Note: This letter should arrive to most of your mailboxes today. In the event mail is delayed, I’m posting it below.
Dear First Baptist Brothers & Sisters,
I can hardly believe that 10 years has passed since you called me to be the pastor of First Baptist Church of Ahoskie. You have welcomed our family into your homes, into your lives, and into the beloved community of our church family. I have been at this beautiful and loving congregation longer than any other in my life.
Because of the life and love we have shared together, it is incredibly painful for me to tell you that over the past several weeks, Andrea and I have felt a very clear call from God. We have been in constant prayer—with little sleep and many tears. Yesterday, following their morning worship, the congregation of River Road Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia voted unanimously to call me as their next pastor. My desire to be faithful to God has compelled me to accept this call.
My last Sunday in the pulpit will be November 13, with Thursday, November 17 being my last workday in the church office. Shortly thereafter, I will make preparations to move to Richmond with Andrea, Ella, and Ashley following at a later time.
Please know that all of you, even those who have gone on to live eternally, have made an indelible mark upon my life and ministry. I am forever grateful for you.
In our morning worship service on November 19, 2006—my first Sunday as your pastor—we read Hannah’s Song from 1 Samuel 2, which contains this testimony: my heart exults in the Lord…He will guard the feet of his faithful ones.
My prayer is that we will move forward in faithfulness, trusting that the God who has guarded our feet for more than 212 years will lead us in the days ahead. As always, you are in my prayers, and I shall thank my God every time I remember you.