by David P. Crosby Jr.
Dr. David P. Crosby Jr. (M.Div. 1997, D.Min. 2007) is the founding pastor of Pocono Community Church, Mt. Pocono, Pa. In 2002 David and a core group of 75 adults started the church.
Today more than 1200 people attend the culturally relevant, biblically driven services each weekend. Pocono Community Church is committed to leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by celebrating God’s presence, demonstrating God’s love, communicating God’s Word, incorporating God’s family and educating God’s people.
One of the greatest gifts God has given me is a rich spiritual heritage. In October 1933, at age seventeen, my grandfather, Harold Crosby, gave his heart to Christ at the Sunday evening Full Gospel Mission service while moonlighting there with his Methodist Sunday school teacher. After graduating from Central Bible College (CBC, formerly Central Bible Institute) in 1940, Harold served Christ and the Assemblies of God faithfully as an ordained minister and district official for the past 75 years. In so doing, my grandfather literally changed the spiritual trajectory of our family.
My father, David Crosby Sr., also surrendered his life to the call of God and entered the ministry at age 26. After graduating from CBC in 1968, he successfully revitalized several turnaround churches and then spent the last 20 years in devotion to ministry in one local church. Now as a district official and member of the executive presbytery, David Sr. continues to do lead missions teams and church construction projects all around the world.
Walking in the footsteps of these mighty men of God has been both an honor and a blessing. It is true that I wouldn’t be where I am today without these heroes of the faith. I can recall my grandfather strongly encouraging me to attend AGTS, and once the decision was made he and my father graciously helped me financially.
After seminary, my father offered me a position to serve on his staff. Those formative years of ministry gave me hands-on experience and taught me the greatest lessons of ministry, including how to conduct my life with character, integrity, hard work ethic and, above all, a genuine love for God and people.
Perhaps their greatest help to me came when I felt led to plant a new church in a way that was different from their Builder and Boomer generations. My vision centered on a biblically-driven, yet culturally-relevant church. My father reminded me of Acts 16:33, which says, “For when David has served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” In other words, my dad and grandfather encouraged me to accomplish God’s eternal purposes in my generation. I thank God for their spiritual maturity to discern between the eternal and cultural—to decipher between stylistic preferences and God’s timeless purposes.
Their permission (blessing) given to me to do ministry in the 21st century has emboldened me to present the powerful, life-changing Gospel in a way that people can understand. While they might not prefer the structure, strategy or style, my dad and grandfather certainly are my biggest fans because they see the results of lives changed and Kingdom growth. And for that, we are all forever grateful.