My hope is that we can build on and grow from our interim time in our Sunday gatherings in the Worship Center with the coming of Pastor Jason Baird.

Autumn has come, and with it a new leader and opportunity for our faith family. Pastor Jason Baird was overwhelmingly affirmed on Sunday, September 24. Please take time to pray for him and his family every day. His sons will be starting in new schools and his wife will be developing a whole new set of friendships. As a family, they will be establishing a new rhythm to their life. Coming from a large city like Tampa to our little college town will be such a blessing, but it will be different. Pray that God gives them peace, guidance, and grace to handle the stress that comes with change.

We must also be ready to bear the burden of change. With a new leader there will be new ideas, approaches, and a new personality guiding or worship ministry. Philosophically, the elders have already affirmed a more participatory form of worship rather than presentational. We have already been leaning more participatory in our style during the interim. Pray for Jason as he brings this vision into reality with the gifted members of the worship ministry. I do not know when Jason will begin leading from the stage. His first step is getting moved here and settled.

Our worship ministry has truly blessed our church over the last few months. We need to thank those that have served so faithfully, during the interim. First, we need to thank Anthony DePriest and the worship pastor search team: Peggy Duncan, Mike Hubbard, Tara Hornal, Don Brown, Kyle Pardue, Shana Farris, Isabel Graham, and Ben Thomas. Second, we need to thank Keith Brown for leading the worship ministry over the last few months along with our worship planning team leaders: Darla Day, Derek Gregory, Randi Womack, Jon Crosby, and Ceann Meredith Cassady. Third, we need to thank all of the musicians, choir, and vocal team leaders. Fourth, we need to thank Pastor Benny for his years of investment in our worship ministry. All have served faithfully.

One other thing to remember is that we will begin our focus on the Gift for Christ this month. We will hear from our partners and many who have gone to serve. Please be in prayer for the gift you will give this year. Pray for God’s blessing on the trips we will take to cities and nations here and around the world and the impact we will have on our own city.