READ: 1 PETER 5: 1-7

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in good time he will honor you. (V. 6)

He was an active Lutheran Pastor for 61 of his 86 years here on earth and to me a true example of humility driven servant leadership. He joined his boss in heaven on April 18, 2018. He had dedicated his life to the service of God in high school and that ministry continued until two months prior to his death. Like each of us he had his faults and short comings, but there was no one inside or outside of the family that did not regard him with solid respect, a respect that was built firmly on his Christian Faith and truly consistent in thought, word and deed.

In many respects he was one of those unique characters we all encounter in life, for his concern for others far outweighed his own welfare. He lived frugally buying only what he considered essential for his personal use giving the rest to church ministries and numerous other causes that reflected Jesus’ love of the poor and environment. He was a brilliant and well-traveled man who could logically converse on a multitude of subjects from theology to history, but never once did he look down upon a single person no matter their station in life. In his eyes, as well as in the eyes of Jesus, all people were equal and he treated everybody with the utmost respect. From the bank to the service station everyone knew and had a story about The Pastor,” and many remembered his trademark two dollar bill he had once given them. He never missed a family member’s birthday, or other significant event, by sending a card and a little unique gift to mark the occasion. Likewise, he never turned his back on a family member in need, no matter the circumstances, providing guidance and financial aid if required. Being a faithful member of God’s clergy he served both large and small churches in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida, never lording over his congregants, but patiently walking with them to glorify God. After retirement he returned to his hometown of Johnstown, PA, and there was hardly anyone in this aging industrial city that did not know “The Pastor.” He volunteered with many community agencies from the fire department, where he cooked hamburgers at the local jubilee to raise money, to the board of a local cemetery preservation group. He founded and headed his community’s historical society directing projects and personally funding a lot of their activities. In short, all aspects of his life were marked by humble service and he never missed an opportunity to spread the Good News! This man was the Rev. Wilbert Boerstler-my wife’s dear Uncle.


Uncle Wilbert never lost contact with his roots as a common man but he served the Lord with uncommon consistency, intensity and dedication. He sent a powerful example for all of us to follow.

Dear Jesus, humility and service go hand in hand, help us follow your lead to keep the Good News flowing through our actions.