Monday, August 07, 2006

Pastoral Transition Sunday

On July 23, 2006 Grace Baptist Church formally handed over the responsibility of senior pastor to David Wood. In the morning service, Pastor Henderson preached his final message as our pastor from 2 Peter 1. After his message we voted in the Wood family as members – it is always good for the pastor and his family to actually be members. Correction, two of the Wood girls stayed behind in Illinois for a couple weeks to help out with their old church’s VBS program – at least, that is their story. I think they were just trying to get out of painting. :)

That evening we had a testimony time so that our church family could reflect upon and praise the Lord for 6 years of faithful ministry by the Henderson’s. I’ve never seen so many grown men cry in all my life. After the testimony time, our choir presented a sacred concert that included a special song, Complete In Thee, that Bob Grass, our music director, composed specifically for this service. At the conclusion of the concert, Pastor Henderson came up to the pulpit to say some parting words and officially welcome David Wood as our new pastor. At this point, just about everyone in congregation was crying.

This was a special time for our young church, both sad and exciting at the same time. Pastoral transitions are not all that rare but, normally, unless the senior pastor is retiring and has groomed someone to take his place, you don’t have the incoming and outgoing pastor sharing the service in this way. Earlier that week, they were both in the pastor’s office, one unpacking books and the other packing, all at the same time. I joked with Pastor Wood that the reason Pastor Henderson looked so happy then was that he was using that opportunity to surreptitiously add to his library. :)

Getting back to the service, after Pastor Wood took the pulpit, he asked the Henderson’s to come back up on the platform so that we could officially send them out as church planters from our church to Tampa. We laid our hands on them and prayed that the Lord would bless them and their new ministry in Florida. I believe the Henderson’s are still on track to hold their first service in Tampa on August 13th. The Lord has supplied a good core group for them to start with but they will definitely need our prayers as they are starting all over from scratch in an area that is probably more difficult and certainly more expensive.

Here are some pictures from during and after the service:

The GBC choir sings during the sacred concert

Here I am reading Scripture between songs

Laying hands on Pastor Henderson and Melinda

GBC teens, including the two most recent, Katylynn and Whitney Wood

JD hanging out after church


At 11:48 PM, Blogger Chris Anderson said...

Glad to hear of the service, Andy. Thanks. I'll certainly be praying for these godly families during their transitions, as well as for your church family.

Please tell the Woods "hello" for me!


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