By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- Time flies when you're having fun.
For the past 30 years, Pastor Glenford Elijah Hutchinson has unwaveringly served the congregation of Port Salerno Church of God.
The first weekend of June, they honored the man and his mission with a celebration.
"I was born in that church and grew up in it. My parents were charter members," said Marian Carpenter, the church secretary.
She remembers when Pastor Hutchinson first arrived in 1983.
"He works hard for the congregation, and has always been a very family-oriented person," she said. "He built on what we had, and then he expanded on it."
Now people come from all over the Treasure Coast to hear his sermons.
The church was first established in 1931, and since then, only 14 pastors have led the congregation before Pastor Hutchinson.
Brother Alfred Patton has also been with the church since he can remember, and was one of the first church members to greet Pastor Hutchinson when he arrived.
"It's wonderful," Brother Patton said. "He's kind and caring, and cares deeply about his parishioners. He's an outstanding preacher of the Bible."
Meanwhile, Pastor Hutchinson is thankful that he's able to do as much as he can for his congregation.
"I've seen a lot of growth," he said. "I've watched people grow up, go to college, then come back to the church. It's a credit for the people who want to be part of the church as adults."
He remembers when he first arrived, and what he's done since.
"We've accomplished quite a few things," he said. "The present building was built in 1994, and we were able to pay for that in seven years. We have been operating debt-free since 2001. It's a very good working relationship."
As far as the future holds, Pastor Hutchinson believes there's still work to be done.
"The people I've baptized as babies now have babies, and watching that and being a part of it makes me very grateful to be here," he said. "I've watched a lot of growth in the community, and now see a very different versatile culture. As for people still being excited about my sermons, it's quite an achievement, and I'm very thankful."