An Appreciation of Rev. Gordon SavageSeptember 14, 2012
With great regret we heard of the passing on 23rd May of our much loved and respected minister, Gordon, following a long illness. Having been inducted on 2nd February 1984, he provided 28 years of devoted service to Maxwelltown West Church and the wider community.
It really seems almost yesterday that we welcomed Gordon and Mairi into our midst. Indeed many of you will remember his induction and introduction, each attended by a former Moderator of the General Assembly. You may not know that within three weeks of his arrival a mini earthquake was recorded in the Dumfries area – the first time ever.
I am not sure if this was a coincidence or not, but from that time on we saw many welcome changes in Maxwelltown West. Indeed it is interesting to note how many things that we take for granted were introduced during Gordon’s ministry. Some, like the introduction of pew bibles, the reforming of a Bible Class and a Youth Fellowship, now merged into Y-Max and the formation of the Good Companions, came early in his ministry.
Yet, as the years passed, he did not rest on his laurels and further innovations came in the form of, for example, monthly Family Services with the involvement more and more of younger members of the congregation, a Praise Band, a Praise Group and a guitar group. For Gordon, music was always an important aspect of worship and indeed, with his encouragement, we were one of the first congregations in Presbytery to introduce CH4.
We also saw the introduction of an Assistant Minister, to provide much needed support for both Gordon and the congregation. At his instigation we also saw the use of a Children’s and Family Worker.
Throughout his ministry we have supported many outside groups, but over the past few years we have seen this concentrated on the provision of aid to Bondo and a link with Mathia Church. Gordon was instrumental in progressing these African links and led a group from Maxwelltown West in a visit to Mathia. I am sure he appreciated the live link at last year’s Candlelight Service. Mathia’s sadness at his death was conveyed in a heartfelt message of condolence.
Gordon was proud of his own Church but we must not forget his immense input to Presbytery through his work as Presbytery Clerk and his contribution to the wider Church through his service on various Church committees. In all areas Gordon was a stickler for detail and I am sure several people would willingly have presented him with a set of red pens lest his own ran out. He was meticulous in his planning and preparation whatever task he was presented with.
We also have to remember the support Gordon received from Mairi, David and Alasdair throughout these past two difficult years. We all express our sincere hopes and good wishes for their future.