Hands of praying young man and Bible on a wooden table.

— Pastor Seth Buckner is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church, in Jefferson. He can be reached via email at pastorseth@hopeatheritage.com.

Gary Uit de Flesch is a little-known pastor of a Baptist church in a small town in Minnesota. Most readers have never met him or even heard of him. Therefore, I want to tell you a little about him. For 20-plus years, he has been one of the most influential men in my life.

I met Brother Gary in the 1990s when he came to visit his daughter in Bible college. He was kind and encouraging and spoke to me strongly about my walk with God. This would become a trend through the coming years.

While visiting his house in my early 20s, it always felt like I was attending a Christian camp. We read the Bible in the morning and after every meal. We would spend extensive time reading the Bible in the evening. We would go to church and have a prayer and time in the Word and come straight home and do more!

Few people have I met in life who love their Bibles more, and who wanted to persuade others to do the same. I attribute much of my great love for the scriptures to the influence of this man. During a message he preached at the church I pastor, I committed to do family devotions with my family. By God’s grace, we have continued to do so for many years. His impact has been felt on his grandchildren, and I pray that someday his influence will continue with their children.

In 1 Samuel 18:18, David said to Saul, “Who am I? and what is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king?” In a different context, I say, “Who am I, that I get to have Gary Uit de Flesch as a father-in-law?” Psalms 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

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— Pastor Seth Buckner is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church, in Jefferson. He can be reached via email at pastorseth@hopeatheritage.com.