‘An example of the Good Shepherd’ – Asbury University
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‘An example of the Good Shepherd’

Asbury Trustees Hall Celebrates Custodian-Pastor’s Retirement

January 4, 2024

Terry Flewelling

The Asbury University Trustees Hall honored custodian Terry Flewelling for his service and retirement at its November trivia event called the Trustees Olympics. Trustees Resident Director Matt Penny and Charlie Cox ’24 presented Flewelling with three gifts to express the hall’s appreciation: a plaque, a $1,000 offering from the residents, and a hallway dedicated in Flewelling’s honor.

“Each year, Terry is the first person to learn everyone’s name in the hall,” Penny said. “He has been a constant source of prayer and witness for the men on the hall, often sharing his testimony and scriptures and wisdom. We wanted to honor Terry because he has shown us what the Good Shepherd looks like with his own life of faith.”

Flewelling joined the Asbury Facilities team in 2001, working in plumbing for 14 years and then moving to custodial work in Trustees Hall.

“It was an honor to work in Trustees for eight years,” he said. “Those guys were so good to me. My philosophy is that the residence hall was built for the students. I was a guest there, and I loved getting to know them.”

When the trivia night concluded, Flewelling shared his testimony with 85 Trustees residents.

“God saved me when I was 25,” he said. “I stole a Gideon Bible and started to read Revelation when I experienced and accepted Jesus. I threw away my drugs, alcohol, and paraphernalia. In 1979, my dad and I were baptized together on the same day in a pasture with cows as our witnesses.”

Carolee and Terry Flewelling

Moving from his potato farm in northern Maine, Flewelling journeyed to New Brunswick, Canada, to receive his B.A. in religion from Bethany Bible College (now Kingswood University). Soon after, God called him to Kentucky to receive his M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary before becoming ordained in the Wesleyan Church.

Flewelling served in various pastoral roles in Maine before returning to Wilmore.

“After some hurtful experiences that I had in the Church, I decided that I was going to work with my hands and leave ministry behind,” he smiled, adjusting his signature red bandana. “But when you’re running from God, Wilmore is not the place to go.”

Flewelling experienced God in a new way during a service at Great Commission Fellowship (GCF) Church.

“I realized that I needed to get right with God,” he said. “I went to the altar and was released from heaviness. God restored me and spoke these words to my heart: ‘I did not abandon you. I rescued you.’”

In 2006, Flewelling became a bi-vocational pastor at Wilmore Christian Church, where he served for six years. Since returning to Wilmore, Flewelling helped with a summer youth camp at GCF and spoke in Asbury University Chapel.

Flewelling remains thankful for his wife of 42 years (Carolee in the Registrar’s Office), their daughter, son-in-law, and young grandson. He shares a lesson that he learned from his many years of youth ministry.

“The most powerful influence on a young person is to know their name,” he said. “There’s something special about a theology of presence to let each person know how much you care.”

“Terry has been a great example of the Good Shepherd,” Penny said. “The sheep (residents) have known his voice. He has called them by name, has guarded and covered them (and their messes), and has led them (by his witness and faithfulness). We are so thankful for Terry and his service to Trustees.”