Roger Spinney, pastor and good guy

To the Editor:

The First Baptist Church of Vineyard Haven and the Gay Head Community Baptist Church of Aquinnah have been saddened by the news that their pastor of 14 years, the Reverend Doctor Roger Spinney, is leaving the Island.

In the words of Melvin Thornhill, a deacon at the First Baptist: “Roger is an all around good guy and a down-to-earth person.”

Along with his many duties serving two churches, Roger has been involved in various community activities as well. Besides memberships in the Rotary Club and Masonic Lodge, he serves on the board of directors at the Tisbury senior center. He volunteers with Hospice. He is the first chaplain to serve at the Dukes County house of correction. Rumor has it he served ice cream sandwiches at the church service in jail.

He naturally has performed numerous weddings and funerals and has been on Baptist mission trips to South America.

Roger is taking a full-time position at Hospice on the Cape. The good news is that his wife, Sharon, will commute to her hospital job here. Hopefully the community will still be able to maintain the great relationship with the Spinneys.

Both Sharon and Roger have worked tirelessly to keep the church afloat both spiritually and financially. The Baptist all-you-can-eat pulled pork fundraisers are reknowned.

It would be an understatement to say they will be missed.

As is the custom of the Baptist church, an interim minister will serve for some time before a new one is selected. Otherwise it would be tempting to compare a new pastor unfavorably.

Roger’s last sermon will be Memorial Day weekend and, of course, he will be leading worship this coming Sunday, which is Pentecost.

Lynn Irons

Vineyard Haven