Recalling Mentor Rev. Dr. Robert Harvey: A Big Problem
By Rev. Dr. Darla Dee Turlington
“He told me he had a big problem with women in ministry. There are too few of them especially at the top of the ladder. He was a real advocate.” I needed to perform a funeral for a well-loved pillar of First Baptist Church in Westfield, N.J., while my mentor Dr. Robert Harvey was on vacation. He had prepared me, even in the short time we had worked together, by asking me to accompany him as he prepared for a funeral, explaining how he did things from interviewing the family to remaining with the casket as it was transported. Even though doing the funeral was a first time experience for me I was not nervous because he had prepared me so well. He always told me to do things my way, but because of him I always knew what was expected of me. He coached me on issues and how to deal with them, and if he heard complaints that seemed valid, he used them as opportunities to help me improve.