association and a state convention had decided to take a chance on a very young and very untested man. I will be forever grateful for the confidence, financial support, prayers, and cooperation given me by these wonderful people.
Nevertheless, for about four years now I have been asking the Lord to allow me to be a local church pastor once again. As best as I understand Scripture compared with the way my denominational tribe is structured, there is no more strategic leadership role in my denomination than the local church pastor. To be sure, I also place a high value on effective Directors of Missions and those who tirelessly serve our churches at the state convention level--folks who candidly, have not been given a fair assessment by our tribe over the past several years. And I work with some of the best in the nation! We just came off of a fantastic annual celebration in Maryland-Delaware, and I am both confident in our Convention leadership, and excited about our collective future.
But for me, that future will involve a different role--one that I am elated to assume. Just a few days ago, the wonderful people at Covenant Church, Shepherdstown, WV, voted in sync with the unanimous recommendation of the Elders and search team to call me as their next Lead Pastor. I can't tell you how excited I am to once again have the opportunity to shepherd a group of God's people.
I will begin my duties there in February, so the next two months will be dedicated to enjoying the holidays, tying up loose ends in my current role, and helping our Convention leadership with any other issues needed during the transition. I am happy that Covenant, which sits geographically in the West Virginia panhandle a stone's throw from the Potomac River and the Maryland state line, is also a part of the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network--which means I will still be able to work in cooperation with this network of churches I've grown to love so much over the past decade.
Additionally, my global work will come with me to my new ministry field. There is still much work to be done around the world as we in the west continue to acclimate to global engagement beyond the "modern missions" era, and the leadership at Covenant have embraced that calling as well, which allows me to continue serving Jesus in this way from what I believe will be a far more potent platform.
I will also continue to serve as an adjunct faculty member at Southeastern Seminary, and look forward to continuing to guide Maryland doctoral students through the process of attaining their Doctor of Ministry degrees--though I will be departing from any other teaching roles for the moment in order to focus more intently on the flock God is giving me.
As I anticipate this transition, things will slow significantly for a while here at the site, so I would ask my readers to be patient with me during some times when I need to turn my attention toward learning the people God has blessed me to serve during this next phase of my life and ministry. Eventually, I'll be back more often. Plus, you never know when I might show up with my friends at SBCVoices, or ChurchLeaders.com.
Our family is very excited to begin this new journey together, and we would greatly appreciate your prayers as we prepare for this next chapter.