Below is the letter that I sent out to our church family earlier today:
March 10, 2010
Dear Members and Friends of Tabernacle Baptist Church,
By now, most of you have heard of the major life decisions that our family has been facing. Over the past several months, God has been doing an amazing work in my life and in the life of my family members. We have seen God answer prayers in very specific ways.
It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter to announce my resignation as pastor of TBC. For the past ten years we have seen God work in incredible ways through the preaching of His Word and the shepherding of our people. As a church family we have experienced wonderful times together. It is not easy for me or anyone in my family to leave such precious friends. I have grown closer to God through the good times and bad that we have experienced together. I’m sure that God has been preparing me for the next step of our journey.
Two Sundays ago, I preached at the Oakwood Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina. We had a great time with their deacons and church staff on Saturday night. The Lord blessed both services on Sunday. God gave tremendous liberty in the preaching of His Word. The Lord used me to touch the hearts of these people. There was a fellowship activity on Sunday night where we stayed around to meet as many of the church folks as we could. We didn’t get home until 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night. We left Anderson with a clear sense of direction from God that He was leading us to Anderson. This past Sunday the Lord confirmed that decision shortly before our morning worship service when we heard that the congregation had voted with a 95% approval to call me as the next pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church.
I truly believe that God is not finished with Tabernacle Baptist Church. Just this morning, I was riding around town thinking about the potential that is here in Wilson. God has blessed Tabernacle with some great spiritual leaders and I feel very confident in the men that you have chosen as deacons. I am confident in the days ahead that these men will help shepherd this church through the transition to a new pastor.
It is our desire that our children finish the school year here at Wilson Christian Academy. In the weeks ahead I will continue to preach each of the services. In addition to preaching, I will continue to visit and pray for the congregation. I am committed to finishing strong, and not slacking off during the final stretch. We are planning on attending Oakwood on Easter Sunday as a family. We will return to Wilson the following week so my children can be back in school. At that time I hope to take a more official roll as pastor of Oakwood Baptist. My family will stay here while I begin the process of finding us a house in Anderson and acquainting myself with their ministry. I will travel back to Wilson some during the week to catch some of my children’s games and to visit with my family. I will make myself available to help the ministry here in any way I can. I have had a pilot in the new church that has offered to fly me back to Wilson any time.
In the days ahead I am going to work with the deacons here and with the church staff and deacons in Anderson to come up with a plan that will benefit both ministries. Caleb graduates on May 28. Following that date we will be moving officially to Anderson. I am overwhelmed with everything we still have to do. Pray for us as we look for a house. Pray for Caleb as he is still trying to decide God’s will for college. Pray for each of us as we say good bye to our precious friends. Be assured that each of you will be missed by my family. Our friendship in Christ is not merely lifelong, but eternal.
This Sunday evening, I will share how God has been leading us over the past several months. I hope that you will plan on attending this service.
With much love,
Pastor Jeff Davis