Pastor’s calling led him to rehab and retirement centers

Pastor Ervin Baldwin chats with residents at London Health and Rehabilitation where he ministered on Sundays for nearly 50 years.

(Posted April 1, 2020)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

For nearly 50 years, Pastor Ervin Baldwin ministered to the residents of London Health and Rehabilitation. He retired from his long-running service last year. To thank him, the staff and current residents presented him with a plaque and a celebration early last month.

Starting humbly with a church bus ministry in the mid-1970s, Baldwin then expanded his territory to serve the religious needs of people at London Health and Rehab.

“My wife and I started to go to church in August of 1968,” Baldwin said. “In 1972, our pastor got me started on our church bus ministry. I would start out on Sunday, driving the bus to pick up children for the church service.

“Then, at 9:30 a.m., I would go to the nursing home for the Sunday morning service. I believe God led me to the nursing home ministry. When I was young, I always enjoyed talking to the older people.”

Baldwin ministered at Madison House for approximately 10 years, at the Madison County jail for about 20 years and at Bluebird Retirement Community for five years, but his longest tenure by far was at London Health and Rehab.

“The ministry at the center has meant a lot to me through the years,” he said. “God was there every Sunday.”

One of the challenges Baldwin faced in conducting services outside the confines of a traditional brick-and-mortar church was securing the assistance of volunteers, but helpers like Jim Miller and Gary Groves answered that prayer.

Ashley Waddle, admissions and marketing director at London Health and Rehab, said the center opened in 1972. Shortly thereafter, Baldwin joined the team as a volunteer.

“He was dedicated to providing a way for all the residents to worship and have faith in God during a time when they were in need of some hope and friendship,” Waddle said. “He had many special relationships with residents and staff over the years.

“London Health and Rehab is appreciative of his service and dedication to our residents.”


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