This past Sunday morning, August 11, 2019, I officially resigned as Pastor of Highland Baptist Church, to be effective on Sunday, August 25, 2019.
Over the past 8-years I have totally devoted my life to pastoring the Church. I’ve experienced all the joys, and heartaches that come with working in the Lord’s ministry. I’ve seen many people join the church, but many people also leave. I’ve seen a few saved and I’ve preached many funerals. I honestly thought that I would pastor Highland for the rest of my life – I truly did. But, it was not God’s plan.
Over the past year I have been fighting with the overwhelming burden that the Lord was through with me at Highland, but I just couldn’t accept it and kept prolonging the inevitable. I’m not going to lie, I fought against it and several times I even seriously considered staying despite knowing the Lord wanted me to leave. I guess I’m just not as Spiritual as some folks are because my flesh sure was pulling at me.
Finally, the Lord made it very clear to me that it was time to go. So, I shared this with my wife and then my immediate family and we began planning our departure. I had typed out my resignation several months before resigning and would edit and update it over the months. I incorporated it into the end of my Sunday morning message that I titled, “There Is A Season,” and could barely get the words out. As I was reading it to the church that has loved me for the past 12-years (4 as their song leader, 8 as their pastor), all I could think was that I was abandoning them. Leaving the flock that God entrusted me with is heart wrenching but needful.
At the end of the service I stood at the door crying, shaking hands and hugging necks. Nearly every single person conveyed their love for me and their sadness of me leaving. Finally, everyone was gone, and it was only my family and I left alone to lock up the church doors.
That afternoon I still had deep emotions and doubts of my decision. Having to work out a 2-week notice was going to be difficult but I wanted to ensure that I went strictly by the book and church by-laws so there would never be any question of wrongdoing. I wanted to be able to leave free and clear with no baggage, no debt, no scandals, nothing to hinder me in the future from walking back into that Church with my head held high, or even the possibility of being called as their pastor again.
I am both nervous and excited about what God has in store for me for the future. I am going to take a few weeks off to get our house in order. You would be amazed at how much a house goes down after not being lived in for 8-years!
Some people are worried that I am going to stop preaching or working in the ministry. They need not worry. I could never leave my first love. I already have churches asking me to come and preach. I’m sure the Lord could have a place for me to preach every Sunday if I follow His perfect will, or even another church to pastor, I am seeking his guidance for my life and ministry.
I do desire your prayers for my family and I, but also for Highland Baptist Church, that they will seek the Lord’s face for their next pastor. I pray that the Lord sends in a man who will be able to see the Church grow, not only in numbers, but in their walk with Christ.