My turn: Dr. B’s gift is to comfort with words

By Betty Williamson

PNT columnist

I don’t think the Guinness Book of World Records has categories for Most Funerals Preached or Most Hearts Comforted, but if it did, Dr. Herbert Bergstrom would be a contender.

With “over a thousand” funerals behind him — as many as five some weeks, and a record of three one day — Dr. B. says he began “officially saying no” to requests only this spring. Since he retired from full-time ministry in 1984, and he’ll turn 97 later this month, he might be entitled.

Before moving to Lubbock in 1995, Dr. B. spent much of his life in eastern New Mexico, where his career included directing the Baptist Student Union at ENMU, and serving as pastor at First Baptist and Parkland Baptist churches in Clovis, First Baptist Church in Portales, and for numerous small congregations throughout the region.

With characteristic humor (the man has a bottomless supply of good jokes), he says he had to move frequently for “health reasons … people got sick of me.”

The truth is that for the better part of 60 years, Dr. B. has generously shared his rare gift — he insists it is God-given — of finding exactly the right words to console and comfort people, regardless of denomination.

If you know this dear man, mail a few good words in his direction. Cards and letters may be sent in care of his daughter, Judy Gary, 7700 Memphis Drive, Lubbock, TX 97423.


Betty Williamson wants to be just like Herb Bergstrom when she grows up. You may reach her at

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