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Garry Abbott is the new Campus Pastor at Herndon! John Parker, Summit's Lead Pastor, explains what the position entails and why Garry is a great fit.

The Campus Pastor/Minister role is all about leading a campus community in taking our next right steps in living out Summit's Vision. Garry, stepping into that role at Herndon's Campus, will be doing just that, helping individuals take their next steps whether through pastoral care, joining a Summit Connect Group, or volunteering on one of our many volunteer teams. 

Like most people on staff, Garry fills more than one role. He will continue to lead in our local and global partnerships and the formation of the Windermere/Dr. Phillips Campus. That is a lot, but Garry is a great leader and will do great. 

What makes Garry so great?

“Garry cares about everything.” The words slipped past my lips in a fumbling attempt to describe my friend and coworker at The Forum a couple of years ago.

Those words are true in many ways. Garry is a passionate fellow with a lot of room to care. For people like me (always looking for a moment of humor), this provides a near endless source of entertainment. Because I know that there is almost no subject or idea that Garry cares nothing about, I can easily goad him into explaining and defending his opinion on almost any topic.

Here's an example*:

John:  Garry, I think hard boiled eggs are best served having been boiled for six minutes (random opinion to which I have no loyalty).

Garry: I couldn’t disagree more. If you boil an egg for six minutes the whites get rubbery and the yolk becomes dry and pasty. One would be foolish to have an egg that has been boiled for less than four minutes or more than five minutes.

John: What about the British? They love four minute eggs and even have special cups to eat them from (thus exhausting my knowledge of boiled eggs).

Garry:  No one should need a special cup just to eat an egg! The whole point of a boiling an egg is in the ease of eating it. It doesn’t taste better boiled than it does scrambled or fried. You boil an egg to keep things simple. As soon as you have to have a special cup just to eat your boiled egg you have totally defeated the reason you boiled the egg in the first place.

 * not an actual conversation… yet.

Garry cares about everything. This statement has become a common descriptor of Garry amongst the staff, but it does not tell the whole truth about this man. To really get to the truth, I have to go back about seven years ago to my first conversation with him.

Garry was sitting in the Lobby, listening to the sermon while also on Eden duty. Eden, Garry’s daughter who was maybe two at the time, was clearly the center of gravity for the family energy and also clearly adopted. Being in an adoptive family myself, I was interested in meeting this family and welcoming them to Summit.

As we talked, Garry unfolded that he and Abbie had made the decision to call Summit their home before actually moving here from Indiana. They made that decision because they wanted to be in a place where God’s mission, His rescue of the world, was being realized and lived out in community. That is what he cared about.

It was because he cares about God’s mission that we first hired him to launch the Waterford campus five years ago and, after leading in many other ways during his tenure, he is now stepping into the role of Herndon Campus Pastor. Garry cares about a lot of things, but you cannot spend much time with Garry and not get to his heart.

His heart beats for God and His mission in the world.

His heart beats for living out God’s mission in Christ-centered community, beginning with his family.

I am honored to serve alongside Garry and look forward to seeing the things he truly cares about lived out as he leads the Herndon Campus of Summit Church.

If you have questions, encouragements, or want to know more about how to get connected at the Herndon Campus, you can email Garry!