If you are in the small town of Almyra and haven’t heard yet, either directly from us or through the grapevine, then you’ll learn it here like the wider world. We would like to have told everyone face-to-face, but there’s no chance we’d have gotten to everybody before the rumor mill got the word out. So, here is what we announced this morning in church:
After a substantial amount of prayerful consideration, I have accepted the responsibility of pastor for the East End Baptist Church. It has been a joyous opportunity these past years to serve Almyra Baptist Church as pastor, and our affection and appreciation for this body of believers is beyond measure.
We will continue here in Almyra through May 31 and then will have a blitz week of packing and moving to our new field of work. I would say more about this, but it would either sound self-serving or whiny—after all, this has been a process where anywhere along we could have said “no.”
Admittedly, my theology holds that this is a necessary action of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. And so there is a level at which there’s no “choice,” but it’s also been our decision to walk this road. It is emotional and compared to the easy path of not doing it, it’s hard.
Compared to choosing to pastor a church in Saudi Arabia or go on a mission trip with Eric off into the wilds of somewhere unmapped…well, there’s probably a hashtag for that.
We would like to ask for prayers:
1. For Almyra Baptist Church. We love these people, and they will be seeking a new pastor. I don’t have a say in that process, but I would ask that you pray they serve the Lord faithfully while they search, as they search, and after they’re done. They need a pastor that will help them organize for the growing future of Arkansas County. They’re great people that love Jesus and each other.
2. For East End Baptist Church. We look forward to our time together with this church, but they’re going to have to cope with a change in how things go on. They have had a good leader in their interim pastor, but now they’ve got to adjust to the new guy. And the things about me that seem endearing now? They might be annoying in 12 months.
3. For the Hibbards. We’re moving and as yet don’t know where to—we know the geographic area, but if we had to forward our mail tomorrow we wouldn’t have a place to send it. We need to sort that out.
That’s the update. I’m sorry from keeping it from you for so long, but now it’s all out there.
I will, hopefully, be more faithful to write even through the chaos of moving.