A NEW SEASON DAWNS AT FBCTLH
Dear Church Family,
According to Ecclesiastics 3:1, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. And in our 168 years of ministry here on the hill in Tallahassee, First Baptist Church begins yet another season in its illustrious life. We have such a rich testimony of serving the Lord and yet the Lord has so much more to do through FBCTLH. In Matthew 9:37–38, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Just within a 5-mile radius of 108 College Avenue is over 65,000 individuals, many of whom are seeking to experience the difference the Lord has made in our lives. What an opportunity to fulfill Matthew 28:19–20 right here in Tallahassee!
This Sunday, July 15, 2018 marks the beginning of this new season in the life of FBCTLH. It begins with the Lord’s Shepherd, Dr. Gary Lee Shultz, Jr. filling our pulpit to deliver his first sermon as the next Senior Pastor of our church. Your presence on May 29th, 2018 spoke overwhelmingly to the fact that you and I are ready to begin a new venture with Dr. Shultz as the servant leader. Dr. Shultz will be returning to Missouri for his family’s move and then be back in the pulpit on July 29, 2018.
As your PSC begins preparing our hearts for this new season, we have pooled together some of the characteristics we saw in Gary as we were moved to recommend him to you. Here are some of what we observed.
“One of the first things that struck me about Dr. Shultz was the humility with which he approached everything that we talked about. Another immediate reaction was to the way that he bathed his conversation in scripture; his answers to questions reflected how the Word is constantly on his heart.”
“I was very impressed with Gary’s preaching from the first time I heard his sermons. I thought he spoke and preached the gospel each time that he was in the pulpit. He inspires a believer to hold firm in the truth of the gospel, he speaks to the unbeliever and the seeker who are in need of a relationship with Jesus. I am so happy that The Lord led us to Gary, Kristin, and the girls and I look forward to the future of First Baptist with him as part of the pastoral team.”
“I was impressed with how Dr. Shultz utilized scripture in his written answers, times that the PSC spoke with him on Skype and in person and within his sermons. His knowledge of scripture, as well as his desire to teach the truths of scripture, stood out to me. His ability to communicate the truths contained in scripture in a very relatable way while being very comfortable in his delivery showed me that he had the ability to preach to a group as well as a desire to pastor individual church members.”
“Dr. Shultz’s confidence, knowledge, and trust in our Lord and Savior was evident when we interviewed him, during the Skype interviews, and in person. He has a genuine love for Christ and a deep conviction for leading folks to Christ. When we met Gary & Kristin together, their “mission mindset” conveyed, to me, a sincere and intentional love for Christ and the Great Commission. They don’t just talk about reaching others for Christ; they are living it.”
“What impressed me most were his commitment to higher education, his dedication to preparing himself for the ministry that, by faith, he believed awaited him, his strong statements that he would preach God’s Word only, his deliberate assessment and careful deliberation of his leadership role and his role as leader of his household in such a way that it is obviously a ‘family’ ministry.”
“Several things impressed me about Dr. Shultz. I was impressed with his intelligence and his Biblical knowledge. However, the single thing that impressed me the most is his innate ability to analyze a situation and develop a wise course of action.”
“We found Dr. Shultz to be very knowledgeable of the Word and sensitive to the Lord. He demonstrated a teachable spirit and a willingness to consider other viewpoints; his giftedness as a pastor was evident each time we interacted with him. He was transparent in what he said and did and came across as one who will rely on the Lord and the Holy Scriptures to guide his decision making. However, a particularly telling moment for me was when there was a miscommunication about the time for our Skype interview with Dr. Shultz. When we realized the time problem, we placed a call to him that we were waiting on him and within minutes he joined us for the full interview as if nothing had happened. While not planned, that situation revealed him as someone who can rise to an occasion at a moment’s notice — a characteristic very important to have in a pastor of a church our size.”
We invite you to join together this Sunday, July 15, 2018, to celebrate the beginning of our new season and to welcome Dr. Shultz to FBCTLH. More importantly, we invite you to pray as to what your individual and our collective roles will be in the new season in FBCTLH. We have a shepherd who is well equipped and very willing to serve the Lord through FBCTLH. The question that keeps coming to me as we begin this new season is: what role am I being called to play? Should my answer be any different from that of Isaiah 6:8? “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”” Our individual and collective obedience will set a course of unlimited blessings that will transform us for kingdom work that should become evident to all.
Your Pastor Search Committee.