Church News


I read this letter to our church last night at our special called business meeting, and now wanted to share it will all of those who were unable to attend.

Dear First Baptist Church,

We serve a gracious, sovereign God who is absolutely committed to working out all things for our good and completing the good work which he has begun in us through Jesus Christ. One of the ways that God does this in our lives is through vocational calling. On May 27, 2018, God called me to First Baptist as your Senior Pastor, and I began serving in this role on July 1, 2018. For the past six years I have been immeasurably blessed by the privilege of fulfilling this vocational call, of being your pastor and helping you to find and follow Jesus as we’ve worshipped, served, and been on mission for him together.

However, God’s Word reminds us of an important truth in Ecclesiastes 3:1, that “there is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Life is never static, change is always inevitable, and sometimes God calls us to something new. Several weeks ago, the Baptist University of Florida reached out to me and asked me to consider serving as a full-time faculty member, teaching theology, helping prepare students for vocational ministry, and writing for the benefit of the broader church. After a time of prayer and careful consideration, Kristin and I believe that God is calling me to this new position.

While this new calling will allow us to stay in Tallahassee, a community we have grown to love and appreciate, it will mean that I can no longer serve as your full-time Senior Pastor. Paul opens his letter to the Philippians with these words, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” I want to echo these words, as amid all of the varied emotions I am feeling during this time, I want to stress my gratitude and joy for getting to participate in the gospel with you as your pastor. I am so thankful for all of the gospel work that God has done in our midst during this time.

After discussions with our lay leadership, my last day as your Senior Pastor will be August 15. Pastoral transitions are difficult, even under the best of circumstances, but my hope is that three months will give the church a healthy amount of time to say “good-bye” to me in this role. Please know that I will do all I can to help in this time of transition, and that my love and prayers will be with you far beyond that.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Gary's Signature