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As a pastor, have you ever had a loss of words during those many trying moments in your ministry, when you found it difficult to express your true feelings? All of us have! Maybe the loneliness of being a pastor has, at times, simply overwhelmed you and you search for someone, anyone to offer you words of comfort and encouragement. Possibly, you've been without words to comfort those who are grieving or experiencing a deep hurt. Many times it could have been your own grief or deep hurt. Pastor Phipps, like any other pastor, has been there many times and he has a deep burden for all of you facing the many challenges of the pastorate. He wrote Poems for the Pastor to offer you special words of encouragement, words of hope, words of healing, and words you can share with others within your flock who need them the most. May these simple lines of verse, uniquely interwoven through Scripture, be a blessing to you, your family, and those under your tender care. Pastor Richard A. Phipps has served as Senior Pastor in Jacksonville, Florida; Severna Park, Maryland; and his current home of Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business management and the Arabic language from the University of the State of New York and a master of arts degree in church ministry from Luther Rice Seminary. Prior to going into the full-time ministry, Pastor Phipps proudly served in the United States Navy as an Arabic linguist and retired in 1998 as a Master Chief Petty Officer. During those twenty-eight years of service to his country, he also served bi-vocationally at every duty station in music, administration, evangelism, and education ministry. He has had opportunities to help build the Kingdom in numerous states within our great country, as well as throughout the world in Greece, Spain, and Cyprus. He has three grown and wonderful children; however, his loving wife and ministry partner for nearly thirty-five years, Diane, lost her long battle with breast cancer and went home to be with the Lord on September 16, 2007.