Dear Trinity Family,
“To everything there is a season…”
With mixed emotions I share with you what I announced to my wonderful staff and to our Staff Parish Relations Committee yesterday. After much prayer and discernment regarding the next chapter of our lives, Beth and I have concluded, effective July 1st of this year, that it is our season to retire from full-time ministry. I have had the awesome privilege of being in ministry for 43 years now and these past eight years at Trinity have been the highlight as Beth and I together have experienced your overwhelming love and support.
As you know, back in 2009 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery to remove my prostate. In so many ways you became pastors to us. In 2013 the cancer returned and I had 38 radiation treatments. Again you enveloped us with your love. Over the past six months my numbers have steadily increased and it looks like I will be needing further treatments down the road. I have always wanted to complete my ministry when I was at the top of my game and feeling like I was able to give my all to this vocation to which God called me when I was eighteen years old. That is one reason for our decision.
And then, well, I’m 66 years old now! I want to retire when I am in relatively good shape in body, mind and spirit and enjoy the years God affords me to share with my wonderful wife. We are excited about the future!
Of course there is a sadness mixed in with this decision. It means leaving this amazing church we love. This has been a church of incredible joy. Beth has loved following her passion by helping to build a strong Health and Wellness ministry here. I have flourished not only in the preaching of God’s Word but also by watching this church serve our community and world through more mission engagement. As your Senior Pastor, I have enjoyed serving you and setting a tone and vision for our congregation. I am beyond thrilled with the success of our visioning process, “For Tomorrow’s Harvest”, this past year. The initiatives planned and implemented will take Trinity to new and exciting places in the months and years to come.
Over the next few months our Staff Parish Relations Committee will be working closely with Bishop Ken Carter and District Superintendent Dr. Bob Gibbs, to find just the right person to follow me. I have been blessed to follow in a long line of Trinity Senior Pastors. All of us have been unique, bringing our own gifts and graces, and Trinity has always embraced each new pastor in a beautiful way. Besides, Trinity is the kind of church every pastor would love to serve! Our church is in good hands with very capable staff and lay leadership. There are amazingly gifted pastors in our conference who would love to be considered for the position of Senior Pastor of this great church.
I will be your Senior Pastor for another six months. There will be time for sadness, grieving, laughter and a full range of emotions. Change is never easy. Even though we knew this was coming sometime in the future, it feels strange to realize it is here. Beth and I love this church and you are an amazing congregation. I am blessed to have served a congregation like this for eight years!
God is good. This church’s future is bright. Let’s glorify God by supporting our church leadership, the decisions of our Bishop and Cabinet, as well as continuing the vision of worshiping, growing and serving here on this corner in downtown Tallahassee and throughout the world.
I rely on this scripture from Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for good and not for harm, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I love you all,