Remembering Rev. David Krentel
Rev. David Krentel
January 23, 2015, Our Pastor for English Ministry Rev. David Krentel passed away at his home.
Our Partnership in Christ - Remembering David Krentel (by Brother Tommy)
In Memory of David Krentel (by Brother Jun) 1/29/2015
¡°Big smile. Big hands. Big heart. You'll notice all three as soon as you meet
I won't say he has big ears, but he really does listen. He cares, and shows that he does. . . . .
He literally has friends all over the world, and he keeps track of hundreds of them through
facebook and email. A man of integrity, of kindhearted honesty, and of prayer. A man you
can depend on.¡±
I stumbled upon the above comment from someone who has worked with David Krentel
LinkedIn profile. It was early in the morning a couple of days after the sudden and unexplained
passing of David, and I was leafing through the list of possible connections on LinkedIn when David¡¯s
smiling face popped up on the screen. My first instinct was moving and pointing my mouse cursor to
make the connection. But I stopped. For a very brief moment, I actually wondered what would happen
if I clicked. Was he going to acknowledge me and took me in as a friend? I then decided to browse
through his LinkedIn profile and thus I came across the comment quoted in the beginning. Immediately,
I felt an inner chord being struck and those words resounded and resonated throughout my body and
my whole being.
Those words were printing out a very realistic portrait of the man, and pretty
much summarize who
David Krentel was. That is so at least to me, who did not know really know David too well on a
personal level, having interacted face to face with him only twice, both times very briefly over the
past year or so at EBCC. Yet, I feel that David was a close and good friend.
In the past few days, I have been thinking hard, thinking about David, thinking
about what was
happening at EBCC and thinking about some of the things said about David by the kids and young
people at EBCC during the Sunday worship service a few days ago when the beloved David was
remembered. A couple of high school kids, including my younger son Jon, touched upon a common
theme about David¡¯s big caring heart. He cared so much, the kids said. There are so many kids at
EBCC, yet to many of those kids, David somehow managed to make all of them feel that he only
cared for them. They said that he would personally go to their sporting events, music performances,
he would drive them two hours to visit the Amish farm in Pennsylvania, and he would spent the
Christmas Day, of all the days of the year, with them in New York City! How could he do that?
Again, the LinkedIn comment flashed across my mind: ¡°He literally has friends all over the world,
and he keeps track of hundreds of them through facebook and email.¡± No wonder some of the kids
said that they felt that David was Jesus like. I could see why, because he seemed to be everywhere,
yet each kid felt that David only cared for him or her! That is God like, no doubt!
The kids¡¯ words sent my mind wandering to the two only occasions when I
with David. The first time was at the Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall in New York City, of all the
places on earth and, of all the days of the year, it was a Saturday afternoon. Jon was proudly
performing at a piano concert along with winners of some piano competition only families of
Chinese or Korean descent would care to send their kids to. These were kids of Jon¡¯s age, some
of them much younger, such as 4 or 5 years old, and some obviously much older, about the college
freshman age, I guess. These kids performed some obscure, dark, hardly harmonious, and very often
jarring piano pieces by the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev at breakneck speed.
The entire Alice Tully Hall, the well-known musical shrine of the western civilization, was half empty
as most of the members of the audience were like me and my wife, parents of the kids playing on stage.
And yet! David was there, sitting in a front row, with his big bald head clearly visible in the dim light
of the concert hall. He was probably the most out of place person in the concert hall as one could hardly
think of compelling reason for him to be found there on that day! I was quite incredulous, yet impressed
and touched! The only reason he was there was to see Jon, one of the so many kids at EBCC,
performing some obscure Prokofiev! Obviously, Jon was very happy and proud of himself! After the
concert, I talked with David very briefly, very awkwardly, I believe, as I could still not understand
why he could be there on a Saturday afternoon!
The other brief meeting I had with David face to face was the result of some
legal trouble a student
from China attending Stevens Institute of Technology found herself in through no fault of her own.
Yet, she had to deal with the problem. I believe she found herself in this legal trap only a couple of
months after coming to this country. Obviously she was scared. I was asked to provide some legal c
onsultation even though it was not in my practice area. I did my best as I have been trying to do in many
areas of the law at EBCC, most recently, of course, in the area of nonprofit corporate law. However,
before she could get herself out of the legal trap, she suddenly found herself in trouble with the attorney
representing her, who happened to be an attorney that I had referred to her through some friend but an
attorney I do not know personally. As it happens often in the legal profession, this poor Chinese girl
felt that she was over-charged by this attorney, and I later learned that the attorney had basically
demanded a hefty fee for doing hardly anything. While I was trying my best to advise her how not to
pay for services not performed, David came over and listened to the story. Then, he simply stated
that it was not a good idea not to pay, which, as he said, would appear to be below her dignity.
Then, he simply said to her that he would pay for her. I do not know how this was eventually resolved,
but as in the previous instance, I felt quite incredulous as it was another humbling experience.
The comment on LinkedIn, the kids¡¯ words at EBCC and my limited personal
experience with David,
they all point to a simple realization: David was a humble human being who had a big heart, David
cared and David won hearts by example and by his humility. This realization echoes through my heart
recently when I happened to read the following passages from the Scripture:
¡°Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by
compulsion but willingly,
not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to
the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade
away.¡±(1 Peter 5:2-4)
¡°. . . whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And
whoever desires to be
first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many.¡± (Matthew 20:27-28)
David was a true servant leader who led by example and by humility. Reflecting
on the words of those
EBCC kids, I cannot but conclude that David commanded love and respect not by his words alone but
more importantly by what he actually did, and by what he did as a servant to those kids and young people.
This is how he seemed to be everywhere and how he was looked upon by many young people as a best
friend. This God like quality makes David a truly outstanding individual and outstanding church leader!
May his soul rest in peace with our Lord, and may he find everlasting joy in Heaven!
I will always remember David as the happy white dude who always had a smile on
every Sunday. He had the ability to make me smile as well no matter how tired I was or how
bad of a week I had and I know that he had the same effect on many of us at EBCC. I was
looking forward to laughing and sharing stories about Texas with him but now he is probably
happier than ever in heaven, praising the Lord and receiving his everlasting love. Represent
EBCC up there!
Pastor David Krentel ,
When I attended David Krentel 's funeral service many who spoke lovingly of him focused on how much
David loved fun and how friendly he was. I can certainly agree with all that his friends and family shared
and imagine David being kind and generous to the people around him.
What I want to share was the serous side of pastor David. Many times when he was scheduled to deliver
a Sunday sermon, and I see him , he would hold me and knit his bald brow, and in his most sincere tone
say " Pray for me brother, I have to deliver God's message tomorrow.." the first time he said this to me,
I was rather surprised. I thought : you are a preacher with decades of experience, a Phd. in theology,
given hundreds of sermons and thousands of teachings, why are you so anxious about delivering a sermon
to a hundred people congregation? I just replied "sure, i will"
When on another similar occasion he said to me the same request for prayer, I knew Pastor David was
setting an example to us, that no matter how long we have been a Christian or how well we think we
know the scriptures, we must not take God for granted. David was very sincere and serious when it comes
to the sacred teaching and lessons.
The bible said "And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that
thou fulfil it. (Colossians 4:17) ".
And he took these words to heart. No matter whether he loved to have fun or to play games, David would
not take lightly his faith and his responsibility as Pastor and teacher.
He showed us that we can have fun in life and God does not want His sons or daughters to always be
miserable and burdened. However when it is time to discuss or learn or do our duties in front of God,
it is time to be sober and serous.
I hope his example will stay with us for our future years serving God.
I pray that David will rest in peace and also have fun at God's side.
¡°An Open Letter to My Children about David Paul Krentel¡± by Christina Wu
Good Friday, April 3, 2015
Dear Josiah and Baby Girl,
It's taken me a while to finish writing this
letter to you because it's been difficult to do so without crying or
getting teary-eyed. I want to tell you about a man named David Paul Krentel. I first met Pastor David at
East Bergen Christian Church (EBCC) shortly after I met your father in fall of 2009. My first impression of
David was that he was a big white man who had both a commanding presence and a gentle spirit; it is not
easy to have both. Being part of a Chinese church, he obviously had a heart for Chinese people. I soon saw
his heart was not just for Chinese people but for all people.
When your father and I were on the path toward engagement and marriage, David started meeting us for
counseling. When your father sometimes stated doubts about marrying me (surprisingly sad, I know),
David became my biggest advocate and would knock some sense and truth into your dad. David often gave
him wise counsel and advised him on other areas of life (e.g., career, ministry, possible relocating, etc.).
After David¡¯s passing, I told someone that David was like a father to me and
many other people at EBCC.
It was the first time I said that and I caught myself a little off guard. Looking back though, I realize he really
was like a father to me and your dad, which makes him a grandfather to you. He was so supportive and
encouraging; he believed in the God-given potential in each person he taught and pastored. David supported
my career as a counselor and my then-work counseling women who have been abused and sex trafficked.
He encouraged me and others in any service ministry (e.g., Operation Christmas Child) we helped engaged the
church in. He encouraged me as the 2014 VBS Coordinator and when he said he was praying for me and
VBS, I knew he was. A proud moment was when at VBS we raised over $900 for Zambia missions. Pastor David
thought we might only make $100; he was so thrilled and surprised with the amount. David inspired each person
to reach their potential and supported their talents (2 Timothy 1:6). He attended the sports games, concerts and
shows of the teenagers in English Ministry because he supported and loved them like a parent.
Your father and I had great memories with David. He was a big part of our lives and was there for the big moments.
Pastor David married us at Hawthorne Gospel Church on August 7, 2010. I'm humbled that he played a huge part
in our wedding. When I was pregnant with Josiah, he came to a gathering to pray for you. As always, he was very
eloquent with his words. I can't remember what he said and prayed, but I do remember he stressed one word at the
very end-- "grace." I believe he was reminding us of God's grace towards us and to extend it toward others, especially
in this case, our children. "Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given." (John 1:16)
Josiah- when you attended EBCC for the first time at two months old, we asked Pastor David to say a prayer of dedication
for you as a baby. I wish I recorded his prayer and regret not having a photo of the moment, but I know part of his prayer
was for you to become like your namesake King Josiah- "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed
completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left." (2 Kings 22:2) Grandpa David was one
of the first to call your dad and me after he saw my Facebook post about how you had an anaphylactic reaction when you
were fed an allergic food during Thanksgiving 2013. The following Sunday, he talked to our Sunday school class about how
important it is to ask people how they are doing, to really care for one another. David really exemplified this.
This past summer we
went bike riding in Central Park with a few members from EBCC. At first, your
dad offered to watch
Josiah while I went bike riding with the rest of the group. We then decided that Josiah would ride along with me, so your
dad could ride his own bike. We didn¡¯t trust Dad to do it since he¡¯s a novice rider (and I¡¯ve seen how shaky his bike-riding
skills are when we were at Rhode Island). Grandpa David saw how nervous I was about it, and confidently offered to ride
Josiah on his bike. Later, wanting to give David a break, I said ¡°maybe I can do it.¡± David immediately said ¡°No, you can¡¯t.¡±
I think that was the only time when he told me I couldn¡¯t do something. Josiah- you had a great time with Grandpa David
and even took a little nap while riding. It was probably tiring for David but he never complained and said it brought back
memories of him bike-riding with his own children.
The last few
conversations I had with David would be on the 3rd floor during
worship music. He would come to me and ask
how I was doing. He was glad to hear when your father took a new job in New Jersey, meaning we would be staying in the
area longer. He would ask how I was doing with my pregnancy with Baby Girl. He would ask how Josiah is doing knowing
that he has been sick this past winter with asthma (not to mention the eczema and food allergies that David was also aware of).
On the last Sunday before he went Home, David expressed to me concerns for the new and young believers. He wanted them
to be attending Sunday school class and to know the Word. He asked if I was discipling one of the new believers in our
congregation. When I told him that the young lady and I were spending some time together, he was relieved. I am humbled
and encouraged that he saw in me spiritual leadership to disciple others. We have a responsibility to build up one another in
their walk. Often the ones we ¡°help¡± are the ones who bless us in return.
Baby Girl- I'm sad that you will not be able to meet Grandpa David in this world. I am glad and thankful that your father, Josiah
and I all had some time with him. We learned from him, grew with him and shared life together. He is remembered as an
enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher of the Word. He was an example to us of what it means to live for God. Side note and
fun fact I just learned during one of my last lessons with him: David and I both have the same blood type O+. I would have
donated blood to Grandpa David if he needed it. And I know he would have given blood to me and anyone else without hesitation.
Like Jesus Christ, David is loved because He loved us first and laid down his life for us.
There are so many lessons and God-given truths I learned from David through his
teaching and from his life. Regarding children,
he wanted parents to understand that a child¡¯s character and spiritual growth are more important than educational achievements.
Knowing Jesus is the most important thing. Remind me of this if I ever put more time and effort into your talents and education
above your walk with the Lord.
David Krentel reminded us that our life¡¯s purpose is to glorify God. On at
least two occasions, he talked about how the composer
Bach would sign his work with ¡°Soli Deo Gloria¡± ¨C ¡°Glory to God alone¡± in Latin. The first time David talked about it was when
I happened to use it as my email signature in 2010; the second time was a few weeks before he went Home.
One of the last lessons I heard David preach on was about how God works for the
good of those who love Him and are called
according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He talked about one of his sisters passing away as a baby, and then his parents having
another girl who has Down syndrome. David¡¯s parents did not understand at the time why that happened, but years later they
opened an orphanage for children with disabilities. Romans 8:28.
Josiah- Dad and I don¡¯t know why God let you suffer through restless nights of
scratching, incidents of anaphylactic reactions
to teaspoons of foods, asthma, etc. I have to go to God¡¯s Word, remember His love for us and that there is a greater purpose.
God loves you more than I can ever love you. There may be reasons for your suffering that I may not ever know. However,
we are starting to see some of His purpose and plan. I see how we pray for other children who are suffering similar illnesses
and other physical ailments. I see how you become sympathetic to younger children who also have eczema and food allergies.
I see that we can educate those around us about food allergies and make positive changes where God has placed us. God is
giving us a heart to love and pray for more children and families. Romans 8:28.
Biblical Reminders and other things I¡¯ve learned from Pastor David-
See the God-given potential in others * Be proud of your children (biological,
spiritual, adopted) * Attend your children¡¯s concerts,
sports games, etc. * Enthusiasm is contagious * Stop overusing the word ¡°wonderful¡± ¨C be more specific in your descriptions and
compliments to people * Buy coffee for the guy who pumps your gas * Buy donut holes for your students * Try to speak the
language of the students you¡¯re teaching; they will laugh at you but they will like you more for it * Take opportunities to show love
to others * Be bold for Jesus * Encourage one another * Just asking someone how they are doing and really meaning it goes a long
way * Be a Paul to someone and have a Paul in your life * Pass on your knowledge * Be a seed that grows fruit * Don¡¯t be afraid to
make a fool of yourself * Don¡¯t let the devil get you down by reminding you of past sins * Write down the date you received salvation
as a reminder * Board games are fun and bring people together (I already knew this one) * It¡¯s all about grace * Ephesians 2:8 * Read
a lot * Mark up your Bible * pray for one another * ask others to pray for you * say ¡°thank you¡± *
Lastly, another memorable lesson David taught about was the dash between
our birth date and the date we leave this world. What is
that dash going to say about how we lived our lives here on earth? Though David¡¯s homegoing was sudden and God could have used
him to live so many more purposeful days, his dash really said so much. David Paul Krentel lived from January 18, 1943 - January 23,
2015. His dash affected hundreds if not thousands of people. He was a great father, grandfather, teacher, pastor, mentor, friend.
He was a man after God¡¯s own heart. May his dash be an inspiration of what our own dash says. May David be an example of how
to live our lives for God.
Soli Deo Gloria,