As we prepare to celebrate Daniel Glaze’s ten years of ministry among us and offer our prayers of blessing for his new ministry in Richmond, Virginia, I’d like to share with you some of the ways I’m grateful for the ministry we’ve shared.

Some of you may not know that my first experience with a pastoral transition was not a good one.  So, when Jesse Croom retired, and FBC Ahoskie began its search for a new pastor, I was a bit anxious.  Thankfully my anxiety proved unnecessary, for when we called Daniel Glaze as our new pastor, we were gifted with a man of integrity who loves Christ’s church and takes seriously God’s call on his life to serve as one of its shepherds.  I’m grateful to Daniel (and FBC Ahoskie) for restoring my faith in the pastor search process.

I believe one of Daniel’s greatest gifts is preaching. I’m grateful that he takes seriously the role of preacher, using his considerable preaching gifts to proclaim the word of God each week, striving to speak truth even when he knows some of the folks in the pew will disagree.  It takes courage to preach the Gospel, particularly when it stands in opposition to cultural norms.  I’m thankful for Daniel’s courage.

I’m grateful for the way Daniel looks for the giftedness in others, encourages them to use those gifts, and gives them the freedom to do so.  Under Daniel’s leadership we offered a summer ministry internship that helped some of our college students explore a possible call to ministry.  Two of our recent seminary graduates, Mandy Mizelle Norris and Rachel Revelle, can attest to Daniel’s consistent support of their ministries.   It was Daniel who first called out Mattea Pavlick’s gifts and encouraged her to interview for our Minister with Youth and Children position.  And both Clair Saunders (our current Minister with Youth), and I have benefitted greatly from Daniel’s support and encouragement.

I’m grateful for the way Daniel has respected and embraced well-loved FBC traditions; I’m also grateful that he has helped us establish some new ones.  And though it’s sad to see a tradition’s end, I believe Daniel has helped us gracefully put to rest those traditions that were no longer serving the church and Christ’s kingdom well.

I’m grateful for Daniel’s ministry involvement in the community and with our denominational partners.  For many years Daniel served on and chaired the board of the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, advocating for quality healthcare for all in our community.  He is currently chair of the board of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty where he helps keep alive and well the historic Baptist principle of separation of church and state.  And Daniel’s lifelong support of women in ministry is lived out through his service on the board of the national Baptist Women in Ministry organization.

I’m grateful for Daniel’s quick wit, healthy sense of humor, and playful spirit.  There’s been a lot of laughter shared in the church offices over the past ten years.  That, my friends, is a gift!

I’m grateful for Daniel Glaze, my colleague and friend.  These ten years of shared ministry have been “a good ride.”  Though I’ll miss him greatly for so many reasons, I’m so excited for this new opportunity he has to use his ministry gifts with the good people of River Road Church, Baptist.  May the “marriage” of church and minister be a blessed and fulfilling one.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayer, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.  I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.  – adapted from Philippians 1:3-6