Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Memorial for Church Pioneer

“Oh we are the Pathfinder’s Strong, the servants of God are we, faithful as we march along, in kindness, truth and purity. A message to tell to the world, a truth that will set us free, King Jesus the Savior’s coming back, for you and me…..” - Henry T. Bergh

On August 27, Camp Wawona hosted a memorial service for Pathfinder pioneer, Elder Henry Bergh. Several generations were united as they attended the service. Many shared how their lives were impacted by Elder Bergh. Numerous testimonies were also given on how his life impacted our local Conference, Union, North American Division and our World Church.

Elder Bergh’s family was presented with various gifts in appreciation of his service. North American Division recognition was sent from Pastor James Black and presented by Central California Conference (CCC) President, Ramiro Cano. Executive Secretary, Ron Rasmussen, presented the family with a conference relic, the 100 year anniversary compilation of our church heritage in the CCC region where Elder Bergh also played a very important role. CCC Youth Director, Pastor Elden Ramirez, presented the family with a Pathfinder church flag and expressed his gratitude not only for Pastor Bergh’s ministry in the Pathfinder program, but also for his incredible contribution to the Summer Camp and Junior Youth Ministry of the Central California Conference. 

Having lived his life for God, Pastor Bergh, will always be remembered as an honest and kind man full of wisdom and integrity. 

Dixie Plata, Pathfinder Historian, describes Pastor Bergh’s journey,
“Henry became a treasurer for several conferences and for Pacific Press before becoming the Youth Director of the Central California Conference. It was here that he helped to begin 23 Pathfinder clubs, wrote a booklet “How to Start A Pathfinder Club,” started the Pathfinder Coordinator program, held the first Pathfinder Leadership Training, designed the Pathfinder flag (which Helen Hobbs made), and led the first Pathfinder Fair.” 

Perhaps one of Elder Bergh’s greatest contributions to our church was the countless hours he dedicated to our beloved Camp Wawona. It was here where thousands of lives were brought to the feet of Jesus Christ under the leadership of such a Godly man. 

Despite all of his accomplishments, Elder Bergh was a humble pioneer who preferred to keep a low profile. When asked to write a song he properly protested that he was neither a musician nor a composer and promptly dismissed the notion. He said, 
“But along in May of 1949, I was driving to an appointment out on Monterey Peninsula about 70-80 miles (110-130 km) from home. I was thinking about our Pathfinders and how they needed a tune. Then I thought, well, at least I should write some words. So I tried to compose a poem. I thought about the MV Pledge—pure and kind and true, with a message to go to the world. I pulled to the side of the road, took a piece of scrap paper out of my Bible, and began to write...” (The Pathfinder Story)

“...Well, I thought, that’s not bad… I took off again for my Sabbath appointment.  On my way home afterwards, I started humming a tune of sorts; then the words began to fit in. I pulled off the road again and jotted down some dots as I hummed the tune over. That evening I asked my wife to try and play this thing for me from the dots on the page. I still wasn’t confident that it was good enough for a Pathfinder Song, so I sent it to Wayne Hooper (a well known church musician and composer) and asked him to edit it. He sent it back and said ‘It’s a good song—go ahead and publish it!” (The Pathfinder Story) 

Pastor Henry T. Bergh will be remembered for many of his accomplishments but one in particular will forever stand out - the words and music he wrote down as they were given to him from above.

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