A LETTER FROM ASSOCIATE PASTOR, REV. FRAN BUHLER:
“Aging,” they say, “is the meringue on the pie of life,” so “it’s time” for me to enjoy it. After discussion with our Pastor, Deacons, and staff, I will retire the end of August, 2014. (For those of you already in the meringue, that’s this year!)
Since Dr. Shiell’s arrival, I have enjoyed – and been blessed – by our partnership in ministry. Working with Bill has been exciting and rewarding. I’ve enjoyed serving under his leadership, witnessing God’s blessing in our church.
My deep appreciation list includes:
- The First Baptist Faithful (and former Pastor Doug Dortch) for the opportunity to serve as associate pastor, to know the kindness and thoughtfulness of FBC members. Many of the most faithful Christ-followers I have known anywhere in my life are right here in this church.
- FBC’s Deacon Leadership, working with 21 outstanding Chairmen. I especially credit the steady interim leadership of former Deacon Chairs Wayne Nesmith and Dennis Jorgensen, also every Finance Committee and Nominating Committee Chair.
- Our Sunday Morning Bible Study Directors, Teachers, and leaders – 150 strong – who serve so faithfully, our 8AM groups and our 10AM groups. My appreciation includes the leadership years of Al Eppinger and Richard Tudor in our Bible study ministry.
- We treasure our time with all FBC Pastoral and Support staff, a genuine group we enjoy. I am especially grateful to Paula Clayton whose 15 years of faithful fingerprints can be found on everything generated from my office.
Nancy and I marvel at the love and care of this church. After our 1979 auto accident, following lengthy hospital stays, our Sunday School class brought meals to our home for 9 months during Nancy’s long recovery, when our sons were 13, 11, and 8. Moving here twice from Washington, DC, we and our sons chose FBC’s Youth ministry under Mark Wilbanks and Clint Purvis, and FBC worship under Dr. McMillan. We chaperoned youth camps and ski trips, we taught Sunday School. FBC ordained me first as a deacon and later as a minister, honoring my call to ministry and my seminary preparation years ago. We raised our sons here. We raised our Ebenezer, “our stone of help”, here. We shall always be grateful for First Baptist Church of Tallahassee.
As for the future, I’ll spend more time in the Nancy Buhler Fan Club, enjoy family fun and travel, and knock out a couple of books, my personal Kingdom Assignments: “The Grief Letter”, and “The Dream-Choosing Challenge in a Dream-Chasing World”. But we will be “munching the meringue” every day! Worshipping at FBC, challenged by Bill Shiell’s sermons, inspired by our unmatched Sanctuary Choir and First Joy Choir, and the best Praise Team in town!