Reverend Elder Slade retires after 46 years in Ministry
Reverend Elder Lucky Slade held back tears when he recalled his journey as a church minister, which ended Wednesday following a pensioners service held at Malua.
After 46 years in the Ministry, serving at the Congregational Christian Church or Samoa Te Atatu in New Zealand, Reverend Elder Slade and wife Terri Slade can finally enjoy their retirement.
Asked how he felt, Reverend Elder Slade said he was “very grateful".
“As a faifeau (pastor) the first thing to do is to give thanks to God because I believe it was Him alone who brought us this far," he told the Samoa Observer.
“We probably are the longest serving church ministers in the history of the church. We started off when we were young. We give thanks to God for all these years that He has blessed us with.
“We all have different callings from God and whenever we succeed or achieve something in our lives, we always give thanks to God.”
Reflecting on their journey, Reverend Elder Slade said they started from scratch.
“For us, there were so many revelations and miracles we had along our journey," he said. "All I can say is we’re very humbled and we honour the Lord for all he has done for us.
“When we were first called to serve at Te Atatu in New Zealand, it was a bit of a shock for us. Because at the time, we weren’t residing in New Zealand, so we didn’t know where the congregation was located. We had to look for it and it wasn’t easy.
“Our first Christmas service was done out on the grass, in the open under the moon and the stars. There was no building, and we were new to the area so we didn’t know our way around and how to get things done.
“During that Christmas, we prayed and asked God to show us the way to do what we wanted to do. God granted us that and he gave us a big land where the C.C.C.S Te Atatu is now based.
“And in the first six years of our time in Te Atatu, we were able to complete everything we asked God for, church building, the pastors house, the hall for the church, car park and everything was completed. Then we continued our work from there.”
Despite all that, Reverend Elder Slade said nothing is more fulfilling than healing souls and helping people with their daily walk with God.
“(If) I pick the main highlight of our journey, it would have to be saving one soul for the Lord," he said. “Throughout our Ministry, that was the main thing we thrived on, to fish for more souls for the Lord and his Ministry, starting from the young ones.”
Looking ahead, Reverend Elder Slade said his work in the Ministry is not finished.
“I’ve got something planned ahead,” he told the Samoa Observer.
“It’s a different kind of ministry that we will reach out and feed the under-privileged children not only in New Zealand but for Samoa as well.
“My time on the pulpit is done. It is time for me to serve our people in a different area. So my wife and I agreed together with the help of our children and other qualified and professional people to carry out this mission.
“This is a new phase of life for us. We started two months ago, feeding the people who live in the city of Auckland. My desire to serve and reach out to our people is still strong and that is why we came up with this mission.”
As he set out to enjoy his retirement, he wants to remind everyone that we all have different callings from God.
“I believe that where God places you is not a mistake. Whether you are a mother, father, a young girl with a good academic upbringing or whatever and wherever places you go, that’s your calling and you are not there by mistake.
“That’s where God wants you to excel. He will never put you in a place where you will shrink down. He wants us to blossom anywhere he places us. I am so grateful and honoured with how He used our lives in His ministry.
“And I want everyone especially the young ones to never stop believing and keep connecting not only to God but to other people. For instance, if you want to be an All Black player, you have to team up with the people with the same mindset. That’s the same for an aspiring Manu Samoa player or a politician, a church minister and so forth.”
Reverend Elder Lucky and Terri Slade have seven children and seven grandchildren.