Last summer, knowing that I was approaching my 65th birthday I took a study leave and focused on learning all I could on two specific topics. One was about developing a ministry team to serve the needs of active 55+ adults. The second topic was about how to prepare for a successful succession of leadership when I did decide to eventually retire.
This last Thanksgiving my wife Debbie and I took a trip to Atlanta to visit our daughter Jessica, her husband Matt and our four grandchildren, Asa 10, Carys 8, Shepard 6 and Jasper 4, where we discussed the realities of a move.
Well last weekend with I announced to our congregation that at the end of October 2017, I will be retiring as the Senior Pastor of Celebration Community Church in order that we may move to Georgia to be closer to our grandkids and to pursue what’s next for us in ministry. In anticipation of all that it will take to prepare for such a move, Debbie will be stepping back from Victory Christian Academy as of January 1st 2017.
Over the last 20 years since the inception of our church I have seen the hand of God do amazing things through His Holy Spirit working in us and through us. I am been SO proud and privileged to be your pastor.
I remember when I stood on the platform at Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center as we were presenting the plans for our Forward Faith Capital Campaign, saying that I believed the best years of C3 lie ahead of us.
I still do.
Our church Board has affirmed that when I do retire, the reins of leadership would then be handed over to Brant Rice as Senior Pastor, aided by our Systems Pastor Derek Mayfield. Both men have been home grown in our congregation and have served side by side with me in ministry proving themselves to be worthy successors.
There’s a lot of work to be done in the next ten months, like putting together a vision team to launch that “Active Adult” ministry after the first of the year. We also need to continue to move forward as a unified body while we complete construction of our new Worship Center and the repurposing of our existing buildings. I encourage you to remain loyal to our entire church staff that needs your prayerful, personal and continued financial support.
Change is always challenging but as we embrace the future together with faith, we can trust that our Awesome God will keep on blessing us Big Time in the days ahead, just as He has over the last 20 years.
Together let’s celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,