We first met Tim and Julie Tennent in 1987 while they were serving as pastors of four small Methodist congregations in north-eastern Georgia. This was their first pastoral appointment. At the very first meeting, I knew that these were special people. Though very young and new in ministry, Tim and Julie impressed me with their spiritual maturity and love for the Lord and His Church. I still vividly remember going for very early morning prayer with Tim to one of the sanctuaries, just the two of us. It was February and very cold and the sanctuary was not heated! When I saw Tim kneeling and praying in that cold sanctuary at 5 AM or so I knew he was serious about serving the Lord.
I have had the privilege of preaching the same Sunday morning in all the congregations! We would finish one service and ‘run’ (drive) to the next. What a blessed memory! I never knew at that time that this ‘circuit rider’ preacher would become the President of Asbury Theological Seminary. However, I did know that the Lord would honor him and bless him beyond his wildest expectations because I clearly saw his (and Julie’s) humility and servant hearts. I saw how much they loved the Lord and His Church and how eager they were to touch the world with the Gospel.
Their love for Missions had taken Tim and Julie to India, even before we met. We traveled together for the first time in India in 1988 and from then on Tim has been with us every year, except one (and Julie and children several times). They both have played a very key role in the development of the Luther W. New Jr. Theological College (NTC), Dehra Dun, where Tim is a beloved visiting professor. We love and admire Tim and Julie very much. We do not have words that are adequate to express our appreciation for them for all that they have done for strengthening the Church in India.
We pray that the Lord would bless them with all the riches in the heavenly places and shower them with His abundant grace as they take on the new assignment that the Lord has entrusted with them!
George and Leela Chavanikamannil
New Theological College
Dehra Dun, India.