Today is a day of transition. Yesterday was my last day as the senior pastor of Port Royal Baptist Church, my home for the last eight years. I will be forever indebted to the people of Port Royal Baptist for allowing me the opportunity to serve and grow alongside them. I leave the church healthy and poised for future growth and effective ministry. A few words of thanks to the people of Port Royal Baptist.
Thank you for giving me the freedom to preach God’s Word. As a minister of the gospel, I am called to share the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). At times, God’s Word is not easy to hear or handle. You have never asked me to soften, back off, or water-down God’s message. I appreciate being able to carry out my calling among you while honoring God with a clear presentation of Scripture.
Thank you for your willingness to accept all people into the fellowship. God has called us to reach all people. Thank you for embracing an ethnically and socially diverse community. There are churches that say, by word or action, that only certain types and colors of people are allowed. You gave me the confidence to go into the community and invite everyone, knowing they would be welcome.
Thank you for loving my family. The lives of a pastor’s wife and children are unique. At times, they are asked to take a back seat to the entire congregation. Thank you for being a blessing to Terri and Jordan. Thank you for not putting unusually high and unfair expectations on them. Thank you for encouraging and allowing me to take the necessary time to foster these critical relationships. Thank you for taking care of my family emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I would like to especially thank you for allowing me the time to be with my dad when while he was sick. How you ministered to my family at this death is something that will live with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you for trusting me. You allowed me to lead as I have been led. I have asked a great deal from you these eight years. I asked you trust and love each other during a difficult time. I asked you to love your neighbor as yourself. I asked you to be increasingly active in reaching our community. I asked you to give more to missions. Each time you responded. You trusted me when I didn’t get it right.
I will be assuming the same role at First Baptist Church of Perry, Florida on August 1st. This move is different from those in the past. Moves before this one included our son, Jordan. Now that he is grown, married, and on his own, his adjustment to a new church, school, etc. has not been part of our decision. It’s just the two of us. My heart is full of excitement about this new chapter in our lives. To the people of First Baptist Perry – I look forward to serving alongside of you. I look forward to investing in you and the community. I look forward to walking with you as God reveals His perfect plan for the church. I will be writing more about this transition in the future.