I am so thankful and humbled on this day, the day that we began this remarkable journey together, Pastor and congregation. I did not know exactly what I was getting into when I was installed as the sixth Pastor of this wonderful and incredible church family; but, God knew. And, as God has revealed over these last four years, I truly believe that we have been blessed.
I have proclaimed the word of God to you in faithful and sometimes fallible preaching and teaching. We have grown and learned together.
In that time, I have been so blessed to have performed more weddings, new member orientations, baptisms, and baby dedications than I have homegoing services.
Our church has grown spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.
In that time, I have been invited into your lives to pray with you and for you during times of great success and elation as well as times of great tragedy and sadness. As you have let me Pastor you more, I have been overjoyed to be more of a Pastor to you.
In the natural ups and downs of life in our collective health, wealth, and relationships, it has been an honor when you have allowed me to be there for you in times of need where sometimes you have needed a sympathetic ear and at other times a word of discernment, wisdom and prayer that I have always leaned on God to provide through me.
Frankly, I have enjoyed being your Pastor more than what I think I should have been allowed as other pastors have grudgingly talked about their congregations from time to time. I count it all as grace and favor from God.
In these four years, I have desired nothing more than to help you to be your best you in salvation and in working out your soul salvation. My desire has not changed and my efforts will not change.
We have grown because of mutual affection and cooperation and this church family is growing more through the working ministry of Christ from your incredible efforts from the pews than it will ever grow from my attempts in the pulpit.
My love for you, my dear Zion Memorial, has only grown over the years and I can only imagine what the future will bring us.
I have learned to love you even when you are not always your most likable self as I am reminded that Christ went to the cross for those God always loves not who God sometimes likes.
And, I will continue to love you as best I can. If you strive to do likewise with me and this church family, amazing things are going to continue to happen in Zion.
These four years have flown by like we are still in the honeymoon period. Beloved, let us keep honeymooning in the years to come. No one says the honeymoon has to end as long as the love continues to grow.
On Sunday, we will do a more formal recognition of my time with you. I am not sure who will come or what you will do. Know that I appreciate everyone, anything and all things, great or small. Also know that I do not do what I do for any reason other than I love God and I love you. I hope and pray that you know that.
Again, thank you for allowing me to be your Pastor for the last four years. I pray to God that you will continue to allow me to be present in your life as your Pastor as we seek out the best in God for you and for me.