My Dear Church,
The Bible says that without a vision, the people cast off all restraint. Vision is critical to mission, especially a church’s mission. Without a sense of God’s vision to lead and direct, you end up straying from the mission, or possibly worse. None of us want that. I came here with a vision, I have led with a vision, and you have supported and encouraged the vision, and for that I am very thankful. Today, I need to share two very important words about vision.
- I have led this church faithfully for nearly 24 years, but the vision that I have had to get us to where we are right now, has come to an end. I believe God has determined in His sovereign will to limit my ability to see beyond this point because I have completed the work He has called me to do as your pastor.
- As a result of this, I am stepping down as your Senior Pastor effective at the end of this calendar year. I am not retiring, I am transitioning. I still have a desire to use my gifts for pastoral leadership to bless either a new congregation or to mentor a new generation of future pastoral leaders for the church. I do not know where that is today, but I have nothing but complete trust in God that He will open the next door in His good timing.
As we finished the new building, hosted the SBC, and started to see our church family return to church following the COVID Closures of 2020-2021, a growing awareness that my vision had come to an end grew into a conviction. It became a shared conviction, not just one that I felt. People I love and respect began to sense this with me. I must describe this as a tender and sweet journey, and I want you to know that in no way have I felt coerced, manipulated, or unfairly treated.
On July 20th, 2021, in a meeting with the Trustees who serve as the Senior Pastor Relations Team, a friendly and hopeful conversation that had started a few months earlier about vision, direction, and eventual transition gained some new traction and today I am sharing that a path forward has been mutually discerned.
We have one more very important thing to do as a church family and we can do it best if we do it together over the coming four months. We will walk “together” through a capital campaign to raise the money needed to fully fund our Sanctuary Renovations and hopefully provide God’s new leader for our church with a debt-free facility. Let’s pull together and do this to the glory of God.
Today is not a sad day for me nor for my family and I do not want it to be a sad day for you. It is a day of hope for what God has next. That’s true for both of us. We will have plenty of time to say our good-byes, but this announcement needs to be shared so that other steps can be put in place to begin the search for the 21st pastor in our church’s rich and stable history.
I want to express my deepest appreciation and respect for our Trustees who have been a part of God’s discerning process with me. I want to thank our Ministers and Staff, some of whom are hearing this announcement for the first time.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Pastor Frank Lewis