The Randy I Grew Up With

In November 2011, in honor of Randy Weber's 20th anniversary at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, we published a profile on our associate pastor by the person who knows him best—his wife, Cindy. As Randy prepares to retire from FAPC this month, after more than 25 years of ministry here, we are delighted to republish Cindy's article.

By Cindy Weber

Randy claims that we met in the nursery at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Wenonah, New Jersey, our hometown. I don't remember that, but we certainly have the shared experience of growing up in that lovely small town.  

It was a town where children were free to run and play with their friends, or sit and think in the woods, or skate at Parkerís Lake all afternoon, just as long as we were home for dinner. Growing up in the same hometown, swim club and church gives Randy and me an authentic background that we have in common with each other, and with both of our families.

Randy was always very involved in team sports when he was growing up, especially baseball and swimming. In fact, when he was eight years old, he broke his leg while playing a neighborhood game of baseball. This led to a compound spiral fracture, and a long summer of operations and recovery. He began swimming as a way to rehabilitate his leg, and that began many years of swimming all year round. 

He loved watching and attending sporting events with his dad. One time, when he was sick with a fever, his dad wrapped him up and took him to the Eagles' Super Bowl game at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Randy and his dad still talk on the phone every week about the Phillies and Eagles games they are both watching on TV.  

(Speaking of sports, our first date was to a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game. I should have known what I was in for then!)  

We met at our home church in Wenonah a few years after college, while we were both living at home and actively participating in Memorial Presbyterian Church. I was on the Board of Deacons, and while we were serving a dinner for the old folks' home in our town, Randy was playing Scott Joplin tunes on the piano as entertainment. We became acquainted and began dating that fall.  

We announced our engagement at Christmas time and were married the following fall—October 14, 1978.  

We had been married for about four months when Randy came home from work one day (he was an insurance salesman for Aetna) declaring that a motivational speaker had inspired him to enter the ministry! We traveled up to Princeton Theological Seminary the next morning, and Randy was interviewed for the class that would be entering in the fall of 1979. He received his acceptance letter on Good Friday, and so our sojourn began.  

Our years at Princeton Seminary were a wonderful time of study and growth for Randy. Our first daughter, Laura, was born during our time there. Our son, Craig, and daughter Emily were born during Randy's first call in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.  

We lived in Pennsylvania for 10 years, seven of them in Dauphin, a beautiful town north of Harrisburg, nestled among the Susquehanna River and the Appalachian mountain ridges. Randy was very successful in building up Hope United Presbyterian Church there. The congregation grew from about 325 members to over 450 by the time he left in 1991.  

It was a very exciting time for us as a family, because there were many families and children involved in the church. Randy would bring out his "Relics Box" and give children's sermons on the chancel steps for as many as 40 or 50 children on a Sunday morning.  

When Randy received the call to come and serve as associate pastor here at FAPC, he packed up his bags, and the kids and I drove him to the train station in Harrisburg. He was so eager to get to New York City and his new call that he was literally running down the hall toward his train and his new life.  

Randy has always felt so called to serve Christ and this particular congregation. With the arrival of Scott Black Johnston, he has felt empowered to use his gifts in administration and pastoral leadership to help lead the church forward. 

Randy's devotion to his marriage, to his family, and to his ministry in this place have never wavered. Because of his deep commitment to his call, and to his relationships, he has been able to grow and move into the future with this wonderful, beloved congregation, which we are so fortunate to serve.

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