When Rev. Neil Culbertson left Faith Presbyterian Christian Reformed Church on the island of Guam, he was honored by the governor of Guam.
Governor Felix P. Camacho bestowed on him the Ancient Order of the Chamorri Award, which is the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed on a non-Chamorro person. “We were honored to receive that from the governor,” said Culbertson.
Culbertson spent 27 years on Guam, serving the CRC’s farthest-flung congregation. During that time, the church experienced many changes, including moving from a storefront facility to its present million-dollar complex, transitioning from a mission project to a locally supported church to the Faith Presbyterian Christian Reformed Church of today.
On an island just 30 miles long, cultivating relationships with other pastors was important, Culbertson said. “The Pacific Islander culture is generous and warmhearted,” he said.
A multicultural society with folks from all over Micronesia, Asia, China, and the Philippines, Culbertson said the island has all the same problems of addiction, broken homes, and gangs as any place in North America, but it is also a society that embraces people warmly.
“This is a place where a pastor can really make a difference through and well beyond the setting of the congregation,” he said.
Culbertson is now serving Tacoma (Wash.) CRC.
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