By Glenn Hannigan, Editor, North Georgia Advocate
This is a historic edition of the South Georgia Advocate. After 37 years of writing insightful, relevant and well-crafted Sunday school lessons for the Advocate, the Rev. Herchel Sheets is calling it quits.
At age 83, Rev. Sheets is not hanging up his keyboard - far from it. He is simply ending his long run as a contributor to the Advocate to focus on other writing projects.
“I have a series of articles I am working on,” Rev. Sheets said, “under the heading of ‘God at our every point of need.’ I am expecting to wind up with 45-50 separate pieces under that topic."
For most people “retirement” indicates leaving work behind and entering a period of rest and relaxation. For Rev. Sheets, his retirement from full-time ministry in 1999 simply meant he had more time for all the other projects and activities he loves so dearly, including teaching, speaking and writing.
In addition to his long service as a Sunday school writer for the Advocate, Rev. Sheets has authored nine books and numerous devotionals and articles.
Most recently he edited Letters Written in Turbulent Times, by Bishop John Owen Smith. In 2005, he authored Methodism in North Georgia (Boyd Publishing Company).
“Everything Herchel does, he does well,” said Jamie Jenkins, Executive Assistant to North Georgia Bishop Michael Watson. “His faithfulness and commitment are only matched by the high quality of his work.”
Rev. Sheets and wife Gladys, who were married in 1949, have four children and eight grandchildren. Rev. Sheets has served in the North Georgia Conference in a variety of roles since 1949. He was district superintendent of the Atlanta-Marietta District from 1989-95 and served as Administrative Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Ministerial Services from 1995-99.
He was elected as a delegate to the General Conference 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. He served as leader of clergy delegation in 1988 and 1992.
“I have enjoyed writing for the Advocate,” Rev. Sheets said. “But there are various writing projects I want to pursue. I need to free up some time.”
Rev. Herchel Sheets’ final two Sunday school lessons for the Advocate appear on page 6.