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Life after retirement

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POSTED: March 16, 2009 10:50 a.m.
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Pastor Walter Ross and his wife, Gail.

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After spending almost 40 years on the job, Apostle Walter Ross was ready to retire. However, retirement for this pastor was just the beginning of bigger and better things.
Ross of Hinesville spent 39 years at Great Dane in Savannah as a welder and fitter. He retired in February and does not miss the daily ride back and forth to Savannah.
To celebrate his retirement, Ross’ family, church members and friends gathered Jan. 17 at the Marne Club on Fort Stewart for a surprise celebration.
“It was wonderful. It is very special when people come with no strings attached. There were family members who came who don’t get a chance to be with me. Some people had other engagements, but they set aside the time to come,” Ross said.
“It was a celebration of getting rid of my part-time job so I can do my full-time job. I am enjoying the taste of what I have been missing. Now I see what I can do — all the extra things you did not see before. The time you have, you can devote to God, yourself, family and the things of God. You are not tied to something else,” he said.
“I have the opportunity to do what God wants me to do and when He wants me to do it. I plan to teach my members even more. There is so much that God wants to show us, but we must be attentive to Him. We want our congregations to be attentive to us. Likewise, we must be attentive to God.”
A Savannah native, Ross has been a pastor for 39 years and has been in the ministry 40 years. He is the pastor and founder of several churches. He is the pastor of Trinity Outreach Ministries in Midway, Philadelphia Church of Christ in Brunswick, Church of God in Brunswick and Jones Temple in Jones. He is also the founder of New Jerusalem Mission in Jacksonville
“I want to encourage pastors. This is a time we have been praying for. A time God has already set aside for us and the people we pastor and those who are not churched. The things that are happening are intended to break down, tear down, rebuke, reprove and then bring them back to God. This recession is not something God cannot fix, but some have to go to the bottom so God can bring them back up,” Ross said.
“Pastors have a golden opportunity to preach the word. God wants fellowship with His people. We are to lead the people. Pastors have a good job, but they must take it more seriously. Some things come to offend, some to entangle. If it is not of God, let it go — let others handle it. Some stuff is from the enemy. Don’t let anything interfere with your relationship with God. Stay focused and preach the word.”
Ross and his wife, Gail, have been married for 39 years. She is also active in the ministry. They live in Hinesville and have six children and 14 grandchildren.
 

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