It’s not often that I find myself at such an utter loss for words, with simultaneously too much to say and experiencing a depth of feeling too deep to adequately express. But to those who have been a part of the Memorial Baptist family, first on my heart is simply to say: “thank you.” Thank you for nineteen years of your faithfulness to the work in Fond du Lac for which God called us together. For your loving support, grace and patience. For the freedom you extended me to be who I am, and to lean into the kind of ministry for which God has wired me. Gabrielle and I have been blessed to share the ups and downs of life together with you in faith.
As was announced in worship and through communication from our Diaconate, I have accepted the call from the First Baptist Church of Bloomington, IL to be their pastor. We had not been seeking to move, but when contacted this summer, after much prayer and consideration, felt God’s calling to serve and be stretched in new ways. Some of you have asked about the distance to Moline in light of my father’s health; although this was not a determining factor, it will take half as long to get there, and that is a great comfort to us all. Thank you for your prayers for him and for my mom, and for the loving support and understanding you have shown Gabrielle and I in this process. I wish we could take you all with us.
Logistically speaking, my last Sunday serving as Pastor at Memorial will be October 21. Beyond that date, I will no longer be your pastor, but I will always be your brother in Christ, and our bonds of loving friendship will remain.
I am grateful for our leadership and for the way people at Memorial are meeting this time of transition with great faithfulness and commitment to serve the Lord together. Our leaders, with the support of the ABC of Wisconsin regional staff, will be guiding the church through a process to provide interim pastoral leadership and help the congregation prepare for a new season of ministry together when a new pastor is called. There are very encouraging things happening at Memorial where God is at work, from several of our ministries in the community, to the energy and excitement in various small groups and gatherings where people are built up in faith and fellowship. It is my hope that as a church, your joy will grow as more and more people choose to invest time and gifts into doing life together as the Lord leads.
For those with questions about this transition, what it will mean for the church, or questions for Gabrielle or me, please ask. We would love to meet and talk with you. Please also feel free to ask members of our Diaconate, our Admin Team, and the Pastoral Relations Team. As the pastor and leaders of Memorial, we are committed to walking together and making this time of transition one in which we are all positioned to listen for and respond to God’s calling. We trust that God will lead and bless the work of the church community now and in years to come. Along every road, may we walk in peace, to love and serve the Lord together.
With great love,