It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 17 months ago that I stepped away from being a local church pastor. After being on church staff for nearly 18 years God led me to take a much needed break and reflection time. During my time away from the pulpit I was reminded of many things… a few that I will never forget.
One, I have been reminded that my family is and always should be my primary ministry in this life. God’s word makes it clear that a man should not seek to manage the household of God before he is doing a good job of managing his own household. During this time Aimee and I have drawn closer than ever before. I see the value of our partnership more than ever before. I also have enjoyed some much needed Daddy time with each of my four boys who are growing up very quickly.
Secondly, I have been reminded that once a pastor, always a pastor. It’s not just some position you hold in a church, but it stems from a clear calling from God I received during the summer of 1993. Fortunately, I have been blessed with the opportunity of ministering to countless folks over the last two years as a hospice chaplain. I’ve preached or spoken at over 100 funerals, I’ve come alongside countless grieving families, and I’ve had the joy of leading many dying men and women to Christ before their last breath was taken on this earth. I presently serve full time as a hospice chaplain at Amedisys Hospice located in Walterboro, SC. My position at hospice keeps me connected with hundreds of folks throughout Colleton County, Upper Dorchester County, and parts of Hampton and Beaufort Counties. This position provides me with a huge window of connection and opportunity. However, many of these folks still need a local church home.
Lastly, I have been reminded how desperately people around us need Jesus. The majority of patients and families I deal with have little or no connection to a local church. In fact, in Colleton County alone where there are over 150 churches only 8000 out of a population of 38,000 attend a local church. This means nearly 30,000 folks in Colleton County alone don’t have a church home and many don’t know Jesus. Since leaving GracePointe I have realized more and more how desperately this area needs a church made up of people who really care that 7 out 10 people around them are dying and headed to Hell if they don’t know Jesus.
My friends, after a long journey of healing, processing, and soul searching, God has led me to know for certain that it is time for a new church to be developed. A church that is not just different from all the rest, but truly making a difference. A church where your family, my family, and many other families can find a Refuge from the storms of this life. Now, there will never be a perfect church as long as we are all a part of it, but together we can make a difference in thousands of lives. If you are not already committed to another local church, live near Walterboro, SC and if you feel called to this kind of mission I invite you and your family to join me for a Vision/Interest Cookout.
On Sunday, January 6th (4:00p.m.-6:00p.m.) we will have a cookout located in Silver Hills Subdivision @ 114 Devon Court, Walterboro, SC 29488. Bring your entire family, an appetite, and open heart to hear what God has laid on my heart. I promise you that God is up to something BIG and I would love for you join me in this exciting movement. By coming to this meeting it does not mean you are committed or obligated to this endeavor. It just simply means you are interested and may possibly want to be a part of this new church development.(Please message me if you are interested, need more information, and especially if you plan to attend the upcoming cookout. You can keep up with all the latest news on our Facebook Page (Refuge Church Walterboro). Looking forward to seeing and reuniting with many of you.
God Bless You All,