sundialThis is being written March 26, 2013… but posted as January 1, 1989… the day God began my ministry journey serving His people as their under-shepherd. The purpose is primarily for my kids to have a thumbnail of my ministry journey years from now (Since I am told once something is on the internet it is there “forever”).

Antioch Baptist Church (Prentiss, MS. 1/1989-3/1990)

Pastor prior to me was terminated. God grew the church from 20 to 70+. Giving was in the black for the first time in years. Left after graduating seminary.

Central Alabama. 3/1990-7/1994

Pastor prior to me was terminated. God grew the church from 100 to 225. Giving was in the black for the first time in years. Left to pastor in another city.

East Central Alabama. 8/1994-7/2005

Pastor prior to me was terminated (I noticed a pattern at this point). Since 1953, 5 of 7 pastors were forced to resign… not including support staff. God grew the church from 315 to 650. Giving was in the black for the first time in years, for 9 straight years. Built $3.2mm building. Was pressured to resign because of power struggle in the leadership. I made mistakes that hindered my ability to minister (No heresy, immorality, or unlawful reasons).

NOTE: At this point I made deliberate changes to my ministry and leadership style along with a philosophical adjustment. This came about from the pattern I noticed regarding my predecessors. By evaluating my previous ministry situations and experience, I decided that if I ever served a church in significant conflict that I would resign rather than my presence contribute to God, Christ, Christianity, or the congregation getting a black eye in the community (Jer 23:1; 1 Cor 6:7-B; Ro 2:24). The Church is the Bride of Christ and is to be treated with great love and respect.

Northwest Alabama. 8/2005-5/2008

Followed 27 year pastor 8 months after he retired. Church had fired the pastor prior to him and split. God added 167 to the church in 23 months and giving was in the black. Several deacons objected to my “Philosophical direction” for the church. They would not explain it further. Over the course of months the unity of the church deteriorated to the point I chose to resign. The pastor after me was terminated.

Northwest Alabama. {Interim}. 8/2008-1/2009

The Pastor, Worship Leader, and Youth Pastor were all pressured to resign in 12 months prior to my arrival. My time here was peaceful as God healed a hurting congregation. He also helped me through difficult day through His people. My most enjoyable time in ministry overall.

Central Alabama. 10/2010-11/2012

Followed 4 ten year pastors… the third of the four was forced to resign. This is the church where I was baptized. Attendance had declined from 1,100 to 300 in the 20 years prior to my arrival (Due to a changed community). Giving had not met budget for 20 years. Average age was 70+. Staff salaries were 73% of budget (Pastor, Administrator, Music, Senior Adults, Youth, Children, Two Secretaries, Two Janitors). The Stewardship Team asked me to form teams and present a plan to address the situation.

Eventually the church voted 81% to 19% to partner with an ethnic congregation while looking for a place to relocate. Several members and staff opposed the plan and disharmony infiltrated the fellowship. Even though attempts were made over the course of 8 months to reconcile, including outside denominational help at my request, all failed (Including Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1-2 ). The Personnel Team asked me to resign, in opposition to the Deacon leadership in November of 2012… which I chose to do (See Jeremiah 23:1).

If God will choose to so allow, I want to take my experiences and use them to help, encourage, build up, and comfort others in ministry who are wounded or hurting through Redemption Ministry (Click here for a reflective perspective). This ministry is in keeping with 2 Corithians 1:3-5…

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.