Happy Birthday, Pastor Rossow!

We at the BJS Steering Committee are hijacking the front page of Johnny Steadfast in order to wish a HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to our esteemed chairman and publisher: Rev. Tim Rossow.   We exult in this milestone with him and his lovely wife, Phyllis, and take this opportunity to honor our brother, rejoice with him, and consider his blessings to be our own.   We encourage  those of our readers who know Pastor Rossow  to share favorite “Tim memories”, current joys you share with him, and dreams for you may have  for his future.   Take a moment to share your thoughts  with us below as we celebrate the life of one very humble, insightful, and courageous servant of God.

In Christ,

The Brothers – and Sisters – of John the Steadfast

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Happy Birthday, Pastor Rossow! — 11 Comments

  1. Phil, Cheryl and all BJS Volunteers,

    Thank you for your kind thoughts. I would argue that I am not very humble nor insightful but I will cop to being stupidly courageous.

    God bless you and all the Brothers of John the Steadfast.


  2. Happy Birthday, Pastor Rossow,

    Thanks for all of your efforts on behalf of the Brothers of John the Steadfast. You have been an encouragement in the faith to many of us.


  3. I’ll never forget the first time I met Pastor Rossow. We had talked at length over the phone as part of the call process, but I had never met him before my big visit to Bethany for an interview with the call committee. I had agreed to come early, so that I could have a tour of the campus before meeting the committee. When I drove up to Bethany, Pastor was waiting at the door for me. He wasn’t exactly what I expected – but then I don’t really know what I expected! But I do remember being struck by his piety as he gave me the tour. Yes, he was (deservedly) proud of the parish – its people and the sanctuary and the school. But his attitude was so clearly not one of pride in what he or anyone else had done, but rather in what the Lord was doing at Bethany. That is the humility of which I speak. Indeed, I have learned much from Tim, but the most important thing is to always remember that the ministry in which we participate is the LORD’s, not his, mine, or anyone else’s. And so we do not speak the language of “my ministry” or “his ministry” or “your ministry”; but rather, we speak of “the Lord’s ministry.”

    We continue to rejoice today in what the Lord is doing in His ministry at Bethany – and at BJS. Things haven’t turned out like we expected them to. But then we didn’t really know what to expect, did we? Thanks be to God that His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts are our thoughts.

    And He lets us hang on to that magical carpet ride which is the baptismal life. Thanks, Pastor, for helping me to splash around in it every day!

  4. I have lots of memories of Pastor Rossow over the years, but a recurring one is the image of Pastor laughing raucously, enjoying whatever story or joke or amusing event has just transpired, but then getting asked a spiritual or theological question and immediately switching into serious teaching mode. For me this image exemplifies the two things that most reflect who he is: a zest and love for life and all it has to offer, and a passion for bringing God’s Word to His sheep.

    Thank you, Pastor, and God bless you this day and always.


  5. Elephantschild,

    Next to the privelage of broadcasting Harrison’s pdf to a few thousand of my closest friends, an excuse to talk about my pet kitty Happy Bob on the internet is one of the best birthday presents I could ever get. That was very thoughtful of you.

    You don’t suppose what little theological gravitas that I have is now compromised by the knowledge that I actually have a pet kitty and that I named him “Happy Bob” do you? (long pause) Naaaaa!

    BTW – concerning your tendecy to make reference to things like upchucked hairballs, have you considered professional help? 🙂


  6. Happy Birthday, Pastor Rossow!

    We haven’t met, but I feel like I know you from being an avid reader of this site.

    So I feel that I can say with some confidence that, although you’re turning fifty, you’re still pretty nifty!

    God’s continued blessings to you.

  7. Happy Birthday, my friend! Your friendship means more to me and husband Tom than we could ever say. You are indeed “our gift.” That said, we have vacationed TWICE with Tim and Phyllis–a total of four lo-o-ong weeks in a car. I will not say more than to assure everyone who visits this website that Pastor Rossow is as normal a human being as you will ever meet. Sometimes even distressingly normal. God bless and keep you, dear Tim!

  8. Pastor Rossow,

    Happy birthday …. old man! 🙂 We’ve known each other something like 10-12 years now (you’ve got the church records, you tell us!). You’ve taught us, pastored to our family (and even some extended family, now members), and guided us in our Biblical path. You were “master” to our children (when they were too small to say “Pastor” correctly), baptized them, helped us “bring them up in the ways of the Lord”, and then Confirmed them at our side. We’ve laughed and joked together (“nice dress”), cried together, and even fought together. What more could a couple of poor sinners ask for in a pastor, and in a friend! God bless you, now and forever, “Master”/Pastor!

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