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The Bishop Speaks

THANK YOU!

Beloved, I pray that this article finds you well and in the words of the Apostle John in his final epistle, you are prospering and in good health, even as your soul is prospering.

The editors of Empowerment suggested that I write in this edition about my feelings, thoughts, and observations after 40 years of Pastoral Ministry here at First Church.

To be honest my first reaction was, “no”! That was because I have always believed that the only thing worse than under exposure is over exposure and as we celebrate this year, I really do not want to make you glad twice, glad to see the anniversary come and even more glad to see it go.

After some thought, I decided that there were some things I want to share because there are some lessons I have learned in four decades of pastoring this church. Let me share three of them with you.

1. I have learned the value of prayer. I grew up in a home, a church and in many ways an extended community, that valued prayer and taught its necessity and I saw it faithfully modeled in the lives of those around me. One of the gifts I am most thankful for is the legacy of prayer given to me. Every day of every one of these 40 years have been possible because of prayer, not only mine but my family and the saints as well.

2. I have learned the value of people - simply put, people matter. They matter to God, and they must matter to us, especially as a Pastor. People are never meant to be used, made a commodity, and franchised for one’s own agenda. People are who Christ died for and who the Church exists to serve and seek.

3. I have learned the value of proclamation - by this I mean both preaching and teaching. Those who pastor must feed the flock and that must be done and can only really be done by a commitment to the faithful proclaiming of God’s word. Paul’s admonition to Timothy is still the order of the day, “preach the word in season and out of season”.

As I look back on these four decades, I pray that these disciplines have been seen in my life and ministry and that they have borne fruit to the Glory of God.

Thank You for allowing me to be your pastor and to work towards these goals in my life and ministry.

I Love you- Bishop