Gold Star Family Support: Memorials
Andrew G. Patten Center for Christian Leadership Development
Our world today faces a crisis of leadership. Real leaders, men and women of godly character, are in short supply. Leaders are needed at every level of society, in the home, the church, the government and throughout the world. We are in desperate need of heroic, noble, and trustworthy leaders whose desire it is to follow Jesus Christ as their example for leadership.
It is the desire and goal of Maywood Evangelical Free Church to provide resources for training such leaders, and the Andrew G. Patten Center for Christian Leadership Development is a major step forward in achieving this goal.
The truest kind of leadership demands service, sacrifice and selflessness.
By definition, Andy Patten was a leader in every sense of the word. Born Andrew Grant Patten on June 1, 1986, in Rockford Illinois, Andy was the second child and only son of Alan G. Patten and Gayle Patten-Naschansky. Andy attended Maywood Evangelical Free Church his entire life. A May 2004 graduate of Byron (Illinois) High School, Andy joined the Marines in August of 2004.
Lance Corporal Andrew Grant Patten heroically gave his life on the battlefield while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Fallujah, Iraq on December 1, 2005. Nicknamed "The Rev." by his Marine squadron, Andy was not afraid to stand up for what he believed, even if it meant being criticized by members of his squadron. Humble and quiet, Andy looked to God's Word for his daily strength and sought to lighten the load of others by making them laugh. A true leader, Andy took time to study people, learning how to best approach them. He could relate to anyone. He portrayed the fruits of the Spiritlove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. He loved his God and his country and served both well.
"Most people fail to recognize the value of leadership. They believe that leadership is only for a few... They have no idea of the opportunities they are passing up when they do not learn to lead."
Andy feared the Lord, but he did not fear death. He believed that what he was doing in Iraq was worth any sacrifice. He believed it was his duty and calling to give his all for Jesus Christ, his family, his friends, and his country. This he did. Andy understood that he was chosen by God to bear fruit that would last. This he did, and this he will continue to do, through the Andrew G. Patten Center for Christian Leadership Development.
It was from a small but dedicated group of prayer warriors meeting on Tuesday evenings that the idea was born. God's provision through several significant financial gifts encouraged the Maywood body to make the decision in November 2005 to build the Center. Ironically, God's confirmation on the decision came in the unexpected and untimely death of Andy Patten.
With Andy's passing came a new vision to provide a place where young men and women like Andy might come to develop their leadership skills, a place where leaders could receive training to impact their world for Jesus Christ. Maywood Evangelical Free Church has always encouraged student development through ministry training. The Center will allow Maywood another resource to train our own students, and others in the community who share common ministry goals.
The Center will facilitate and expand Maywood's commitment to fifth grade through college age students by giving them a place with areas designed and built specifically for them. It would include office space for staff involved in training, a resource center for student interns, and a monitored online resource connection for students.
In addition to the ongoing teaching and training programs Maywood offers students, the vision is to host several conferences throughout the year with outstanding Christian leaders in government, finances, athletics and the church.
The Center's gymnasium/drama center will also be used to host events specifically to reach young people with the good news of the Gospel and to bring them to a personal relationship with their Creator. Maywood would also partner with other individuals and groups within the greater Rockford community who share our common goals of fulfilling the Great Commission by providing them space or resources.
For more information, contact:
Maywood Evangelical Free Church
3621 Samuelson Road
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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