Tony and Trish have a unique story of how the Lord brought them together after losing their spouses.
For almost 30 years Tony served in pastoral ministry as a church planter and Lead Pastor, as well as other church staff positions. He was married to his late wife, Tami, for over 29 years and was blessed with four children, one of whom is in Heaven. Tami died in 2010 of complications from Guillian-Barre’ Syndrome following years of health-related issues. Tony retired from the pastorate in 2015.
Trish and her late husband, Bob Patterson, were two of the original founders of LabAnswer, a research and laboratory informatics technology consulting firm. In 2006, Trish became Bob’s caretaker during his months of battling cancer. After Bob’s death, Trish continued with the firm until her retirement in 2017. Trish and Bob had been married for 26 years.
Thinking they would never marry again, they both were pleasantly surprised when God used a mutual friend to introduce them in 2012 and a long-distance relationship began to grow. Trish was residing outside Knoxville, TN and Tony in Fayetteville, NC. As the relationship turned to courtship, Trish shared her passion of entertaining with Southern hospitality and mentioned all the ministry couples she had brought into her home for rest and relaxation. Tony, knowing the tremendous stress and pressures experienced by couples in ministry, also felt the Lord’s leading to provide respite and encouragement for God’s shepherds.
Tony and Trish married in 2015 and because of their life experiences, gifts, and passions started Waterfront Ministries. Having been on the receiving end of God’s mercies and comfort during their times of trouble, in accordance with 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 they have answered His call to provide rest and encouragement to those who need it.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”