Dear TGSM Church Family,
This letter is to inform you that I have been led of the Holy Spirit to retire early as your Senior Pastor, effective January 1, 2021. While this has been a difficult decision, it is one with which I am at peace, as a result of much prayer and consultation with Jeannie.
When I answered the call to serve as the Senior Pastor of this wonderful church 21 years ago, I promised God I would run the race as best I could, and I now hand the baton over to a younger, fresher runner, Pastor Kenny.
I have tried my best to run a good race, with my “eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”. Now, I am at that point where I am growing older and have increased health challenges that seems to impede my ongoing effectiveness as your pastor if I were to stay through my effective date for retirement. I don’t want to diminish the ministry of this great church by hanging on beyond my time. As TGSM draws upon the dawn of a new era, I believe that the Lord has a new vision and new plans in store for you.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the human heart the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
With this notice of my early retirement, the church must now pursue guidance from the Holy Spirit for your new Lead Pastor, Pastor Kenny. I have always committed to give my best to this church and will pray for Pastor Kenny to do so also.
Ministerial ethics advises the leaving pastor to back out of all responsibilities with no involvement in ministry until the new pastor has established his position in the minds and hearts of his flock.
Because of the present virus situation, we would request there be no “retirement party”. We would, though, enjoy your best wishes to us through cards.
In conclusion, I am reminded of Paul’s farewell words to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:19-22, wherein he said, “I have served the Lord with great humility”. I have tried to do likewise, and like Paul, I will be going to my Jerusalem, to enter into my season of fasting and praying, seeking God’s direction for the next chapter of my life.
I encourage you to continue the good works, being mission-minded, ministering to the hopeless, caring for the sick and shut-in, providing food to the hungry, speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves. My brothers and sisters, “Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not” (Galatians 6:9).
Pastor and Jeannie McCullough