Steve’s Retirement

Today, 25 years as your pastor, I am announcing my retirement. It has been a joy to serve you. Twenty-five years ago, when Sheri and I pulled into the back parking lot to interview with the Pastor Search Committee, chaired by the late Stanley Parkman, we began a love story. We fell in love with the people on that committee, with the church, and with the community. Over these past 25 years, we never really ever thought about leaving.

My only regret is that Sheri is not here with me today. We were a ministry team, and being a pastor has been more difficult and challenging since her death. She would be so proud and happy for me.

I have been in ministry for over 40 years, and its time. I want to be able to enjoy Natalie’s senior year of high school.

The future is very bright for First Baptist. We have a healthy church, a strong church, a church focused on serving others, and a church that tries to emulate Jesus Christ. We have great leaders in place and a good succession plan. This plan was approved by our church several years ago. That succession plan will be sent to all our members this week, via email, Realm, etc. We will have a meeting on Sunday night, August 30 to discuss it.

My last Sunday will be November 1, so I have over two months to say my “thank yous” and my “good byes.” Thank you for your support over all the years. You have been there for us in the happy times, like the birth of Natalie, the raising of our children, Tyler’s wedding, and also in the tough times, like the death of Sheri’s dad, my dad, my brother, and Sheri. We could not have made it with such strength and grace without you.

So, the love story won’t end with my retirement. I will always love you and this great church. Thanks for the memories.

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