Although the Sept. 26 celebration of the Rev. Gary Dennis' 20 years as pastor of La Cañada Presbyterian Church was held in the Demarest Family Life Center on the church's campus in La Cañada, one couldn't help but wonder if wasn't really in Texas.
Those attending the celebration wore their best —their best cowboy boots, cowboy hats and jeans, that is. And what Texas-style celebration would be complete without country music and a family barbecue and country-style buffet, serving such delicacies as corn-on-the-cob, tri-tip and barbecued ribs?
The church's staff decided on a Texas theme for the celebration to pay homage to Dennis' former home in Austin, where he spent 14 years, beginning in 1976, as pastor of Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, Dennis' last assignment before coming to La Cañada in 1990.
"It's a nice theme," said Dennis, with a smile.
Dennis grew up in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. His first assignment was as associate pastor for youth ministry at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, where he was ordained in 1972. He also served as associate pastor for youth ministry at Hollywood Presbyterian Church in 1973.