Notes of Appreciation: Daniel P. Allen, a True Pastor and Missionary


For most of my growing up, my dad constantly quoted one verse that was meaningful to him: And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim. 2:2). My dad taught me this was the very heart of being a Christian leader: to pass the faith on to the next generation. Pastors must be intentional in their investment in others that will come after them.

Dan Allen was not just a pastor and mentor, he was a friend. I met him at Lancaster Bible College at a church fair in 1996, and I would eventually begin attending Bible Fellowship Church of Ephrata, PA, where he was pastoring. This set off a relationship that would last 27 years, over both of our several ministry locations, through the loss of my friend and his son Josh, and upon my recent relocation to the Ephrata area.

Honestly, apart from the similarity in our names, there were no reasons that he should pay much attention to me over others that had attended the church for years. I was a new college student, with no history in the BFC, and at the time was not intending on doing ministry full-time.

I began serving in the youth ministry where his kids were all involved. It was during those years, that he began to invest in me. He would speak words of counsel, encouragement, and of course, humor to me. He invited me over for lunch and for watching our beloved Eagles. He also empowered me with responsibility in the church. I made many mistakes, but he coached me through them, but never gave up on me. It was important to him that I saw all aspects of the BFC, so he invited me to serve at the BFC Conference one year.

After graduation, I moved to Graterford, PA, and began serving at Graterford BFC. Pastor Dan continually reached out to me to check in and see how things were going with the ministry. There were times when he would want to meet up with me at the halfway point just to continue investing wisdom and experience in me. His encouragement was greatly appreciated as I was learning the realities and heartbreaks of ministry firsthand.

After my time at Graterford ended, I moved on to several non- BFC churches in the region. He would frequently comment that I needed to come back to the BFC. Whenever I was looking for a ministry opportunity, he was sure to give me the current “Help Wanted list” of the BFC. Needless to say, he teased me frequently when I was ordained a Southern Baptist. He would visit me in Lynchburg VA, Perry Hall, MD, East Hampton, CT, and of course back in Ephrata as I began my pastorate at Grace Fellowship Church.

It didn’t matter that we were from two different generations. I preferred music that he did not. He preferred expositional over my topical preaching. He preferred traditional, and I was contemporary. Yet despite the differences, we remained close friends, and I continued to consider him one of my mentors until the Lord took him home.

I am thankful for Pastor Dan making 2 Tim. 2:2 a reality. His mentoring was intentional. He invested in me both time and counsel. He empowered me to serve, imperfections and all. He coached me through my ministry mistakes. He consistently pursued me despite distance and time. He encouraged me at times that I wondered if it would be easier to leave ministry. He involved me so that I would observe and learn from his example. He always invited me to be a part of the fellowship he loved and served. All of these actions are things that I have sought to imitate with the people in my ministry.

One last thing that I appreciate about Pastor Dan. Maya Angelou is known for saying, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I had many conversations with Dan. Many verses were shared. Many encouraging words were exchanged. But whenever I was with him, he truly made me feel important, valued, sane, and like an equal. Most people that knew him would agree with this. God used him in my life and ministry and those investments by him will benefit generations to come.

by Dan Alban, Lead Pastor, Grace Fellowship Church

He is Uncle Dan and we love him. Uncle Dan literally got us fired up, encouraged and realizing that the faithfulness of our God is not limited to a geographical location. Uncle Dan’s daily walk with Jesus taught us that our God is truly omnipresent, present everywhere at the same time, and the Lord (does) not change (Mal. 3:6). Uncle Dan has left godly footprints in the sand of time. His good name, impact, and legacy will be remembered for a very long time and his story will be told for generations.

Uncle Dan was fun to be around with his love for missions. He had a great sense of humor and there was never a dull moment with him. We would spend hours at Cracker Barrel or Texas Roadhouse talking about family, college life, and funny ministry events.

Even though Uncle Dan has changed his earthly address by joyfully slipping into our eternal home of heaven, he lived his life based on the truth stated by Paul: For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Even though he is now gone physically, he is now more alive than he has ever been and in the presence of our Lord. Hallelujah.

Posted on Facebook by Emmanuel Adomako, a missionary in his hometown of Ghana.

I met Dr. Dan Allen as a baby believer in Jesus. As a member of the Ebenezer Bible Fellowship Church in Bethlehem, my family and I were blessed to attend Pinebrook Bible Conference regularly, and it was there that I would find a lifelong friend, brother, & mentor. 

Dan became my mentor because of his self-denying willingness to reach out to someone seemingly insignificant and make them feel significant. He was busy, in demand, pulled in various directions, but I never got the sense that any of that mattered when he was talking with me or helping me, and that was not an infrequent occurrence when we were on the grounds. 

I was on fire for Christ, and for His word, and I was on fire for the Bible Fellowship Church, and Dan would happily stoke that fire, even while cooling it down if necessary. He had a way of being honest and candid without squelching my zeal or making me feel like he was rebuking me. 

As I grew, the things we talked about obviously changed. When I was called as a lay-elder at Ebenezer he wisely helped me understand how that role could be used, or abused in the church; how I could be a help, or a hindrance. He encouraged me to be a blessing to the pastoral staff and to be cautious that I wasn’t make ministry harder than it already was. 

One of my fondest memories of Dan was an encounter that was a completely surprising work of God. My family and I were vacationing with friends in Sea Isle City, NJ, and I suggested we worship that Sunday at the BFC Church Plant in Cape May Court House, and so we did. I was overwhelmed with joy when we arrived to find my dear brother and mentor Dan was preaching there that morning; I had no idea! I was training for ministry at the time through Moody Bible Institute, and Dan was still stoking that fire in me. After that service he asked if we could stick around for a while, he wanted to talk with me. So we did, and  Dan gathered my wife and I, with Mark Morrison from church extension into an office and said ‘This young man is training for ministry, and this church plant needs a pastor, we should see if there is a fit!’. I was totally caught off guard, and overwhelmed with excitement. We stayed even longer, walked around the property, and imagined what could be. 

Well…I wasn’t yet ready for that call, so nothing happened, for a few years. But eventually, God arranged it that my dear mentor’s first church would become my first church, albeit under different names and denominations. And Dan would come regularly, and even when far way, on the phone, or with email, he was always ready to help with encouragement and counsel. He’d experienced just about everything one could in ministry, and he wasn’t afraid to be honest. When I was considering a call to the Saucon Community Bible Fellowship Church in Hellertown, Dan was disheartened a bit, but not disappointed. He had wanted to see us bring the Cape Community Church into the Conference as a particular church, and who could blame him. But still, he encouraged us even as we departed for Hellertown. That move would allow more opportunities for fellowship and mentorship, as Dan would always let me know when he was gonna be in the area, or even just passing through the area, so we could have lunch, which we did often, dinner too! Lunch would be at Ruby Tuesday’s, and dinners with he and Vonnie at Carrabba’s, because he always had coupons for both! 

Regardless of the venue or the meal, we always left wiser, and encouraged and ready to go further for the glory of God. 

I believe one of Dan’s greatest ministries was honest encouragement. He wouldn’t just say want someone wanted to hear, but he would say what was necessary in a way that didn’t hurt. 

During the COVID shutdown Dan asked if he could attend our church as we livestreamed our service from our sanctuary, and I said ‘It would be an honor!’. The BFC was having a debate over preaching at that time, particularly expositional preaching. So after the first service he attended, he encouraged me first, said he loved the sermon and the delivery, and then he gently challenged me on the whether or not it was ‘expositional’. We both enjoyed that debate and in the end we agreed. It was an absolute blessing to have Dan in our church numerous consecutive weeks, as his presence meant encouragement was imminent, and that encouragement gave me confidence in the grace of God and the power of His word, which is obviously quite necessary in pastoral ministry. 

It’s hard to overstate the value and impact of Dan’s ministry in our lives and ministry. I could write much, much more about his involvement in making a young, rough, ignorant Christian infant feel like he could make a difference in God’s Kingdom, but that’s exactly what Dan did, continuously, and he was always there. I praise God to have known him and loved him, and to be loved by him, and as long as I, and the countless others like me, minister God’s word to God’s people, his impact will continue. We’ll miss him, but his legacy lives through his ‘ministerial sons’. 

by Keith Strunk, pastor of Saucon Community Church in Hellertown, PA


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