I haven’t blogged in a few weeks because of the enormous changes that have happened to our family in the last few weeks. In answer to questions received, I will begin blogging again (likely weekly) after the transition concludes in February.
Not only is this coming Sunday my last as worship pastor at FBC Mary Esther, but it is my last as a worship pastor. It is a significant day, bittersweet, but bathed in the peace provided to us by the Holy Spirit.
In case you are wondering, “What transition?” – here’s a copy of what I read on Sunday morning, January 6:
January 6, 2013
Staff, Worship Ministry, and Members of First Baptist Church of Mary Esther, FL,
God is amazing. He is always working. His will is perfect.
The Earls family must follow God once again in full surrender. We can do no less, we can do no more. God has implanted within my own life an overwhelmingly strong desire for the pastoral side of the ministry. Now, He has provided our first opportunity to engage this desire on a full-time basis.
This previous Sunday, we accepted the position and calling to be the shepherd and senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Robertsdale, Alabama. My last Sunday as FBC Mary Esther’s Worship Pastor will be on Sunday, January 27. (Editor’s note – that date is now January 20, to coincide with the going-away festivities and is at my request). My first Sunday in the new pastorate will be on Sunday, February 3.
FBC Mary Esther has a long history of raising, training, and sending out men who would become pastors. I know I didn’t grow up here, but I consider it an honor to have engaged in pastoral training in your midst, and I humbly request that you send the Earls family with your love, your prayers, and your blessing to this new adventure. Having led music since the age of 18, this is a new leap of faith for us, and we desire your prayers as we follow Him.
I cannot give enough thanks for your kindness and generosity during our short tenure as your worship pastor. Thank you for your generosity over these 3 years. Thank you for your generosity over the Christmas season. Thank you to this wonderful church staff for the many blessings of serving God together. Thank you to Pastor Byron, Pastor Tom, and Tammy for your heart, your service, and your relationship with I and my family. It has been a true honor and a true blessing to have served you all as a minister. I wish I had the opportunity to sit down with each of you and explain to you how you’ve been a blessing to us. I will seize those opportunities in the coming weeks as much as I am able.
I have full confidence in God, who is leading us in this transition. I believe with every fiber of my being that God has led and is leading us down this path. Now I remind you that God, who is infinitely faithful, will too provide for the people of FBC Mary Esther. There is no debate on this matter. God already knows what is going to happen, and desires that you rely on Him. I want to encourage you concerning God’s future for you , God’s grace provided to you, the supremacy of Christ displayed to you, and the sufficiency of His Word given to you. He is enough. It is enough. God is good.
Separations are temporary. Soon enough, we’ll spend eternity together. Until then, it has been an honor.