My mind is running in a multitude of different directions as I ponder the last couple of months. The date was February 2nd. I was sitting in a Walgreen’s parking lot in the early evening. My phone rang and it was from Chattanooga, Tennessee. I answered, and it was a man calling from the historic Highland Park Baptist Church in downtown Chattanooga, TN. The search committee received my résumé that very day in the mail, opened it up, and immediately called me. Considering the amount of résumés HPBC received, it surely was a God-thing that they would pay any attention to the fact that a friend of mine felt led to recommend me to serve as Pastor of this church.
A couple of weeks later, I was asked about my schedule and we made plans for me to fly to Tennessee with my family to preach at Highland Park, to meet with the pastor search committee, and spend some time with a few staff members. Another week passed, and I received a call from a member of the search team that they felt it was God’s will to call me as their new Pastor. Throughout this entire process, Charity and I prayed fervently and also sensed God’s calling to Highland Park.
This past week, from Wednesday to Sunday, I met with people from early breakfasts to late dinners and everything in-between as I learned about the church. I preached Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night. The church voted to call me as pastor. It was at this time that Charity and I wanted a minute to compose ourselves prior to going before the church to officially accept their invitation.
We stood on the stage after the chairman of deacons, Wes Hughen, announced the exciting news. I stood on that stage with my daughter in one arm and the other arm around my wife. I was in awe of the responsibility, of the opportunity, and of the clarity of God’s calling on my life. Few things are sweeter than the clarity of God’s will for your life.
To conclude the evening, Drs. Steve Echols and David Bouler prayed over my family. Then, we shook hands and were warmly greeted by the Highland Park family.
This entire process took two months, and I will preach my first sermon as pastor this Sunday (Easter, April 8th). I praise the Lord for all He has done, and what I believe He will do if we stay faithful with Him. Praise the Lord Jesus!