the moral qualities of God, firmly grounded in His holiness.
I do not know how many people have come under the ministry of the Brickers over the years, but I am sure they, too, have been blessed by the fruitfulness of this couple, a shining testimony to the power of God in the lives of those who make Christ their King. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." -- John 15:8.
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13
For an overview of Pastor Pete's Internet ministry please visit