Bittersweet. That’s the only word to describe how Charity and I are feeling.
On one hand, we are so saddened to say goodbye to our loved ones at Church of the Highlands and the greater Tennessee Valley/North Georgia. We’ve been all in here, invested spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and relationally. The rivers of sweat equity have heavily flowed from our hearts into this church these last five and one half years.
On the other hand, we are so excited about the next chapter God has before us to pastor Brushy Creek Baptist Church, Taylors, SC (suburban Greenville) and to reach the greater Upstate region of South Carolina for Christ. We pray this is the last time we ever move.
Please pray for our family, Church of the Highlands, and Brushy Creek Baptist Church Taylors as we all experience a change in our season of life. Please pray for Highlands to be given clarity of God’s will for the next pastor.
As for my online ministry, things are staying the same on here. I’m still writing, podcasting, etc., on the same schedule. Thanks so much for consistently visiting my site to learn more about church growth, creativity, leadership, and vision as I seek to learn about it, too.
ABOUT BRUSHY CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH, TAYLORS, SC
Whenever I see a pastor whom I know or follow make a transition from one church to another, I end up googling the church to learn more about it. Feel free to do so as well. Let me share with you a few details about our new church family in Greenville:
- It was founded in 1794 (George Washington was President of the United States).
- I’m following a pastor of 25 faithful years, Dr. Ralph Carter, who retired this past February. My desire is to honor he and his wife, Regina, as I take the baton of responsibility to serve as lead undershepherd of this fellowship.
- It is a large church. I’m sure some will look at this transition and think I’m just moving on to a bigger church, but the size was not what caused us to feel the tug in our hearts to move. We genuinely feel called of God to go to Brushy Creek.
- There are several churches in South Carolina named “Brushy Creek Baptist Church.” I’m going to the one in Taylors, SC and their website is BrushyCreek.org.
- Greenville is the fourth-fastest-growing city in America (source), and there are so many housing developments popping up all over the immediate area around the church. BMW and Michelin are particularly causing the boom in the area.
- Click here for a link to the announcement from Brushy Creek about my calling as their new lead pastor.
The following is the resignation letter I shared with Church of the Highlands this morning (click here for a PDF of it):
Dear Church of the Highlands Family,
I am submitting my letter of resignation as Pastor of Church of the Highlands effective October 22, 2017. That is a sentence I thought I would never write. However, God has been doing something in my life over the past several months that has led me to believe this is the next step He has for Charity, our girls, and myself. Without question, this has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.
I will begin serving as the pastor of Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Taylors, SC on November 6th. A member of their church called my mentor in the ministry, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, described the type of leader their church was seeking, and asked if he would recommend someone. Dr. Floyd felt their description of needs matched my skillset and overall fit. After meeting with their leadership, seeking the Lord’s will through prayer, much seeking of counsel, and more prayer, Charity and I feel 100% peace that God is leading us to this new chapter of ministry.
While we could not be more heartbroken over having to leave this church family we love so much, we also could not be more excited for the opportunity God has put before us. The mixed emotions of sadness leaving friends and the excitement of making new ones in a new church family are difficult to explain.
One of my daughters, Lily, was born here. The other, Autumn, was born again here. We have seen so many of you grow spiritually by leaps and bounds. We have seen marriages restored. We have seen God do a miracle by making a phoenix rise from the ashes as a once great church eventually died, and we were able to replant as a vibrant and healthy ministry. Highlands is significantly healthier in attendance, finances, and evangelistic effectiveness. We will never forget our experiences we have shared with the people of Church of the Highlands.
God is at work and He is already preparing the heart and the path of your next pastor, whoever he may be. He will be a blessed man to have the opportunity to serve Church of the Highlands. You will love him as you have loved us. And I pray he will love you as we have loved you.
Thank you for a great five and one half years. Thank you for your willingness to take risks and not play it safe.
I love you,