Paul N. Trent – A Legacy of Servanthood
By: Emily Lehner
Paul N. Trent is fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer, but according to Dr. Jim Lo, Trent’s legacy will live on far longer than his physical battles. Lo and Rev. Robert Van Cise went to minister to Trent in the hospital the past weekend, and Lo said, “We left having been ministered to by Paul. When we entered his bedroom, he had his hands up, praising and thanking God. We spent our time together reminiscing, reflecting and rejoicing. A lot of tears were shed. It was a wonderful to spend time with a special friend and mentor.”
Lo serves as the Campus Pastor-Intercessor and Professor and spoke of his time transitioning into the Wesleyan Church and Trent’s role in this process. He stated, “I came into the Wesleyan Church when most did not know what to do with someone from Chinese heritage. Paul N. Trent was the president for the Wesleyan Youth of the Indiana Central District of the Wesleyan Church (now Crossroads). As president, he invited me to be part of the district Wesleyan Youth executive committee as secretary.” Trent’s welcoming and loving heart gave Lo a place within the district. Lo said, “Paul was willing to give me a chance. He believed in me while others were confused about a Chinese being a part of the district.”
At the time, Trent also served the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Lebanon. Lo said, “For the 14 years he and his church supported my wife, Roxy, and me while we served as missionaries in Southern Africa. Paul and his flock prayed for us and financially gave to our support. When we were home for home ministries, he always welcomed us into his home and had me preach to his congregation about the need to be involved in missions.”
Not only did Trent and his wife cultivate a Christ-filled church environment, but they became active in children’s ministries. Lo stated, “Paul and his wife Patti have always loved children and were phenomenal children’s workers. For years, they were the children’s workers at Frankfort Camp. The kids loved them and their ministry.” Trent used his many gifts to spread The Gospel, including his beautiful singing voice.
For the past few years, Trent was the lead pastor at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield, Indiana. Lo said, “This Easter, in a wheelchair due to his battle with cancer, Paul sang praises to God and preached The Word of God to his adoring congregation. There was not a dry eye in the sanctuary.” Trent was an active presence in his congregation’s lives, showing them the necessity of prayer. One of the parishioners wrote, “Pastor Paul, thank you for always being there for my family. When my kids were sick and especially when one of them was in ICU as a baby, you came every day to pray for his healing. When my dad was dying, you stopped by his house and talked to him about Jesus and prayed for his healing. My family and I love you!”
The impact that Pastor Paul N. Trent has on those around him is evident, and we praise God for allowing us to view his example of servanthood. Lo said, “I love this man of God who befriended me and opened up doors of opportunities for me when I was a young ‘Chinese’ pastor.”
Pastor of the Week is honoring leaders who serve the local church and represent Christ-like values. “Paul has served the Wesleyan Church for many years and has been a long-term pastor in Chesterton, IN,” says Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement. “He is well respected,” he added.
Pray for Pastor Paul and his family during this difficult time.
Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a junior Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others.