The more things change…the more they stay the same…coming full-circle…all kinds of sayings and phrases describe when things in your life repeat themselves. The full-circle one is coming true in my life these days.
Most of you know that I retired late last year after serving various church in various ministry roles for the past 45 years. The very first church I had a paid ministry position was the Sandy Plains Baptist Church of Shelby, North Carolina. It was during my time at Gardner Webb College that I was hired to be the Music Director at Sandy Plains. I was only there for one year, but the people of that church stayed in our hearts and minds and some remained friends through all these years. We visited a couple of times in the intervening 45 years and even spent the night in the home of one of the members when we visited. They are still our friends today.
Fast forward through those 45 years and you will miss graduating from Gardner Webb and heading to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Upon graduation from there we headed to the South Norfolk Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Virginia to minister for 3 1/2 years as Minister of Education and Youth, then adding Minister of Music for the last 2 1/2 years there. From there our fast forwarding took us to the First Baptist Church of Bluefield, West Virginia as the Minister of Education and Youth and then adding Administration for 3 1-2 years. The last leg of the 45 year journey was at the First Baptist Church of Springfield, Virginia where I was Minister of Education and Administration, Interim Minister of Music, Minister of Discipleship and Congregational Ministries, Minister of Music and Worship, Contemporary Worship Pastor, and finally, Interim Senior Pastor. We retired from there at the end on 2016 after 34 1/2 years.
Hang on, the full circle is coming…we moved upon retirement to Shelby, NC to be closer to our children and grandchildren. Our daughter, son-in-law, and two’of our grandchildren live here. It is also closer to our son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren who live in Tennesssee. So we’re here in Shelby. Upon relocating we visited several churches and Sandy Plains was one of them, because of our fond connections to it in the past. I attended several weeks and the orgainist who was there almost 45 years ago was still there and was on the music committee. The church was in the process of looking for a Minister of Music to help with the worship and music. They called and asked if I would be interested in talking to them about their need. It being only a few months since I “retired,” I was a little reluctant, but I agreed to meet with the committee.
Th circle is now complete, I was called as the Part-time Minister of Music today, March 26, 2017, at Sandy Plains Baptist Church of Shelby, NC. Someone once said that God has a sense of humor. I’ll agree to that. He brought us here 45 years ago and now he has led us back. It will be exciting to see what He has in store for us as we strive to help lead others in worship in this place. “To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Has Done.” The circle is full!
The Path Continues…