When I answered God’s call to salvation and to ministry 14 years ago, I could never have known all the places that this journey would take me and my family. It is a journey that has required my mind, heart, and soul. It is the journey of and for my life. I firmly believe that it is God that orders my steps along the way and that I must faithfully place my feet in stride with His map. As I do that, I take my peace from my faith in His promises.
As we walk upon a mortal globe, this journey is certainly bitter-sweet. For a season, we must endure both trials and successes. For a season, we must endure both welcomes and brief good byes. But through it all, as His servant, I know that the ultimate goal is ahead of me and I know that it is only sweet and that it is only successes, and that it is only an on-going welcome. Therefore, I press towards it with enduring faith and compelling hope.
My journey began in Bolivia, NC. After 18 years, it took a turn towards the mountains of Boone, NC. It was there that I found my wife and God’s invitation to be born again and to serve His Kingdom. After that, He led me to Huntersville, NC and from there, I found myself here at the North Campus of Hickory Grove Baptist Church. 7 of the 14 years have passed here in this place and God has used this season to prepare me and to prepare you for the next season of all our journeys along His path towards home.
God has now ordered my steps to Monroe, NC, to join His work at Lee Park Baptist church. This is now the fourth time I’ve served a congregation for a season and then been called away to another. It has never been easy because there is no easy good-bye when you’re leaving a place and a people that you love and enjoy. Thinking back, when I was a child I can still remember the sadness that would pervade my spirit when I had to say goodbye to Grandma and Granddaddy after a lovely visit. There was simply nothing about leaving them that enticed me to look towards the new destination of home.
Though the emotions of this parting are very similar, I know that the leaving and going is quite different. The song “Believe” (that we presented during WAYC?) aptly states, “Destinations are where we begin again.” Each of us are traveling towards the same destination. Each of our journeys are going to lead us to our excellent and perfect Savior, Jesus Christ because of His finalizing work on the cross. Though our paths are diverging from this point, our destination is the same and from there, praise God, we not only begin again, we begin anew.
Vince, Ellis, Liam, and I love the people of Hickory Grove Baptist Church. Thank you for allowing us to serve the Master with you. It has been an excellent season of “Knowing Him and Making Him Known” with you. You have taught each of us and have invested in our lives in ways that we will never forget. I have no doubt that the work here will continue and will be taken to greater levels.