As it says in the book of Ecclesiastes, “For everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” There is new season coming for me. I want to share with you a personal decision that I have made. I will be retiring at the end of this Conference Year, June 30, 2018. I will turn 70 this year and will have spent 42 years in ministry, the last six of which I have been here with you. You have truly been a great church for us and for this community.
I am very excited about this church’s future. You have a wonderful staff, wise and dedicated leadership, great resources, and a growing sense of Christ’s future for this church. Your Staff Parish Relations Committee will be working with our District Superintendent, Rev. Neil Leftwich, to identify the skills and talents First UMC needs in its new senior pastor.
Bethyl and I intend to travel more, enjoy time together and with our grandsons, and as many of you know I’ll be devoting more time to pottery.
I thank you for the wonderful years I have spent with you.