The congregation hosted a special event to honor the couple for their many years of service.
Among the activities during the event were gifts of appreciation being presented.
Tammy Murray led the children as they presented a project with a heart, the children’s handprints and the message “Thank you for planting a need in my heart.”
B.J. Miller, associate pastor of youth and young adults, opened the verbal tributes to the couple by noting the O’Neals had set “us an example, not just how to be Christians, but how to be a pastor and a servant of Jesus Christ.”
Pastor of Christian Eduction Nathan Napier thanked O’Neal for trusting him. “He gave me freedom to be what God has called me to be and trusted that the Lord will use that.”
Selina Mayfield said the O’Neals were “the best example of Christ-likeness ... from Pastor David playing with the kids on the floor at Easter to when we have dinners. They are the first here and the last people to leave, because that is their heart ... their servant’s heart ... and they are the example of Christ.”
Jim Neaton concurred. He noted the “pastor and first lady Brenda” have shown a real love for the people. He said they have shared their love not just with their family “but the whole Cleveland area. ... You are a chaplain in the hospital and the rest home, he preaches there ... They have a servant’s heart.”
Richard Harper, pastor of adult ministries, noted the O’Neals have shown the most important part of their ministry is “loving people.”
The Cleveland First Church of the Nazarene Church is located at 2712 Henderson Ave.