You’re never too old to be a paperboy.
Once while stocking newspapers in the racks at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus, longtime Southeast Outlook distribution volunteer Terry Brown ran into retired Senior Minister Bob Russell.
“I had a badge that I wore with my name on it,” Brown said. “Bob told me, ‘You’re kind of old to be a paperboy, aren’t you?’ I said, ‘Well Bob, I’m not the oldest person in the group. There are people older than me doing this.’”
Brown, 82, began distributing Outlook newspapers in April 2003. He retired in November due to health issues.
Brown’s route at the Blankenbaker Campus included distributing a couple of thousand newspapers a week. His Wednesday route took him an hour depending less on the number of racks he had to fill and more on the relationships he built.
“I enjoyed the contact with the people around the church and got to know them really well,” Brown added. “I got to see them every week.”
He missed less than 10 weeks in 17 years.
Brown’s faithfulness serving in the background is hard to find and easy to miss.
“Terry Brown was always faithful and flexible whether we asked him to handle a route in someone’s absence or distribute the newspapers at the Blankenbaker Campus,” said Outlook Circulation Coordinator Dottie Koebel. “When I think of him, the following words immediately come to mind: always a welcoming spirit, kind, gentle, trustworthy and above all committed to the Lord’s work.”
Brown just jumped in where there was a need, no questions asked.
“I guess I heard Bob Russell preach about how you should be contributing something or volunteering somewhere,” Brown said. “I think I saw a thing in the paper that The Outlook needed distribution people. I called the office and they … put me to work immediately. I have been there ever since.”
Brown actually helped with the Blankenbaker building project before he and his wife, Judy, stepped foot inside Southeast for the first time in 2002.
“It was the old story,” Brown said. “A friend of ours kept asking us to go to church. I was here when it was under construction because I was in the construction business. I came out a couple of times just to see it, but had no thought of joining it or coming here. She kept after us, so we finally came with her several times. As a result, we decided to make this our church home. We didn’t belong to any place before that.”
The Browns were both baptized at Southeast along with their three children and three of their seven grandchildren.