Yesterday, (Sunday, September 27, 2009) I accepted an offer to become the new pulpit minister at the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. I cannot begin to express how excited and heartbroken I am at the same time. I’ve never felt such conflicting emotions. So let me begin with the South Green Street Church of Christ.
I was just 27 years-old when the elders at the South Green Street Church of Christ had enough faith in me to believe that I could help the congregation here in Glasgow. Frankly, if I was an elder, I don’t think I would have hired myself. But I sure am thankful that they did. Little did either of us know that we were beginning a relationship that would last for more than 20 years.
I love Glasgow, and especially the church here. This is where all but one of our children were born. This is where our friends are. This is where our memories are. I can tell you this much, I have a greater understanding of Paul’s relationship with the Ephesian elders when they had their tearful “goodbye” (Acts 20:36-38). While I trust that this transition won’t be as permanent as Paul’s, I feel it’s just as painful.
Next, there’s Karns. I’ve known of the Karns congregation for many years. In fact, some of my best friends have worshiped there and graduated from the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions. I look forward to being a part of the good work that is done by this congregation. From a personal standpoint, I relish the opportunity to have daily contact with men like Jody Apple, Gary Hampton, Edwin Jones, and James Meadows. I would never think of leaving Glasgow, uprooting my family, and leaving behind people I have grown to love for anything less than being able to make a greater contribution to the Kingdom and that’s what I think we can do at Karns.
I would appreciate your prayers for my family and me, the church at South Green Street, and the new work that we will embark upon at Karns.