Heeding His call
Cavalry Baptist Pastor Rod Compton moving on to New Mexico
December 22, 2007
Craig — Husband.
Public address announcer.
In precisely that order.
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Pastor Rod Compton is listing his priorities.
You see, Compton is moving on.
Listening to the man upstairs.
His eyes drift about, the motions of a man attempting to think back. There are so many memories flashing through his head, and the smile etched on his face is difficult not to notice.
He leans back between two of the many pews in the Calvary Baptist Church, obviously comfortable in his surroundings.
As a husband, he married the “love of his life,” Ann, after meeting her in college. The couple have been together for 27 years, “through thick and thin, she has been at my side,” he says.
As a father of two children, now college students in Texas, he glows with pride as he mentions where they are in life.
“They are two great kids,” he says. “They are doing well. They’re each following a path.”
As pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Craig, he’s followed the Voice he’s been hearing since he was a teenager, reaching out to everyone in his surroundings.
“I was just a bump on a pew at 14,” he said. “God was calling me to do something different.”
As the public address announcer during Moffat County High School sporting events, he’s the booming voice calling out ‘Bulldogs win! Bulldogs win!”
“I’ve always been a nut about sports,” says Compton, who played tight end on Baylor University’s football team. “There is nothing like high school sports. It’s a great way for me to be involved with today’s youth.”
And as a Craig City Councilman, he is dedicated to helping the community resolve whatever is in its best interest.
“Craig is a great community,” he said. “It’s full of good, hard-working people who care about each other.”
He’s been in Craig since the turn of the decade, but the time has come for him to move on.
“I didn’t choose to leave,” he said. “God chose it for me.”
As a pastor, Compton listens when He speaks.
He will become pastor at a church in Albuquerque, N.M., with his love of the Lord and his love of sports in tow.
“He will be greatly missed,” Mayor Don Jones said. “He is a very energetic man.”
Compton remembers being at the side of Steve Hafey, a Bulldogs radio broadcaster of more than 30 years, in the 2005 Colorado 3A football state quarterfinals.
“We were beating Palisade High School with very little time left in the game,” Compton said. “They caught a touchdown pass to win the game at the end, it broke our backs. I was so excited, I can’t remember what I said, but I was screaming in the microphone.”
Hafey will miss having his road trip sidekick.
“It is a big loss to our community,” he said. “A guy like him is invaluable. He was Moffat County’s ‘Mr. Spirit.’ He was a real crowd rouser. So enthusiastic about sports. I am sad to see him go.”
Comparing life to – what else – sports comes naturally for Compton.
“I compare it to running in track,” he said. “We all live with things that bombard us sometimes, things that are a weight on our shoulders. You have to get rid of them, lay off of those things and just run the race.”
He won’t be racing to New Mexico. He’ll be driving, thinking and reminiscing.
Reminiscing about his time in Craig, the people he has touched and those who have touched him.
“The greatest blessing I felt is when I would walk the hallways of the high school,” he said, fighting the moisture building in his eyes. “I know the kids and they all know me. I used to just hope I could reach one of them, and I know I have.”
His body is going to Albuquerque, and his soul is dedicated to the Lord, but he says his heart will remain in Craig.
“If I had it my way, I’d stay,” he said. “But, God wants my obedience.”