In Ephesians 4:11-14 Paul says,
He gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
This Saturday marks Fran Buhler’s 21st anniversary as Associate Pastor of First Baptist. He is one of those of whom Paul said, “He gave some to be pastors and teachers.” Fran, Nancy, and their family have been an integral part of the life of our church since the 1970’s. If a church was like a football team, he’d be our starting quarterback. Just as he learned in his days at Carson-Newman, someone has to call the plays, encourage teammates, and motivate the players. Fran encourages, teaches, and motivates us every day. His leadership in Sunday Morning Bible Study (SMBS) has taught us the three great parts of the Christian life: the Great Commission, the Great Commandment, and in his words, “the Great Follow-Through”: joining a group in Bible study to grow as a disciple. Fran pastors us through births, hospitalizations, and funerals. He’s there at every stage of life, and every person at First Baptist has been touched by his ministry.
In last week’s vision, you read of Fran’s plans for retirement. Our church will have the opportunity to honor Fran and Nancy in August. I am grateful that they are planning to remain in Tallahassee and continue as members of our fellowship. The personnel committee and I have already begun the process of seeking God’s will as we attempt to fill this position on our team. No one will ever fill Fran’s shoes, but all of us follow in his footsteps.
Our church is so blessed to have the hardest-working staff I have ever been a part of. They inspire, encourage, and motivate me to greater commitment to Christ. Staff meetings are a blessing in every sense of the word. It’s incredible to hear the stories of each person on our team and to be a part of the difference they are making in our world. We have a great passion for people who do not yet know Christ as their Savior and for people to be fully engaged in the life of the community of First Baptist. So many of our guests, new members, and their families have come as a direct result of this staff’s tireless efforts to pray, build relationships, and involve people. I’m grateful that Christ called us, and I’m especially grateful that we have the opportunity to share that calling here in our local church.
We are here to “prepare God’s people for works of service.” Thank you to each staff member for using your gifts here at FBCTLH.