This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in The Evening Leader on Monday, April 26, 2021
Would you be interested in reading a tribute to a man that you don’t know? I’d be honored if you would give me a moment to allow me to write a tribute to one of the greatest men I ever knew.
I found out a few days ago that the pastor of my home church passed away. He is the only pastor I have ever had. He was preaching at my church when I was born, and he was still there when I left to serve in my first church. His name was Calvin Waugh, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that in the early morning hours of April 17, heaven lit up in a glorious uproar to celebrate the well-deserved homecoming of a man who walked with the Lord every day of his life.
So many of his mannerisms I have found myself doing. He often signed his letters with an alliteration, which are three words that start with the same letter. He would sign his letters in the name of his “Risen, Reigning, and Returning Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.” I can’t tell you how many letters I received from him signed that way. He didn’t really do email; his letters were always handwritten. Say what you want about the past, but there is a blessing in the way we used to do things.
In 1996, I went to Africa with him and his wife, Pat. He wasn’t really good with technology. I vividly remember he was nearly arrested because he emptied his pockets into a basket to send through the metal detector, and then carried the basket through the gate without putting it on the conveyer belt. It was one of the only times I ever saw him get rattled.
I can remember my very first motion at an administrative board meeting was when I was 16 years old. I was the youth representative on the council, and I made a motion to reimburse Calvin for a dinner he paid for while he was at a District meeting. I have sat in literally hundreds of Ad Council meetings in the years since, but I still remember that as my very first motion.
He always invited the ushers to collect the offering by saying “we will now worship God with His tithes and our offerings.” We don’t pass offering plates anymore, but that was a phrase I used every Sunday for most of my career.
The saying he used about materialism was that we “buy things we don’t want, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”
Calvin and Pat had 8 children, and all of their names started with K. Every Christmas, he would hand out calendars as gifts. They were signed: from Pat, Cal and the Ks.
Another detail about him, he always had big preacher hair. I can remember on our trip to Africa that he spent a lot of time combing that hair. Obviously, that is one trait I did not pick up from him, but he always looked like he was ready to step in the pulpit (something else I didn’t pick up from him.) However, he did have great annoyance at how much of a priority sports were for most people. He never mentioned sports of any kind unless it was to poke fun at it. This occasionally got him in hot water. He didn’t seem to mind. That trait I did get from him.
I remember the one time I saw Calvin at my school was on December 18, 1992, the date a classmate of mine was killed in a car accident on her way to school. In those days, pastors were allowed to come visit with kids who wanted to speak to a pastor when a tragedy happened. Calvin told me that there were only two things about life in this world we are promised. First, that it will end. Second, that Jesus’ promise of life extends beyond our death. I have never forgotten that.
Calvin Waugh was a kid from Iowa who found his way to northwest Ohio, settled in a little church in the small town of Alger, and left a deep impression on a little kid who sat with his mom, dad, sister and aunt in the 5th row back on the right side of the sanctuary. To say I am a better man for having known him is a dramatic understatement.
I will close this article with the same phrase he used in every benediction every Sunday. “May the Love of God the Father, the peace of God the Son, and the power of God the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever, AMEN”
Thank you, Calvin, I couldn’t have done it without you.