This past Monday evening I had the pleasure of attending a banquet to honor Dr. Don Finto as Pastor of the Year as recognized by the Operation Andrew Group here in Nashville. I have known Don for over twenty-five years as we have pastored together in the same city. For twelve plus years we participated together in a pastor’s small group meeting simply called Metro Pastor’s Fellowship. I cannot begin to express the joy that group brought to my life as we walked together as brothers in Christ. While there was never an official leader, Pastor Don was the one we looked to for leadership and guidance.
Though in some ways we were peers Don was the spiritual father figure we all looked up too. Filled with wisdom and truth, Don would always seem to have the right word at the right time for every occasion.
Knowing and walking with Don over two decades helped me understand Paul’s word to young Timothy: 2 Timothy 2:1–2 (ESV) 1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Don has been a faithful steward of the gifts that God has given to him. He has been and continues to be a leader who invest in future generations. His love for Christ, the church, pastors, and people of all kinds makes him stand taller than most. He has a smile that is infectious and a heart that is continually overflowing with mercy and grace. Now into his 80’s he continues to minister with the strength of a man half his age.
When I grow up I want to be like Don. He is truly a man that has blessed many along the journey. Don, speaking for many of us who have been privileged to walk with you, we love you. You are our hero. Lead on and we will follow.