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Honoring Retiring Ministry: Frank and Sonia McCrady

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Honoring Retiring Ministry

Frank and Sonia McCrady

Mr. McCrady grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and went to Ambassador College in 1965. He graduated in June 1969. While at Ambassador College he met his wife Sonja, and they were married on June 9, 1969. They have three sons: Rick, Scott and Michael. They also have two grandchildren, MacKenzie and Collin.

One prominent area of service for Mr. McCrady is serving in youth summer camps. He has served in various roles at camps starting in his sophomore year at Ambassador College of 1966, continuing through 2016. He also was the regional pastor of the Northeast region, coordinated Feast sites (2010-2016) and taught harmony of the Gospels at Ambassador Bible College (2010-2016). Mr. McCrady also developed and coordinated the United Church of God marriage workshop program. Through this program he conducted workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Since both Frank and Sonja studied leadership with focusing on subjects that deal with helping others to attain their God-given potential, Mr. McCrady hopes to develop a leadership program to use to help others in and out of the Church.

Longtime Friends and Coworkers Shared These Thoughts:

Ron Barker: “Frank McCrady has a way of seeing a positive side of everything. He can see the silver lining in the darkest of clouds. He teaches that everything God asks us to do is for our own benefit. He really wants us to focus on the fact that God is a loving Father. He always would tell us that when he left Dayton, one thing for sure is that we would all know that living God’s way of life was for our good, both now and in the Kingdom. We were blessed to have him and Sonja in the Dayton area, and they will be missed by us all.”

Bart Bornhorst: “There are many good things about Mr. Frank McCrady’s pastorate in the Dayton, Ohio, congregation. There is one that stands in the forefront of in my memory, and that is his endless smile and positive attitude. I found this attribute of Mr. McCrady to be very important and beneficial as many people deal with serious things in life, and a simple smile can make anyone from a child to widow feel more at ease.

“His positive focus even extended into his sermons. During his sermons we would regularly turn to a couple verses in particular that would help us all keep a positive focus towards God and His ways. It was Deuteronomy 10:12-13 Deuteronomy 10:12-13 [12] And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, [13] To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command you this day for your good?
American King James Version×
and Deuteronomy 6:24-25 Deuteronomy 6:24-25 [24] And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. [25] And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.
American King James Version×
. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 Deuteronomy 10:12-13 [12] And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, [13] To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command you this day for your good?
American King James Version×
: ‘And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?’

“He would often teach that everything that God does is for our good. We serve a positive God, and Mr. McCrady understood that and passed it on to us. I appreciated his service to God’s people very much.”

Gerald Seelig: “Frank McCrady is a wonderful example of one who cares deeply for people. He enjoys friendly give-and-take done in fun and always loves a good laugh, even at his own expense.

“He and Sonja nurtured the Cincinnati North congregation through some very rough times. He always focused us on the fact that ‘what was in us and Who was for us’ was far more powerful than the spiritual foe fighting against us. And as it has been said, he always wanted us to remember that whatever happens is intended by God to be for our benefit—always.

“There are two specific traits that I really appreciate about Mr. McCrady. The first one is that of being flexible. If something did not go according to the planned schedule at services, he would just roll with it and never made a big deal out of it. That was much appreciated by the congregation. The second thing: He was not controlling at all. He did not have to be involved in the nitty-gritty details. He gave it to others to do and said, ‘Just keep me informed.’ He wanted those in the congregation to feel like it was their congregation as well. He and Sonja made us feel like a family.

“Sonja McCrady is a good listener and enjoys a good laugh as well. While in our congregation, she took special time with each person, one at a time, to listen to them and offer advice when asked.

“My wife Connie and I will miss them both.”

Peter and Terri Eddington: “It has been a great pleasure to know the McCradys for so many years. Frank and Sonja have become a joyful part of our lives with their infectious enthusiasm and happiness, and their love for the brethren in the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas has been wonderful to see.

“Mr. McCrady has such a positive outlook on life, and brings encouragement to all with whom he interacts. His sermons have brought depth of understanding to those who have received them. We have also appreciated Sonja’s friendship and behind the scenes loving care and support she has shown to our family, as well as to so many others.

“As Frank and Sonja move into retirement and a new chapter in their lives, we pray for their success and continuing good health. We will miss them here in Ohio.”

Mr. and Mrs. McCrady share their reflections:

Frank McCrady: “My most memorable experiences center around the many members I have met and friends I have made in the Church over my years of service. Relationships truly are what last in life; things come and go! One theme I have tried to live, and would give as words of advice, center on Deuteronomy 10:12-13 Deuteronomy 10:12-13 [12] And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, [13] To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command you this day for your good?
American King James Version×
and Deuteronomy 6:24 Deuteronomy 6:24And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
American King James Version×
. My paraphrase is, ‘Everything God asks us to do is for our good/benefit’ (Deuteronomy 6:24 Deuteronomy 6:24And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
American King James Version×
says ‘always’). This helps me keep a positive outlook on life, which God intends to be good.”

Sonja McCrady: “I don’t have a great deal to add. What Frank said reflects my sentiments as well. My best memories will always be of our wonderful brethren. They are some of the most gracious, generous and sincere human beings I have ever met anywhere. Our members are by far the best part of the Church, and my most valued accomplishments were those occasions when I was able to add to their wellbeing by passing on information and processes I had learned.

As for words of advice, I have one sentence: “Be who you are without apology.” As Oscar Wilde famously pointed out, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” I say this to women in particular. Allow God to shine through you with the talents that He Himself gave you. God made you unique so He could use the gifts that you alone possess. Don’t thwart His design by becoming an imitation of someone else.”

Plans After Retirement

The McCradys plan to live in Texas to be close to their sons. They bought a lot near Dallas and plan to build a house once their home sells in Ohio. And they hope to do more traveling and investing in real estate. Mr. McCrady says he enjoys golf and plays about three rounds a summer. He hopes to increase those numbers after retirement.