As I look back over the lives of people who have impacted my life in a positive way, I can think of no one more important than my youth pastor, Douglas Elsey. .
During my elementary years, I attended Azure Hills Elementary and then Bryn Mawr Elementary School from the 1st through the 5th grade and later transferred to Redlands Junior Academy in the 6th grade. Initially, I was to attend Cope Middle School for junior high, but circumstances caused my parents to enroll me in private school instead. .
Making a transfer between schools can be a difficult transition for some students. Usually they are overwhelmed with making new friends and the adjustment to a new curriculum that includes religion courses. However, this adjustment period influenced me to become more involved in religious activities. Due to the smaller class size, I actually found private school to be fun because of greater student/teacher interaction. Several school activities, such as band and choir, require church performances. I soon found myself involved in these activities in addition to the youth pathfinder organization. This is how I met Pastor Elsey.
Pastor Douglas Elsey was our church youth pastor and he also taught religion classes at RJA. During the 3 years I attended Redlands Academy, he became an influential person in my life. Not only was he a good pastor, but also he was a great teacher and really made religion classes interesting. As the years went by, I could ask his advice regarding any problems that I had with relationships or about any questions related to my studies. It may seem ordinary to some, but to me, a seventh grader, he made a lasting impression. I was confident in my friendship with Douglas Elsey and I felt that I could always trust him for help as well as personal support.
In many ways, his personality had a contagious effect. He has an amazing positive spirit that transcends to other people.