In early October I made the announcement that my family and I would be moving to Ft. Wayne, Indiana towards the end of December to accept the call to pastor Ft. Wayne Primitive Baptist Church. While many people have been encouraging, some have asked valid questions about my decision. Is there a problem in Crestview? Why leave one church to move to another? How will you make ends meet? Why move so far away? These are all good questions that I hope to answer below.
First and foremost I must be receptive and obedient to God’s leadership in my ministry. In Galatians 5:16, Paul instructs us to walk in the Spirit of God. While I fall short of this standard in all aspects of life I feel that God is leading me to move to Northeastern Indiana. Earlier this year I began to feel that my work might be coming to an end in Florida. The Lord has greatly blessed Palm Chapel in the ten years that we have been a part of the church. I feel that he is continuing to bless the word to be preached in power and the church to grow. While in the beginning I did not know what the Lord had in store for me, it became abundantly clear as I visited the church in Indiana. I have always believed that a minister should remain in his present field of labor until God opens up another field. I did this until he made it clear where I was to go.
In the interim time between the lord ‘stirring me up’ and deciding to move to Ft. Wayne I tried to continue my ministerial duties at Palm Chapel. I asked for some of the brethren of the church to pray for me during this uncertain period in my life. They diligently honored my request and were awesome throughout the whole situation. I visited other churches at this time while I waited on the Lord. Trust me, this was not easy. At one point I thought God was leading in one direction, but it turned out to be what I wanted and not God’s will. I am thankful that this was made clear before I made an erroneous move. I have been greatly touched by the love and understanding of God’s people during this time. Walking by faith is extremely difficult, but it gives God opportunity to shine in our lives (2 Corinthians 5:7)!
There was no major problem in Crestview that led me to leave. All churches have their individual difficulties. This is true of anything that involves sinful man. The brothers and sisters of Palm Chapel have been good to my family and I over the last ten years. They have freely given of their prayers, time, and resources to make sure that I was able to preach the gospel. I will hold a special place in my heart for the members of Palm Chapel and will not cease to make mention of them in my prayers. I will miss them all! I am moving because God has moved me. All of my other decisions/actions are secondary to this fact. My prayer for the church in Crestview is that God would bless them with a pastor better than their former. They will be a blessing to any man that is privileged to serve them.
As far as making ends meet financially, we are trusting God in this area as well. I have frequently said that where God leads he feeds. Now I get to put that into practice. I appreciate the concerns about the financial well-being of my family and I. We need to remember that God is able take care of us regardless of the current economic climate in our nation. He is aware of the state of our government, economy and world!
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more [will he clothe] you, O ye of little faith (Luke 12:27-28)?
Tough times are nothing more than opportunities for God to manifest his great power. I am confident that he bless us with what we need to make ends meet. Remember, he owns everything!
Some have questioned the practicality of moving so far away. Again, where God leads we should go. Remember Abraham?
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
I can unhesitatingly say that I was comfortable in my situation at Crestview. That is not a good thing! I believe that God has successfully uprooted me out of my comfort zone with this change. Thankfully, I am excited about this move and very happy. My family is also enthusiastic about this move. God have given all of us great peace throughout this whole process.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
There is great opportunity to preach the gospel in Ft. Wayne. The church is comprised of people that have a zeal to serve God. I have been touched by Ft. Wayne Church’s desire to have a minister to preach regularly amongst them. They have been extremely generous of their prayers, time and resources. It has been humbling to say the least. The harvest is plenteous in Indiana! It is my prayer that God will bless me with many days to share the truth of salvation by the grace of God. I hope that this provides some answers to why we’re moving. Maybe my experience will also serve as an encouragement to you. If the Lord has burdened you to make a change in your life, MOVE.