Dear Church Family,
As I think about a new year right around the corner and the activity and business of the Advent and Christmas Season, I am reminded of all the church activities and the opportunities to celebrate the Season. In the busyness of the Season we have to take time, pause and reflect on God, His love and grace extended to us through a little baby born 2,000 years ago. God chose a “strange way” to save the world as the song goes. He chose a little baby to come in its innocence, to grow up and be crucified, to die and redeem us. So, during this Season, take time out and reflect on this change that came to us on our behalf.
Since this past year has been a drastic change for me in many ways with the passing of Debbie, and other things that have happened in my life, I have been praying and asking for God to give me direction. I am announcing that in June 2020, I will be stepping down as your pastor into retirement. I have served 36 years in the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and God has blessed me and Debbie over these years with a great ministry and life. I feel that as I enter this next stage of life, I want to allow God to use me in any way He desires.
It has been a blessing to serve with you in ministry and to be a part of a great church family where you have challenged me, loved, encouraged and supported me. I will always cherish my memories and my time here. Let me be clear that I am not gone yet; I will be here for six more months. Help me in praying for our United Methodist Church, First UM Church, God’s direction for this church and for me. Join me in making the best of all that we can with the time left, so that the church will be strengthened moving forward, growing more effective in years to come.
Merry Christmas and a great and happy new year of 2020.
In HIS Service,