Not the End, But the Beginning

(The following is the final installment of my journey from the life as a Southern Baptist pastor to life as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.)

I have already mentioned in an earlier post the sad demise of our Reformed Baptist work and our arrival at Reformed Presbyterian Church in February of 2005. After several months of joyfully attending, in July of that year we joined, once and for all leaving our Baptist world behind. For my part, I had a family to support, so I started working on a Masters Degree in History at Lamar University, hoping to get a teaching job, if necessary, to make ends meet; all the while praying that God would work out his purpose in all of our lives. (By the way, my class work has been completed, and I am in the process of writing my master’s thesis, not to teach, but to finish what I had begun.)

At the end of the 2005, I was approached by the elders to see if I might be interested in becoming the Associate Pastor if so called by the church. My first thought was, “Is the Pope Catholic? Of course, I would!” After a congregational vote, and the approval of the Presbytery (see my synopsis of the procedure in a former post) I became the Associate Pastor at RPC in the spring of 2006. I have often said, “I feel like I have died and gone to heaven!” It has been a wonderful experience to work with the men on the session here, and to be a part of this group of spiritual sojourners on our journey to the city whose “designer and builder is God.” (Heb. 11:10) As one of our elders said as we sat around the lunch table in the church kitchen one Sunday afternoon, “Everyone here has a story.” At that particular moment, there was a family that was formerly Baptist, a family that was formerly Methodist, and a family that was formerly Assembly of God sitting around the table sharing a meal together.

I hope this narrative has not been too tedious, but it has been good for me to have to place down on paper (okay, on a word processor) my thoughts and feelings that I have experienced over the last few years, always remembering that “from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

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