It is a Sunday evening service at Seaview Baptist Church. Because it is a less formal service, we sing lots of hymns - lots of hymns. Headed by this pastor with a beautiful baritone voice, it is a singing church. Upon reaching the second or third verse of the hymn, Russell Watterberg stops and says "Let's have a quartet on this verse" and proceeds to call out people in the congregation, assigning the four parts. It wasn't until years later that I realized this wasn't standard procedure in all churches.
I am a musician by trade - a singer, accompanist, and voice teacher. I can trace a large part of the foundation of my skill set back to Seaview Baptist Church and Russ Watterberg's modeling and encouragement of music.
A while back I swung by the Dunes Camp to make sure Russ knew of my gratitude. I was the one most rewarded by this visit.
Though frail, Russ gave me a historical run-through of the progress of that camp. What a work - a work that not only serves church campers but the whole Peninsula community.
At the end of the time he told a story about my father which I won't go into here but is lovely and precious to me.
There was an unvarnished bluntness to this hard-working man. My father, who was not a church-going man, none the less respected Russ greatly, saying "Russ Watterberg knows how to work!"
Thank you, Russell, for the work of your hands, always dedicated to God.