Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It has been an honor and privilege to have been your pastor. 17 years ago I felt a clear sense of call to you and this position. Once again I feel that clear sense of call to the congregation in Midlothian, Virginia but that doesn’t mean this will be easy. Pauline and I have raised our family here and Lewisburg will always be a huge part of who we are.
I have worked with the wonderful staff and lay leaders throughout the years. Working with the elders, the trustees, the deacons and other leadership has helped us to be the body of believers God has called us to be. Pray for them and be assured they are equipped to move First Presbyterian into the next phase God has in store.
As we end our journey together I want to share something about one of my favorite doctrines, God’s prevenience. This doctrine describes the truth that God’s work began long before we were aware of His working. It speaks to the reality that we enter into the midst of God’s work. As I leave, God has been working here for nearly 200 years. I am confident that God will continue to be in your work together in worship, learning, service, fellowship, caring, and mission. God has prepared this congregation for this time and is preparing your next pastor for their ministry here.
The Old Testament tells us about one of the greatest friendships of all time; David and Jonathan. Remember that they were as close as brothers when Jonathan’s father Saul’s jealousy increased which ultimately lead to a death wish for David. As they parted Samuel recounts the story this way:
Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David. 42 At last Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town. 1 Samuel 20:41-42
It encourages me to know that even David was sad to see his friendships end and move onto the next phase in his work for the Lord. Thank you for the blessing it has been to be your pastor. God has always been faithful and in control even during the difficult times. I leave knowing that He will continue to bless my church family here at First Presbyterian Church Lewisburg.
Please be praying for my family and me in the coming weeks and months and we will be praying for you.
To God be the glory.