The Tractor Man
by John C Westervelt
†††† You may have never seen the Tractor Man, but he has roamed the Asbury properties along south Mingo since the day they were purchased.
†††† The Tractor Manís story began in 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression on a farm near Watonga, Oklahoma where a healthy boy was born and given the name Mel.† Mel Pearson grew up working the land in western Oklahoma.† He graduated in veterinary medicine from Oklahoma State University.† Mel and Mary were married when Mel was a first year veterinary student.† While Mel was in school, Mary worked at the Agricultural Extension Service.
†††† The hard work of the farm carried over into Melís veterinary practice.† After Mel retired, Mary told me how nice it was to have Mel home all morning on Christmas, for you see, he wouldnít ask his employees to check the dogs and cats on Christmas day, but he would.
†††† I tell you about Melís work habits to help you better understand why God chose him to be the Tractor Man.† Soon after Asbury purchased the Mingo property, Mel asked Mary what she thought about buying a tractor to keep the Asbury land mowed for a few years before construction would begin.† Mary, who has a servantís heart as well, approved the expenditure.
†††† In the spring of 2000, Mel was ready to mow.† First, there were heavy rocks to move before the tractor could safely mow the thirty-five acres.† Later, Mel found some other men to help him remove posts left from an abandoned fence.
†††† On February 29, 2004, the people of Asbury worshiped in their new church.† Most did not know that the Tractor Man had ridden his tractor for two years caring for the land while waiting for construction to begin.
†††† The Tractor Manís work was not finished.† A group from Asbury formed a partnership to buy vacant lots across the street north of Asbury.† The property would be available to Asbury when needed.† Mel cleared rocks, moved dirt, and mowed the grass.
†††† Three years ago, Mel and Mary sold their home and moved to Methodist Manor.† Soon after the move, someone stole Melís tractor and trailer.† Mel and Mary decided to buy another tractor and trailer, for their work was not done.† Besides caring for the vacant land to the north of Asbury, Mel prepares the dirt each year for the Student Ministriesí mudfest.
†††† Mel could spend his savings on exotic vacations, but he would rather ride his dusty tractor in service for Jesus.
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