A Love Letter to First United Methodist Church in Dothan

Dear First United Methodist Church in Dothan,

I love you. I am writing to let you know that I will be appointed to Gadsden Street United Methodist Church, in Pensacola, on July 1st, 2021. Cheryl will be appointed to Pensacola's Bright Bridge Ministries.

Me! In a well!

One of the joys of ministry in the United Methodist Church is that I get to be a part of something bigger than myself. Indeed, that broadness of the church is how God brought me to FUMC. That wideness is one reason I know the church will be fine even after I leave. God is always sending help.

It is frustrating when that help moves on. I feel like I've been at First Methodist for too short a time. Real quick, here are some things I will grieve in the move:

  • I was just getting to know you. This pandemic certainly got in the way!
  • I won't get to hear Promise every Sunday. Until now, I haven't served a church with such a FULL cast of self-less and talented servants. 
  • We won't get to start a new worship service together. The best days of First Methodist are ahead and my contribution to that will be less than I was hoping.
  • Dothan. I looked forward to my kids growing up here because it is such a great community.
There are things that excite me:
  • The next pastor coming to First Methodist will have new ideas and faith to share. I pray he and his family will be received with the same love and hospitality that my family has experienced.
  • The challenge of inviting Gadsden Street United Methodist into wherever God is leading them to be.
  • Being closer to family.
  • Learning from the mistakes of my past so that I can be the best pastor in the second half of my life.
  • Auburn having a new coach (sorry, War Eagle!).
You will have new pastors but I'll always be your brother in Christ.

In my time at First Methodist, you've probably heard me say that I'm glad we get to do this together. Of course now it feels like that isn't true., but it still is! This just won't look like we thought. Wherever I go I'll take Dothan First Methodist with me.

I love you. I'm grateful for you. The future of First United Methodist Church is in good hands. Yours! May they be the hands of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.